Monday, October 25, 2010

Hello from New Orleans!

I had no idea how badly I missed New Orleans until I got back here.  I couldn't stop grinning in the cab to my hotel in the Garden District . . . just seeing all the familiar street signs and fleurs de lis everywhere made me so happy.  Goodness, this city has a charm like no other city I've been to.

But first--before I got to New Orleans--I went to see Summer in Morgan City (where her family lives).  Summer's daddy passed away yesterday morning, as I waited to board my flight to New Orleans.  The timing was both horrible and perfect; I'm so sad that I didn't get there in time, but I'm grateful that I got to be with Summer last night . . . she and her mama and Mr. B were so welcoming and wonderful, despite the circumstances, and we sat together and had a little wine and looked at pictures of Daddy Butch with Summer's sister and niece.  It was sad, but it was wonderful to be with them.

Sadly, this is the only proof of our time together.  We drove to Summer's sister's house to pick up some fans (it is so hot & humid here!), and Adam snapped this picture of me and Summer with fans piled on top of us in the back seat of her mama's car!

Well, it's mostly true that that picture is our only proof.  There is one more (slightly clearer) version, but I forbid Summer from acknowledging it cause I had a double chin.  Ha.  

And here's a dose of extreme cuteness--I'm not normally a tiny-designer-dog loving person, but Summer's mama's dog is adorable.  

You should've seen her when she stole my apple slice this morning! 
3 lbs of mischief.  

And speaking of Summer's mama, she's practically my new BFF.  I loooooove her, and we're so much alike!  She's got blonde hair and she loves astrology and lots of gold bling and she is a vegetarian. :)  It was really nice hanging out with all of them, both to mourn Daddy Butch and to celebrate him.  Summer showed me a very sweet video of her daddy--all hooked up to machines--smiling so big when she started talking to him.  He was in his hospital bed and he was on oxygen, but his beautiful daughter was still making him laugh . . . .

This morning, when the family headed out to the funeral home, I drove back to New Orleans and checked into my hotel.  I'm so happy to be here!  The first thing I did was hop on the streetcar and head to our old college hangout, Maple St., where I had a $2.50 draft Abita:

and now I am stealing away a moment before meeting some folks at our other old college hangout, Lebanon's Cafe!  So excited.  More on New Orleans tomorrow!


J. said...

So glad you could be there with Summer. Enjoy the rest of your stay! :)

Diana Mieczan said...

So lovely that you could be there for your friend. New Orleans is on my wish list..I really would love to visit it one day...Glad you enjoyed your trip

Marz said...

Claire I am grateful that you got to be there with Summer during this time of need for her. I can only imagine how much you being there meant to her. I know if I was going through such sadness that getting to have you near me would bring me such comfort. This is just a testament of what I know to be true: blog friendships are most def "true and REAL" friendships! Enjoy the rest of your stay in the Big Easy! I wish I was there with you!!!

Megan said...

Claire it is so lovely that you could be there for Summer at this time. It is so wonderful that such a beautiful friendship has emerged through blogging. Have a wonderful time!

this free bird said...

So good to hear from you Claire. Was thinking about the two of you from time to time this weekend. Bless you!


Pat said...

Sad to hear about Summer's father, but glad that you're there with her. Oh, yes....her dog is absolutely adorable! I could just scoop her right up off the floor.

heather yalin said...

So happy to hear about your time with Summer and her mama and fam! Nice to hear that they are able to celebrate papa: laughter, tears, fans, wine and friends. It's a perfect combination.

Big hugs!

homemade grits said...

oh clairey. what a tough week! that picture of you too makes me so happy because i can hear you laughing and i know that you had to be the best medicine for summer and her mama. i can't wait to catch up and hear all about your trip. love you tons!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I'm so sorry for her loss :( I'm sure she's happy to have had you there for support though.

Enjoy your time in NO. Can't wait to see all of the pictures!!

P.S. Head over to my blog for a giveaway :)

bklyn76 said...

sounds like you are making the most of your trip. you are a good friend to summer.

Jude said...

It sounds like you were there at such an important time for a friend, and you got to celebrate her father's life. New Orleans does have a certain magic, I would like to return one day - best wishes this week!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

So sorry to here about Mr.B's passing.
Laughter and friendship is always there at the exact right time-
Have fun- I love New Orleans-

Krystal said...

I love your excitement about New Orleans...keep smiling and have a great rest of the time with family.

Rhianne said...

I hope you gave her the biggest hug from all of us - its lovely that you could be with her.

Have a wonderful time in New Orleans!

Micaela said...

i love that photo of you both! beautiful girls.

this post is just lovely- and yup, Summer's momma sounds JUST LIKE YOU! ;) couldn't you have stolen that ADORABLE pup for me?! haha i loved you thought of me- what a cuuuutie!

it's so nice that you were there for her. You have such a big heart, claire kiefer!

i love you and good luck tonight!! you'll do AMAZING. wish i was there with you xoxo

Kara said...

So glad you're having a lovely time in nola. I was so sad to hear about Summer's daddy, but it sounds like you're truly making the best of the situation and being a great, supportive friend. Major kudos - friends like you don't come around often :)

bananas. said...

you are so awesome for being there for her! i'm sure that meant a lot.

and to see her smiling...xoxo.