Precisely at 4:30 PM the airport shuttle deposits me in front of 1013 St. Ann Street, the Inn at St Ann Street official address. I ring the bell. No answer. I ring the bell and rap on the door. No response. I glance at a small note pasted to the door, whip out my cell phone and call the number on the note. Which turns out to be the St. Peter House 2 blocks away on the corner of St. Peter and Burgundy.
“Sir, you'll have to walk over here to register,” says the woman.
“It would have been helpful to know that in advance,” says I, and head for The Saint Peter Guest House.
“ I've been to New Orleans a dozen times in the past few years and this is the rockiest start I’ve ever had checking in,” is my version of saying hello to the concierge at the desk.
My mood does not improve after she informs me that the continental breakfast will be available here, two blocks away, and not in my own hotel.
“Is that the usual policy of the hotel?” I ask, doing my best to dislodge the righteous indignation welling up from my sorry self.
“Well, this has been a special day,” says the woman with a tone of forbearance for the irritated customer.
The concierge certainly is not responsible for other staff members not showing up and whatever is going on with the continental breakfast. Which, by the way, at the St. Peter house is served in a foyer the size of a large closet with two chairs and two small round tables.
Electronic keys in hand, towing my roll-aboard and carryall bag down Burgundy Street in the 90-degree heat, I get it.
The woman, who was supposed to be working at the Inn At St Ann’s this afternoon, could easily have boiled the pot by listing the number of things that went off the rails for her today, too, and had her scurrying back and forth between the two hotels.
Nope, just “This has been a special day,” she repeats with equanimity she may or may not be harboring at the moment and succeeds at defusing my chagrin.
I chuckle. I’ve arrived in the Big Easy.
Photos by Paul A.Tamburello, Jr.
Is anybody home? I dial for help. An adventure is in store.
Recently restored interior of the Inn At St. Ann's at 1013 St. Ann Street in the French Quarter