Tuesday morning began to cast a shadow upon our short vacation. This was to be our last full day in Louisiana. We left the hotel and started towards the Mississippi. That was where we found the IMAX theatre and aquarium. They had a showing of "Space 3D" playing at the IMAX and neither of us had been to one before, so we decided to go. While we were sitting around waiting, they were showing other clips of what was playing there during the day. One of the others was called "Journey into Amazing Caves" that we both thought looked interesting. Annita managed to take a picture of me with the 3D glasses on, and believe it or not, that isn't a picture of Elton John. The 3D IMAX was VERY cool. We were still talking about it as we made our way into the aquarium. At that point, the film took the back burner. They have a 30 foot long "walk-through tunnel" with foot long hammerhead sharks and 8 or 10 inch round stingrays mixed in among the other fish. We spent about three and a half hours wandering around the aquarium looking at everything: sea dragons, moray eels, sea otters, several species of jellyfish, pirahna, a HUGE white alligator (one of 17 known in the world), and a MONSTROUS viewing tank that is made up to look like the underwater section of a Gulf of Mexico oil rig. We wandered around the corner just after they had finished feeding the inhabitants. There were probably 15 to 20 eight or ten foot Great White sharks (that I took pictures of their mouth and teeth) and several stingrays that were probably 4 or 5 feet across. I kept hoping that I would get a shot of the underside of them as they went across the glass, but I never did get one. I got to pet a starfish in one of the tanks and even got a shot of a starfish with a fish pinned up against the glass getting ready to feed. Annita took this picture of me next to the jaw of some huge sea beast. It wasn't until I took a close-up that I saw that it was a relative to my friend Bob Kenoyer (read the top line of the picture). It was a toss-up about which was better, the 1 hour IMAX movie, or the three and a half hours in the aquarium. After leaving the aquarium, there was a couple of hours left before the showing of Journey into Amazing Caves that Annita REALLY wanted to see. We wandered up Decatur trying to finish up shopping and killing some time. We went back to the IMAX and utter disappointment. They would just begin to tell a really good story about this site and what they were hoping to find, and BAM, they were off telling a story about another site and what they wanted to find. After the second time of this, I was ready to get up and walk out. If Nita and I had know what the other was thinking, we WOULD have, but we both thought the other was interested in it, so we stayed. It was later at Hard Rock Cafe that we found out that we were thinking the same thing.
According to Annita, this is where she got even for Rachel at Hooters. She thought that our waiter Lee was hitting on me. I never saw it. We talked about it on the drive home from Wichita and I finally asked her why she thought he was hitting on me. I have to give a little prelude to this deal, she's a Kiwi (New Zealander). Her explanation: "He asked us where we were from after talking to BOTH of us several times, and you replied western Kansas. He never batted an eye." My reply: "How many New Zealanders do you know with an accent?" At least he never called me "sweetie," and I never caught him trying to be a UPS employee either, trying to check out my package! We went back to the hotel and went up on the roof to look at the pool. In Kansas, we generally put the pool on the ground floor, not the roof, but the view was spectacular. We could even see the church being repaired near the park from the observation deck.
We met Andy and Marilyn at Bubba Gump Shrimp (which by the way, plays the movie Forrest Gump 24/7 on one of the TV's) that night. Annita told them about her buying me a pair of drum sticks at the Hard Rock Cafe, and we had a brief discussion about who could play what instruments and to what degree. As hard as you're going to find this to believe, we once again went bar hopping. Our first stop was Coyote Ugly. There was two new waitresses tonight, and they were both up on the bar dancing. One of the customers came in wearing a suit and tie and was in BIG trouble. One of the girls got hold of his tie and pulled it off him. In the process of whirling it around, they got it caught in the track lighting above the bar and left it there. I was having a good time taking pictures of the two when one of the girls caught Annita sitting beside the aspiring Playboy photographer (that would be me). She began crooking her finger with the universal "come hither" motion. I eventually pushed and prodded Annita enough to get her up on the bar and take a snapshot. The bartender later wanted Annita and Marilyn up on the bar at the same time, but Marilyn was too embarrassed (at least that's what Andy told us, in not so many words). We left Coyote Ugly to again traverse up and down Bourbon Street. One of the other three wanted to go into a blues bar (I'll bet my next paycheck that it wasn't ME that wanted to go in!!!!!). We sat down at a table next to the street. The waitress was there quickly. I should have known by the absence of patrons that I didn't want to be here. She asked us what we wanted. I immediately ordered a Bud Light, Andy ordered a Budweiser, and the ladies ordered soft drinks. The music was playing and the waitress leaned forward saying, what I thought was, twelve dollars. I handed her a twenty and she hustled away. She returned shortly and placed the four drinks on the table and left......No change. Twenty dollars??? Twenty dollars??? It was at this time that Marilyn looked over my shoulder at the sign behind me on the wall, and pointed. The waitress should have had a gun in her hand!!!! I shot this picture of Marilyn expressing her feelings about the prices, and then I shot this picture of Annita crushing my beer can to get every drop so that I got my money's worth in the place. At the end of the night, we bid farewell to our newfound friends from across the border. Another aside, it's been less than a week and Annita is already pricing plane tickets to go snow skiing in Canada so that we can once again reunite.
On to August 21st
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