I was sitting in my nest on the porch this morning, trying to figure out the perfect way to celebrate John's birthday on 1/1/11. However, after 40 years of being together, I'm still not sure what he would consider an "ideal day", other than time spent napping to the sound of a football game. So, I decided to plan my birthday instead, which is almost a year away. I believe that if something is important to you, you shouldn't just leave it to chance or expect people to read your mind, then get all bent out of shape and pouty when they don't. Not that I've ever had any cause for complaint. John is the world's best gift shopper. It's just that people change, and at this point in my life there is nothing left in the material world that I need or want. The things I most yearn for now are experiences, and to make as many wonderful memories as I can with friends and family.

We had quite a few exotic adventures in our younger days, but have done almost no travel at all here in the states, and neither have our kids. Sooo, on my next birthday, we are going giftless. Instead, we are going to hop into the car or onto a plane, and we are going to travel to a town or city that is just brimming over with a "sense of place", if only for a couple of days. Here is what I plan to do, once we arrive:

  • Check into an inn or hotel that was built in the town's early days, and which has a sense of history.
  • Ditch the car, and walk the streets instead.
  • Take frequent breaks at sidewalk cafes, and do some people-watching and -listening.
  • Find a great outdoor market, and see how the locals shop.
  • Find an activity that local people would attend -- a play or a concert, or a place they might go dancing.
  • Eat food that is so good, it will make me moan.
  • Soak up the feel of this place.
First stop? Well, I'm not certain, but I'm thinking that autumn in New Orleans could be tres, tres bien, non?

P.S. Many thanks to for the street market scene above, for the sidewalk cafe image, and to for the image of Rosie Ledet.
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5