I had always dreamed of New Orleans and when our destination after the honeymoon was Texas, I thought, now is my chance, as a newlywed, to explore the Creole city. I had been warned of the dredges of society that line the streets, the free flowing alcohol, and other vices, by our groundskeeper, Joseph. Of course growing up and sneaking out to hear stories of his young glory days there, I had always wished to see the famous city.
As we winged our way to Louisiana, it was resplendent in my mind, the black wrought iron balconies, flowers everywhere, the food, the music–a dream to materialize soon. We arrived and took a taxi to a beautiful historical hotel and it was everything I had imagined. After settling in, the gravitation to wander the streets pulled us into the musical atmosphere. Jazz clubs seemed everywhere, but my new husband summoned a horse drawn carriage so we could peruse the entire area before making our choice.
The atmosphere was almost overwhelming, all senses filled with the sights, sounds and smells. We chose a quieter club and sat in a corner table, discreetly touching each other as we drank and dined. As we were about to leave and return to the hotel, my love grabbed another bottle of champagne, an afterthought to complete the night.
The next day my husband retrieved a wooden box from his case. Inside was a beautiful, colorful, jeweled mask for a masquerade ball that evening. Luckily I had brought the perfect evening gown, hoping for just such an occasion. Joseph had warned me of the worst side of New Orleans, but I found nothing deplorable during our anticipated visit. Maybe it was my love, his attention to detail, our combined wealth, or maybe Cupid. All I know for sure is–my mystical fantasy became reality.