With a forecast of rain for at least 7 days, Ken and I were able to take advantage of the few dry hours last Saturday and go to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans. This is definitely our favorite local festival ... great food and music, and free! At any given time, there's about 25 bands playing throughout the French Quarter. Since the festival is spread throughout the Quarter, everyone isn't jammed into one area ... love it!
We started out at the fountain in Spanish Plaza on the Riverwalk, where a band was playing. Just past the stage is the Mississippi River, so we had a nice breeze. Although there were gray skies, the weather felt great for a festival.
We then walked down the Riverwalk and enjoyed the sights and sounds. I know I say it often but ... we never get tired of this place! Notice the "Crescent City Connection" or as it used to be called, "The Mississippi River Bridge", in the background.
We walked up on a great zydeco band a couple of blocks away from the river ... washboard, accordion, drums and guitar .. those guys rocked! Oh, and I've tried to play the washboard before ... it' not as easy as it looks! I have a short video on our Facebook page if you wanna hear a clip.
After a couple of hours that went really fast, the rain started so we walked back to our car and headed home. We were glad to squeeze in a little bit of fun before the dreaded week of rain ... little did we know how bad it would be for us just three days later.
As if a week of rain isn't depressing enough, on Tuesday morning we got a call from our new tenant that our house had flooded. Are you freakin' kidding me?! When Ken called to tell me the news, I was sure he was messing with me. He's got a real dry sense of humor, and surely this couldn't be happening. This damned house flooded just 14 months ago! It's in a "no flood" zone and this is now the 3rd time it's gotten water ... ugh. There was about seven years between the first and second flood, so we were hoping to get more than two months of dryness after renovating this place. Yep, we just finished renovating the interior and exterior ... new sheetrock, paint, cabinets, appliances, wood siding. We found a great tenant and everything was in good shape for us to leave town soon ... so we thought. Needless to say, the tenant is looking at somewhere else to live. We hoped he'd find a temporary place and move back, which he'd like to do but ... he's undecided. So, we're back to renovating another rental AGAIN and then probably looking for another tenant AGAIN. We'd sell this problem, but nobody's gonna give us anything for this one-bedroom house that's flooded three times. At least we have insurance and hopefully this won't happen again anytime soon. Somebody better find me a straight jacket!
This is what we saw when we drove to our rental after getting the call.
This is a picture that our tenant took inside ... at least the house has tile flooring throughout.
Ken cut the sheetrock four feet up and removed the insulation. He had to pull all of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets away from the wall, which meant also removing the counter tops and appliances. We have a trailer load of trash and we met the insurance adjuster Friday afternoon. I hope they treat us right. The last claim was okay, but now everything is new and I swear this just isn't the way we wanna make a buck! Ken plans on installing beaded board this time instead of sheetrock ... gotta plan on future floods. The interior doors need replacing and painting too ... just too much work.
So anyway, it seems that when it rains it pours for us. I'm not gonna lie, I try to keep this blog positive but ... this is really taking its toll on Ken and I. Our boat's been waiting for us in the boatyard since December, and now it's gonna have to wait even longer. We now have more work to do, and losing rental income every day. Ken's right in the middle of building our daughter's house, and that's priority right now since she's "locked in" her loan and needs to close in 60 days. Then, it's the rental house that's losing income. Maybe we'll get to work on Nirvana before the summer is over?!
So many cruisers say, "Just Do It"! Boy, we wish it was that easy. We've been dedicated to cruising for years now. Will we ever get there? Sometimes it seems we've got more than our fair share of crap to deal with. But, whatcha gonna do? We'll just keep our chin up and keeping taking steps.
Today (Sunday) makes the first day of no rain in over a week. We need a break from everything and we need the sunshine! Luckily, today happens to be the annual crawfish boiling competition that Ken's competed in the past three years. In fact, Ken won last year's competition! He really does boil some bad-ass bugs. So, we're gonna spend the day forgetting about our troubles ... pinching tails and sucking heads!
Please feel free to send good vibes our way ... we'd appreciate it. Oh, and if anyone wants to visit the awesome city of New Orleans ... we may just trade you a place to stay for some boat work!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!