Thy Sweet Love Remember'd
July 8-10, 2011

Once upon a time …. in the kingdom of NOLA

by Andrea & Gonda

Once upon a time in the tunnels in the far-far-away land of Austria there lived a lady and her alien. The lady had fallen in love with the dream of the tunnels of the city of New York, the tales of love and hope. The alien was addicted to traveling and adventures – and to the lady...

Connected by a virtual bond with others with the same dream in mind, they set sail – or wings – to cross the ocean (about 6.000 or 7.000 miles), rented some horsepower to travel the land (about 14 states, 3.700 miles, passed millions of trees....) to reach the sacred place of NOLA. On the way they picked up the lovely fairy godmother Joyce and her little helper Lucy. Their magic showed them the path through the enormous forest of Elvis, the dark sea of Coca Cola and the breath taking history of Nottaway and Oak Alley. They guided them safe and shared their discoveries and laughter.


After mastering their challenges and enjoying every minute of their trip they reached NOLA in the early afternoon in Mid-week. They were welcomed in the kindest way, with gifts of hearts and hugs of caring and love. Just the black magic of Reservation Glitch darkened the beauty of the moment for a few minutes.

The lady and the alien moved into their chamber with the beautiful Lady Lisa from the kingdom of Kentucky and the fair and magnificent Lady Sonia from the kingdom of New York. Lady Sonia just stayed for a day at the beginning and the end of the week to meet some other fellow dreamers in between. The fairy godmother Joyce had the honor of sharing the chamber with the radiant Lady Cathy from the kingdom of Pennsylvania.

The rest of the day was gone in a flash – meeting beautiful people, getting bags ready with enchanted gifts and magic words, meeting more people... O'Brian's refused to offer some food, so the castle of “Oceans” was selected to provide meals and drinks. The gator Po-Boy was delicious. But soon the journey's burden showed effects on the fierce travelers and they returned to their beds for a good night's sleep.


The morning sun woke the dreamers to a beautiful day. The daily breakfast, the fair and brilliant Lady Deb had organized for everyone, was enjoyed and the joyful group came together to meet the honorable gentleman Bill Coble. He was a studied man, who had traveled the universe of Courtyards. The beauty of the places captured their minds and hearts, the pleasure of following his words was delightful.

The afternoon belonged to the dreamers! Helping hands were welcome and the spirit of the family spread. The market (dealers room) had to be arranged, boxes to be stored. Lots of new faces (thank god for the name badges!!! - 'cause the aliens memory seemed to overflow) and some that were familiar by now. The alien was presented the honor of arranging the original cloak and clothes of Sir Vincent. The tables were decorated in the colors of Mardi Gras. Soon the deed was done, and they were banned from the hall, until the market would open when the clock struck 8.

It was time for a short and refreshing visit to the pool. Nothing can beat that at about 90 to 100 degree...

The clock struck 7:45 and the Lords and Ladies came impatiently together waiting for the market to open its doors. The lady picked a little crystal, and lots of papers of wisdom (zines), getting confused by too many choices. But she was saved by the fair and magnificent Lady Cathy, who provided the bible of fanfiction, the Qfer to the lady. The alien had to watch the prey of the lady and keep it safe. The goods were bought, money given to the wise merchant Larry, the guard of the market.

The beautiful day came to an end with a chit and a chat about this, about that... in the lobby.


A busy day started with a quick breakfast and then the eye of the world was on them a few blocks from the Castle on Bourbon. They gracefully greeted the world far-far-away and wandered back to the great hall. Here the family came together – they traveled from close, they traveled from far – to meet and share, to greet and care. The celebration began.

The first task was a quest with juicy questions and suggestive clues - the minds were dirty thanks to the Chesapeake folks (thanks so much, you are great!!!)!

To cool the imagination the ladies and gents were invited to share their colors. Beautiful masks were designed, colored and glued. Some sparkled like stars, others looked just like owls, blue birds not ripe in green, yellow and red, feathers and flowers in every beautiful shade will hide their wearers at the masquerade.

It was time for a meal that had to be served at the place of wisdom for preparing food (School of Cooking). Fruits of the land and the sea were arranged deliciously while the wise cooking-jester entertained the fellow group. The laughter was not ladylike anymore, but like from out of space! The soup and the gumbo tickled the tongue, but the pecan pie made the tummy fly – at least the one of an alien! Such a sweet desire – but the show must go on, and the family had to leave.

A full belly has to rest, but the spirit of creativity is free. Though not specially trained or even talented, the next task was started. With the guidance of helpers everybody was able to build a wonderful candy dish. The surprise was stunning, the dishes looked great and it was even possible to fold them flat to transport them easily.

Exhausted by the labor of the day and to rest and dress for the evening, the party folks retreated for a while. The evening would bring the masquerade and something unimaginable for the virgins – something nobody could ever even dare to dream of.... but we should not overtake time...

Masquerade – dazzling colors, glittering dreams, worlds on the move. Who would have expected to meet Vincent's wild things, Cleopatra, mysterious women in black and white or even Vincent himself? Music and talents enchanted the hearts and minds. Lost in a kaleidoscope, flying in pink clouds of imagination they were brought back to reality by the call of the wrangler: “Get out the virgins!”

All of them, including the lady, the fairy godmother, the alien and some other enchanted ladies and gents, had to come to the stage, led by the virgin wrangler. Were they properly prepared? They had been warned! Did they wear their best undies? It became dark, a sound, a flash of light.... Nobody will ever know. Just try it yourself – if you dare!!!!

After this shock the evening faded away in a little lobby party.


Terrible sounds of the morning called the lady and her alien out of their bed (Pfui Teifi!). The time for breakfast was tight, the market opened at 8 sharp! There seemed to be still room in their trunk – for more delightful things.

Before the challenge of drawing Sir Vincent their minds were taken on another dirty trip. After coming back the talented Lady Beverly guided the hands of the unworthy beginners through the jungle of lines and shades. Surprisingly some of the pictures reminded well-meaning dreamers faintly of someone that could be related to their hero (ugly cousin, comic like younger brother,...). The real talents remained hidden, but the merry fellowship shared laughter and happiness.

The striking news reached the family – the next reunion will be in Dallas. Let's hope for this wonderful dream together! The pictures are breathtaking, the castle for the event a gift.

To give hope to those that are less fortunate is a call to everyone in the tunnels of the world. Dark times come to women whose dream of a child is destroyed by losing it. A word in a card, a few comforting things – a mug, socks, tea … should tell them, that there are people in the world sharing their grief. The cards were made with love and caring, the bags were packed with tenderness, to bring light to those that are in darkness.

The market was open, while everyone had fun with Beast Bingo. Luck was kind to the lady and the alien, each won once and got more beautiful things to fill up the trunk. And of course the lady could not resist to the tempting goods merchant Larry was offering.

Aliens are good at pretending to walk or talk like humans to blend in with ladies and gents, but if you ever want to unmask one, make it dance. Line dance works fine. The first few steps might still work, as long as there is no music involved – but trust me – two feet and music at the same time is more than any alien can manage! Lady Peggy did her best, but there is no hope in that – just laughs!

This called for a break! The alien had to work out a way to untie her feet, and the lady joined an afternoon chamber party. In the presence of Sir Devin and Sir Vincent the illustrious ladies scared possible boredom away, by sharing the story of “Sleepless in Providence”. Like noble ladies do, they did their sewing and prepared the clothes of their men. They got their most beautiful outfits ready to impress later, at the social hour and the banquet, with their breathtaking radiance.

Never before the great hall was decorated more gorgeous, never filled with more love and caring! How can someone create something like those center pieces? Even the alien was touched by its beauty! The feast was delightful, the food delicious, the company divine.

Well-fed and satisfied the noble folks leaned back, to be – once again – surprised by the turn of the events. The magnificent Lady Deb made clear, that there was no jester needed to entertain and raise money for those life seemed to have forgotten. Wonderful artifacts of the world Below were auctioned. No words will be wasted here, since not even aliens have the power to put this into words – it had to be experienced, including the science of DNA.

After this lovely feast the fellowship walked into the night, to find the rhythm of the city. They parted after some time to come together a little later in the lobby. The dark spirit of Reservation Glitch appeared once more to block the room of Lady Lisa, the lady and the alien, who fought him fiercely. The fight went back and forth, Lady Cathy and the fairy godmother Joyce came to rescue, and the dark lord Reservation Glitch was defeated once more. He used his last power to strike three more times by sabotaging the keys, but had to flee in the end!


Another morning, an even earlier start. The lady and the alien just picked up some tea and went to ---- everybody VERY classic, please skip this paragraph!!!! ---- the third season panel. An Angel joined them from the tunnels of California (the state that likes to be bold by selecting their kings, and even had one from far-far-away Austria). It really was an interesting chat, though problems with the connection changed the Angel's voice to sounds of a demon. They had to part too soon, but will meet again – in another place, another time, in the tunnels of the web, in the web of the tunnels.

A feast was prepared for the whole family. Since the beginning of friendship humans and aliens came together to share food as a symbol for their love and caring. This brunch gave everybody enough food to share and enjoy being together in this magical place, the tunnels of NOLA, where the tunnels of the world (and space) joined for an enchanted moment to leave no one untouched.

Another round of Beast Bingo was played, and the alien won the special Sir Vincent price. After this some wonderful pieces of art were auctioned by our indescribable Lady Deb.

The writing panel was sabotaged by the dark spirit of Technical Glitch, the little brother of Reservation Glitch, but Lady Amber and her improvisation panel and the Chesapeake folks with Beast Bingo saved the moment. The fairy godmother Joyce was kissed by the angel of luck – and finally won, the first, but not the last time for that day! She also won the beautiful box of dishes and the Lady Catherine basket. She really deserved it. (Joyce, you are wonderful).

Time to say good bye. But first all virgins were welcomed by the ever true words, spoken of the one that started the dream of the tunnels, Father:

“You're part of us now, come complete the circle. The darkness almost engulfed us this year but our unity gave us strength, our shared light showed us the truth. As we part for another year let us remember darkness is only the absence of light and all winters end.”

Nobody could have imagined the love and comfort of this moment, the feeling of being part of a wonderful caring family. Hugs were shared, smiles exchanged – “home is where the heart is. So home is here, in this moment. Please freeze it. Not possible? So keep it save in your heart – to warm you, whenever you need it.” That's what the lady and the alien thought...

Thank god they had decided to stay until Mid-Week – to leave now, would have been impossible.

Aliens love cats – just ask Alf... so they all together went to find some at Cat's Meow. Karaoke instead of real cats, or at least Sir Vincent or Lady CATherine??? Sounds strange for one from out of this (tunnel) world. So no chewy cats, but great Fruitcake, the whole one and some parts of it. They enjoyed more chamber music and enchanted dances.

Goodbye kitty...

… hello ghost tour! Uhhh, was that scary. NOLA is the city of haunting – there is no decent house with no history. Voodoo and magic live in this ancient place. But who is this strange gentleman that seems to ignore, that most of the group disappeared after not even half an hour? Maybe he believes in black magic, and that those bewitched guests from all over the world disappeared into thin air (though air seems to be thick with heat and water in NOLA)? Guesses are that he is the ghost of some court jester - that was not funny at all. He has to come back and work as a guide every night, until he really entertains his tour group. Poor thing – he will be stuck in this world forever.

What else could round up the day better than a nice lobby party to re-live the day, laugh a little and enjoy the royal company from the kingdoms of the world?


Our noble heroes and their family paid their respect to the Court of the Two Sisters, and were treated to the most exquisite food and music the kingdom of NOLA had to offer. The company was divine, of course.

While a part of the royal group ventured to the swamps, they had to rest to freshen up for the activities of the night.

When the evening fell, a river boat took them away into the night. After the burning humidity of the day, the little breeze was a blessing. The old man river showed them his lazy flow, his sparkling music and the beauty of the sunset. That's how dreams are born.

Tradition! Everybody met in the lobby, shared the last snacks and enjoyed just being there.


The day of so many “lasts” has started. Part of the dreamers left in the morning for the City tour, and in the afternoon for the Laura plantation.

But the lady and the alien started a little later for their own walking tour. They visited the cemetery. Since NOLA is partly more than 10 feet under the sea level, the graves here are above the ground. The voodoo priests and queens were presented gifts, even after their deaths: rum and money, beads and coconut milk, little notes with wishes and hopes... Parts of the grave yard were still damaged from Kathrina.

But it was really hot, so they fled into a little church to cool down. Their trip led them by streetcar through the garden district and in the early afternoon back to the castle on Bourbon.

Here they had to face their enemy Reservation Glitch again. One last time he rose from the darkness to mess everything up. The fight was fierce – it took them more than 60 minutes to defeat him for good and darkness had to leave.

This time was spend in the lobby and used for farewells. The glamorous Lady Rusty had to leave, and others, said good bye as well. So many people had become friends and family. Leaving them now seemed to break their hearts. It is better to lose it all than to never love at all – and they were not losing anybody, it's just miles, the hearts remain connected.

The last supper was in Muriel's – a haunted place. Their ghost used to drink the wine of the guests and sometimes even stole their food. So they set a table for him, every day, and he leaves the guests alone. His rooms were upstairs, red sofas and old pictures, some of dancers (which he loved)... kind of spooky. He was very fond of beautiful women, so nobody wondered that he was interested in Lady Jodie of the kingdom of Australia. He stole the energy of her camera to get in contact. Lady Lisa, Lady Sonia and Lady Cathy felt his presence as well.

More good byes … more sweet sorrow. And soon time to go to bed – the lady, the fairy godmother Joyce and the alien had to leave early in the morning the next day.


After an early breakfast and lots of hugs, the trip back had to start. More miles were waiting, with more to see on the way back. Hours of driving, and another beautiful day with the fairy godmother Joyce and her family at Biltmore waited for them. And then – another good bye.

They were crossing mores states, following the shore. And soon they had to bring back the horsepower and spread their wings to return to the normal life in far-far-away Austria.


This is a fairy tale, but a true one. We are back and though while we are writing this, our last day in the US is less than three weeks ago, it seems to be far-far-away in time and miles. But as soon as we are listening to our hearts, y'all are right here. See you in the tunnels of the world – hope to meet you soon in person again.


And they all lived happily ever after....