Happy New Year!

Oh my goodness, where are my manners? Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that, for all of you, it has gotten off to a spectacular start. For many folks I know, myself included, it has been slow, with a bumpy beginning, rising, albeit gently, into something that just could possible be pretty divine. All fingers are crossed. I finally ended up tearing everything out of my closet to tame the beastly mass of sweaters, shoes & mountain of scarves, and rearranging some books, mags and my red velvet gossip bench so I wouldn’t go completely postal while attempting to find focus in my miniscule, yet obnoxious, abode. It helped. Going out dancing, eating/drinking and hanging out with friends almost every night somehow doesn’t get the work done. Funny, who would have known? So I’m planning on getting back to the grind, enjoying time indoors, and opening up that folder of story ideas. We’ll see how it goes. A good start, my New Year’s Eve was spent at Pamplona Tapas Bar here in Lafayette with friends; and I’m proud to say the first day of the year was not drowned by a nasty hangover. Step number one accomplished.

My friend Ya-Roo from New York came down for NYE weekend. After meeting her in New Orleans, we checked into the Soniat House in the French Quarter, and jutted off to wait in line at Acme Oyster House for lunch. It was worth the wait. Two-dozen oysters and a shared catfish po-boy later, we were ready for a nice nap. Sorry, no time. After a little walk around the Quarter to the boutique hotel, we ordered coffee, spiffied ourselves up a tad, and went back out to have martinis at The Bombay Club. Ya-Roo, a true Manhattanite, stuck with her Cosmo, while I tried a one with Crème de Cassis. Time to roll. Next stop, Antoine’s, a New Orleans tradition. Oysters Rockefeller, Crab Salad, Alligator Bisque, Creole Gumbo all fancied up our menu, finishing off with Cherries Jubilee. Num num. Our waiter, Dave, was so pleasant, and ended our beautiful and classic day in New Orleans with a tour of all the elaborately and deliciously designed Krewe rooms. The following day, Ya-Roo and I enjoyed brilliantly fresh, hot biscuits, butter, jam, juice and coffee in the hotel courtyard, before having our tarot cards read (eek). I love New Orleans. Before heading west, we made a couple of stops by Sucré for marshmallows and St. James Cheese Company (for the aroma). There is so much to discover in this city. No doubt, I’ll be back.

The ride to Lafayette was a sleepy one, but we made it in time to nap for about five minutes before getting all dressed up, grabbing Jean-France (a friend and the owner of Tixa Custom Wine Cellars) to head over to Randol’s. I figured they needed to see a bit of Cajun culture, and luckily some friends, Lafayette Rhythm Devils, were playing that night. A few drinks and some fried and raw oysters later we took off for Pamplona for a night of chargrilled oysters, beef carpaccio, as well as a few other délices, some dancing, and a midnight toast. Fun times.

So, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been trying to lay low since then. The best I have for ya are the scrumptious $1 burgers at The Bulldog on Wednesdays, the perfect paella at Pamplona, and the lusciously uber-messy Atomic hotdogs and amazing Oregonian coffee from Jack’s (located on Johnston Street across from The Leather Pouch).

So what’s next? Dinners with friends. Quinoa salads. Toasty soups. Gunpowder green tea with honey. Lots of water. And taking care of myself, ready to head in the right direction for a brand new year. Bon appétit!

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