Last Thursday was a glorious, beautiful day, all sparkling skies and riotous blooming azaleas. My daughter, Cecilia, escaped from class early. We assumed foot traffic in the French Quarter would be light (mid-week, no conventions) so we set off for an outdoor lunch at Café Amelie on Royal Street. We were wrong. The streets were jammed with unmasked tourists drinking hand grenades and Big Ass Beers. The wait for a table at Café Amelie was over an hour (we passed). Aggressive salespersons hawking luxury soap, skin care, and palmistry assaulted us as we walked down Royal Street. We fled.

Things seem to be back to normal in Loony Land.

With this in mind, we will be sticking more closely to our own Uptown neighborhood and others less likely to inspire full on debauchery.

Long a favorite of my haunts, plant sales have returned every Friday-Sunday from 8 a.m. – noon at The New Orleans Botanical Garden’s Pelican Greenhouse, 2 Celebration Dr. For sale are an array of reasonably priced plants including annuals, perennials, roses, gingers, edibles, succulents, and native plants. Many of the sale plants are propagated from cuttings, seeds and divisions of plants growing in the Botanical Garden. Bring a wagon and arrive early for best selection. Entrance to the sale is limited and face masks covering the nose and mouth are required. All sales support the operations of the Botanical Garden.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. long-standing Jazz Fest vendor Vaucresson Sausage Company will take part in a pop-up in the parking lot at 4500 Tchoupitoulas St., Vance and Julie Vaucresson will be grilling up hot sausage and crawfish sausage poboys and will also have packaged products for sale: two pounds of fresh hot sausage for $12 and 1 pound packages of crawfish sausage/$8. Just in time to stock up before Festing in Place starts at the end of the month.

The first annual Flower Festival (I am soooo all over this!) will take place in Baton Rouge’s Point Marie neighborhood April 3-4. The statewide floral competition and gala will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This family-friendly two-day competition and exhibit features tremendously talented professional florists creating gigantic “Louisiana Promenade” themed statuaries of fresh flowers and greenery found in Louisiana.

The floral competition for the event is similar to the Netflix Original Series “The Big Flower Fight” with the show’s host Sarah Campbell serving as one of the judges.

A “Fan Favorite” award winner will also be chosen by attendees. The weekend will feature workshops, a variety of offerings by local food trucks, and a floral themed black-tie gala. Visit Flower Festival.

Be safe, be kind, and have some fun celebrating the city and the culture we love.