Thursday, September 28, 2006


Belle and Beau got married in Artillery Park, in New Orleans at 3:30pm on Saturday 23rd September 2006. I am so glad I was able to get to the wedding.

We left Cardiff on thursday morning and caught the bus to Heathrow where we flew to Newark airport in New Jersey. Security was increased due to the gel and liquid bomb scares but I didn't feel it was a problem and everybody was friendly and helpful. When we flew to Spain the January after 9/11 the security was a lot more visible with police with machine guns, the airports we flew through seemed to mostly be protected with security guards with the odd Policeman. In the US airports a number of americans got a bit shirty with the customs over make-up etc and the customs officers got shirty back. I was very good, I followed all the rules, carried only what I was meant to carry and was very polite-I do not get stroppy with people who carry guns or rubber gloves! We arrived in Newark at 21:50 on thursday but our connecting flight to New Orleans wasn't until 7:05 am so we napped overnight in the airport, there was no real point in getting a room for the night as we would have had to be back in the airport by 4am to book in and register. Poor Fiona was very tired and wanted to nap but couldn't, she would happily have gone home to her bed. Having worked nights I have no problem putting my head on a table and falling asleep. There were lots of night staff milling around so it was very safe, we spent most of the night in the food court where other people were waiting for connecting flights.

The plane was about 30 minutes late taking off but I didn't
notice as I slept through it. We arrived at New Orleans at 9:30am , the weather was beautiful and sunny. We met Beau's parents in the foyer, Beau's dad was wearing a welsh t shirt. We waited about half an hour for Belle and Beau to arrive, they had spent the night in Hattiesburg having driven from Florida. Going out of the air conditioned airport to the car park was a shock, the air was so hot and thick it felt strange swallowing such thick air. I started perspring-profusely!
Beau's parents drove us to La Quinta hotel on Camp Street in their truck.
The hotel room was lovely with two double beds and the bathroom was quite a good size and a nice big tv to keep Fiona happy.

After a quick shower and a change of clothes Beau's parents, Beau and Belle, Fiona and myself and 'Yuh Dad'(not yuh Mum thank you Ariel) went for a walk in to the French Quarter and we went shopping and then for lunch. We also had a look at the cathedral and the park opposite and the park where the wedding was to take place.

Here is is a view from Artilery Park where Belle and Beau got married, we did think about a buggy ride but they were way too expensive.

This view of the cathedral reminds me of cinderella's castle with all the carriages waiting outside.

We had to eat inside the restaurant because it was way to hot outside, I had a seafood platter.
When you think of BABY SQUID you think of this baby toy, I can't eat a BABY squid. I had to leave about 10 on my plate, they looked more like baby octopus. I'm sorry, even in batter they had what looked like faces and I DON'T eat things with faces. I know I'm going to have to stop eating fish altogether.
The platter was huge so I had to take the rest of my food home in a box and I had it for supper(minus the baby squid of course).
After lunch we went shoppoing and looked at all the Mardi Gras beads and Masks, they were brilliant.

We even found a ZOLTAR MACHINE in one of the gift shops.
Belle and Fiona both had their fortunes told-Fiona is going to marry an Ogre and live in a swamp(just kidding) AND Belle is going to marry a handsome prince and live in Far, Far Away(Well there you go!).

Then the best part of the day, we went back to the hotel and I had a lovely sleep. I was exhausted.



At 6pm we had a wedding shower for Belle. Beau's parents provided snacks and drinks and party favours and I decorated the room with wedding bells and cards. As is the tradition with a wedding shower The Bride-to-Be put all the bows and ribbons from the presents in her hair and Belle also wore a hen night veil and L plate and then we MADE her go for a walk in the street all dressed up. We went to another hotel and had a drink in the lounge bar. Then we went back to the hotel and passed out.

We got up about 9am on saturday morning and went down to breakfast, it was the best continental breakfast I have ever had in an hotel. Lots of breads, cakes and pastries and fruit and cereals. Sausage and eggs and lots of juices and even a waffle maker which Fiona tried out.
Then Belle, myself,Fiona and Beau's mum went shopping for flowers and cake-chauffeured by Beau's Dad of course. We found some lovely white roses and lilies in a flower shop not far away in the business district, after buying them we took them back to the hotel to put in water to keep them fresh for the afternoon. We then went to look for a cake shop but many had not re-opened after Katrina and after buying drinks and pastries in a boulangerie(but no cake) in the French Quarter we went to Walmart and bought one. We did have a bit of a problem with the cake as the one chosen by Belle was slightly broken by the shop assistant when she opened it to ice Belle&Beau's name on it and the names were also badly done, Belle complained to a manager who told us to choose another one and we had it done again. It was perfect.
Whilst in Walmart I bought some Winnie-the-Pooh scrubs, they are so cute and a pair of size 12 jeans that fitted me-I told you the Mother-of-the-Bride had to be a size 12 or less.
Then back to the hotel to get ready for the big event.
Whilst Belle had her shower and did her makeup I made the bouquets and the buttonholes for the weddding, the white roses and lilies were beautiful. Little bit of a problem-Belle wanted her hair in curls and down but because of the difference in electricity we couldn't get the curling tongs to heat up properly so I did her hair up and I think it went perfectly with the veil and the dress, I was still making the veil in the hotel the night before. We looked at veils in Cardiff and the ones we saw were quite plain and started at £120 so I told Belle I would make her one, I sewed white crystal beads all along the bottom. We bought the beads and material in a shop on City Road and it cost about £10 to make.

Belle threw a coin into the hotel fountain on the way to the wedding and made a wish.

When Belle was ready Beau's Dad drove Belle, myself and Belles Dad in his truck to Artillery Park

The earlier rain storm had passed over and the weather was stunningly beautiful.
In fact it was stunningly warm, the wedding was very beautiful and very simple. I of course had to take lots of photographs to remember the wonderful day. When they finished exchanging their vows lots of people who had been watching cheered and clapped. After the wedding vows we walked over to the park in front of the cathedral and took lots more photographs. We encountered a' jobs worth' who told us we couldn't marry there, we told him it was too late and Belle and Beau were already married and we were just taking photographs and he told us that was ok then.WHATEVER!
Photographs of every combination were taken including photographs with rosary, horseshoes,garter etc. We then visited the cathedral and we all lit candles and I bought Belle a wooden wrist rosary. Progress to the restaurant was quite slow due to all the locals wanting to congratulate Belle and Beau and Belle and Beau enjoyed every minute of it. We ate in the back room of the restaurant so there weren't too many people, there were Mardi Gras costumes on all the walls. The meal was really nice, Belle and Beau fed each other wedding cake(sorry cancel that-they fed each other alligator-well they did marry in New Orleans!). Belle and I went to the restrooms(!) and we chatted to a lady who was very friendly, when we left we saw her later she beeped her car horn at us, her police car horn! Belle is sure she must have stolen the car but I think she was probably just some out of town police in for the Saints first match after Katrina.
After the meal we walked the streets again to the sound of Congratulations and then we went back to the hotel. Beau carried Belle over the threshold and then they cut the wedding cake. Belle sang us a song and it brought tears to my eyes and it also made Beau's mother cry. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Fiona and I went shopping and Fiona found a shop that sold wonderful Hello Kitty things and we got back to the hotel in time to say goodbye to Beau's parents. They were off home via Slidell and a night's stop over at a casino. More shopping in the afternoon and a take-away from Wendy's. I also took my camera memory cards to Walgreens a chemist and got my photo's developed and put onto disc. I gave Belle and Beau a copy of the disk.
We visited THE BUBBA GUMP shop and what a brilliant place, there were lots of costumes like the ones in the film. I bought a smiley badge with STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES on it.
We also went for a walk with Belle and Beau and went along the LEVEE and into the FRENCH MARKET and stopped for a drink at a pavement cafe.

Belle and Beau's final day, whilst Beau packed Belle, Fiona and their DAD and I went to look at the Confederate Museum and the WWII museum But they were both shut. Belle and her Dad also went into the local Federal Building to buy stamps at the post office. I stayed in the park outside with Fiona and took photo's an chatted to a dog calle Buddy. There are views of this building in the film JFK and of the park.
When we got back to the hotel we helped to pack up the truck, took lots of photos and waved goodbye to the happy couple. The truck was festooned with balloons, JUST MARRIED Banner and Belle and Beau's names on the window.
We had only just been talking about THE RUNNAWAY BRIDE when what should show up but a FED EX van, perfect photo-op.

Later we went for a walk to see the LaFayette Cemetary, after 20 minutes walk Fiona and her Dad decided it was too far to walk so they went back on the bus. 5 minutes later I came across 2 missionaries, Elder Whiley and Elder Miles(but it could have been Mills) from Provo and Salt lake(aren't they all?) who showed me the way to the cemetary.Wierd place, like a town in itself.
Very 'Supernatural'-SnoWhite you would have loved it. I was in the Garden District which is very beautiful with very expensive houses(I would love a house like that).

Very Spanish

City of the Dead

Later that evening Fiona and I went for our last walk around the French Quarter and we picked up a take-away from the shop next to Artillery Park


TO BE CONTINUED.........................

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An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.