The only planned activity today is a Mardi Gras Parade in Lafayette, freeing us for some personal activities. Knowing this, earlier in the week we phoned friends Joey and Robin in Metairie to arrange a lunch date for today. We departed Lafayette with clear skies and sun, but enroute to Baton Rouge experienced a drenching rain—no umbrella, no raincoats. Just west of the Mississippi River bridge, traffic slowed to a creep, and we experienced our first major traffic jam since leaving central Arkansas over 6 years ago. It took us over 30 minutes to cross the bridge and exit off Interstate 10. As luck would have it, Joey and Robin were caught in west bound traffic, and arrived at our restaurant just before we did. The restaurant, Chimes, is on the edge of the LSU (geaux Tigers) campus, and is quite popular. The nearest parking was a couple hundred yards away, and the rain was pouring; Kay and I both got soaking wet, meeting Joey, who did have an umbrella, near the restaurant. It was so good renewing our friendship after 30 years and occasional conversations. (Joey was kind enough to phone every few days with encouragement during my recent convalescence, and it was greatly appreciated.) We had a great lunch, and conversed about trips, kids, and life during retirement. Life is definitely too short for such infrequent visits.
We arrived back in Lafayette about 5 minutes too late to catch the convoy to the parade, but Kay opted to go solo. She met some local folks, conversed about RV trips, stood with them, and had an overall great time, collecting lots of beads, while I enjoyed some quiet time in the RV.