It was about a 5.5 hour drive from Auburn to New Orleans. We stopped briefly at a strip mall in Auburn before hitting the road and I had an idea. Catch Phrase is the best bus game EVER. I was introduced to this game during my band years by my dear friend, Kailyn Marie Lovelace. I had always wanted it and hoped to find an opportunity to buy it. There was a Target store close to the strip mall and I wondered if it would be in there. It was 🙂
About 8 of us played the game while we drove to Louisiana. Sometimes, we played Mafia. Okay, maybe about 10-12 times. We had to keep ourselves entertained somehow. We got to the hotel in New Orleans around 9:15 that night and you’d think most of us would go to bed. Psh. Whatever. We got in our comfy clothes (for those who weren’t already in them), gathered in one group’s room, and played a rousing game of Signs. This came to be the second most played game on the trip next to Mafia. This might have been my favorite part of the trip. We would complete the day, return to the hotel and get in our comfy clothes, and play Signs. The group got bigger each night.
Saturday was our big day. We rose early to go rehearse at the St. Louis Cathedral. The place was massive. I couldn’t believe the size of the place. We walked around the auditorium a bit and then moved to the choir loft (in the back of the church) to sing. The acoustics were astounding. After we finished rehearsing, we had a bit of time to spend around the French Quarter. Dr. Mathews had set up a time for our group to go to the Aquarium of the Americas. It was a real neat aquarium with an IMAX theater, birds, penguins, tons of marine life, and a gift shop. It was right on the river, just off Jackson Square. After we finished the tour, we played Duck Duck Goose just outside the entrance. Like I said, we must always be entertained.
Singing in the cathedral for the Vigil Mass was incredible. Having never been to a Catholic service, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We sang the music for the prelude and postlude. The priest gave a sermon on how love is not a choice. The music used in the service was absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing how the structure of the Catholic church has not changed since its beginnings hundreds of years ago.
On Sunday, we worshiped with the good folks at First Baptist Church of Kenner. The music selected for worship was absolutely gorgeous and the Spirit was definitely present. We loved it. That night, we traveled an hour and a half east of NO to the somewhat small town of Bogalusa. Or as I like to call it, Bogal USA. We performed a concert at First Baptist Church there and most of us agree that it was our best concert. We had some AWESOME jumbalaya by the folks that attend there just before the concert.
I’ll wrap it all up tomorrow with Part 3!