Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whimsical Wednesday: Oysters, Road Trips, and Disappointment

First, the good news. Despite our disappointing discovery that the Oceana Grill has indefinitely ceased the serving of oysters-on-the-half-shell, Dan and I have successfully found some plump, tasty, relatively clean oysters at the French Market Restaurant on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. True, on the day we sampled them, they were $17 per dozen as opposed to the happy hour special of $6 per dozen that the eatery regularly offered prior to the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April, but given that we're both die-hard oyster lovers suffering a severe six-month oyster withdrawal (due to our lengthy stay in Michigan, a state not known for its raw shellfish), it was a price that we were indeed willing to pay – especially on that particular day, the day we realized that our much-anticipated French Quarter apartment would probably never be ready and that we'd be better off demanding the return of our deposit. So, yahoo for us!

Now, for the other news – well, it's not really news as much as a travel observation. Last week, I was informed that I've been spending a bit too much time focusing on Michigan, New Orleans, and the Florida Keys on my American Nomad blog. Given that I've been working on back-to-back guides – that is, Moon Florida Keys, Moon Michigan, and Moon New Orleans – I suppose my fixation makes sense. Nevertheless, I've decided to make a concerted effort to cover other parts of the United States more frequently. To that end, I wrote and posted a piece about the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado on Monday. While researching the post – and sifting through old photographs from my first visit to Silverton, part of a road trip that my mom and I took back in the 1980s – I recalled a disappointing discovery.

As a child, I'd been enamored with an old-fashioned place called Smedley's Ice Cream Parlor, situated in the 1300 block of Greene Street. I loved it so much, I even took a picture of it. But, alas, on a more recent trip to Silverton, I discovered that the ice cream parlor had been replaced by a hotel, and while I have nothing against that particular hotel, I must admit... I do miss the ice cream parlor. Of course, that's not the only favorite haunt to have suffered such a fate over the years. For a whole slew of reasons – from economic to personal – establishments, even beloved ones, come and go, but despite the logic behind such decisions, I'm not always happy with the results.

So, what about you? Have you ever returned to a particular locale, only to learn that a beloved establishment has been replaced by another? More importantly, how did you handle such disappointment?

8 comments:

jbchicoine said...

Yay! about your oysters!

I can't say I've ever experienced the disappointment of having a beloved establishment replaced my another, but when I have had opportunity to revisit a vacation spot from my childhood--Port St. Joe, Florida; an old house in Tunbridge, Vermont; a campground at Rudd Pond, upstate NY; even Robert Moses State Park, a beach on Long Island--hoping to recapture the feel of it--well, now that's disappointing. It always feels smaller, diminished in some intrinsic way. I suppose that's what the saying 'You can never go back' means...

Becky said...

Oh Laura, don't even ask that question to anyone who grew up in Louisiana... sigh... My old childhood vacation destinations have been steeping in crude oil....

So sorry about your apartment. You and Dan have had the worst luck down there with apartments. Have you searched beyond the quarter? I know there used to be a lot around Loyola and Tulane.

Oh, and feel free to travel out here to add new insight to Moon.... ;-)

Marguerite said...

Well, I was disappointed when I returned to Galveston, after Hurricane Ike to find that the condominium complex, where I owned a condo, had been replaced by the Gulf and the beach! Cie la vie, cher! So sorry about your apartment! Hope you find another one, soon! But, glad you got your oyster fix!

Laura Martone said...

Oh, Bridget, I know exactly what you mean... although such disappointment usually happens with movies for me. When I was a kid, my mom and I watched Lonesome Dove on television (over four nights), and I loved it! But when, years later, I made Dan watch it with me on DVD, it just wasn't the same. Without the commercials and the anticipation night after night, I realized that it was much less impressive than I'd remembered. Ah, the folly of youth... hard not to miss.

Laura Martone said...

You're probably right, Becky - best not to ask that question to a Louisianian in the wake of Katrina and the oil spill. I sure do miss my dad's old fishing camp - lots of great memories there! - but Katrina swallowed it whole. As for NOLA apartments, yes, we sure have had our share of horrors in that department, but we finally found a place on Ursulines - it's a bit smaller and more expensive than the other one, but the landlord isn't a crook - which is always a bonus.

P.S. Other MOON authors have already covered Oregon, but that doesn't mean I can't pay you a visit. Not every trip has to be for the job, right? Vacations are necessary, too. At least, that's what I've been told. ;-)

Laura Martone said...

Oh, Marguerite, that's terrible! I'm so sorry for the loss of your condo - what a menace Mother Nature can be... But at least Ike didn't swallow you, too!

After hearing about your condo tragedy, my apartment troubles seems so tiny in comparison. So, I promise to stop complaining. And, yes, slurping down some yummy oysters can help to put everything else into perspective - or at least make you forget about them for a while!

Becky said...

OK, tell Moon to give you a big fat raise, then take a vacation out West ;-)!

Laura Martone said...

Okay, Becky, I'll get right on that. (says the girl who shies away from confrontations and contract negotiations...)