One Innkeeper’s Day

Every day is full of pleasant surprises.  It turns out that replacing a toilet takes longer than I imagined.  This is the story of one innkeeper’s day among many.

Here is a behind-the-scenes peek at how La Belle Esplanade runs when the guests are out and about enjoying this wonderful city we call home.  It isn’t a cakewalk to be ranked #1 in New Orleans, #2 in the United States, and #16 in the world.  We have a reputation to maintain.  There are angels in the details.

The plumber is here.  He is replacing two toilets.  One of the toilets has a broken tank.  The other toilet is showing its age so, while the plumber is already here, why not replace both?

Antiques are nice, and all that, but this crummy toilet is no antique.  It is from the 1980’s.  It doesn’t have any aesthetic or resale value.

I am going to put both toilets on the street.  Someone will spirit them away within the hour.  They will make nice garden planters.

A view of the garden at La Belle Esplanade.
A view of the garden at La Belle Esplanade.

I am the only person in our house who thinks that having two toilettes full of geraniums in the garden is a good idea.  The garden is already very nice but why let the good-enough be the enemy of the perfect?

Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation.


As I write this, I am sitting in our garden and the gardener is here.  He doesn’t do much gardening.  He is basically a guy a with a leaf blower.  He and I are the same age.  We are both well-preserved.  You will never guess how old we really are.

I usually leave when the gardener shows up.  I don’t know how he can stand the sound of that leaf blower all day.  I go nuts listening to it just for the time he is here, which is twice a month.  He is very nice, and all that, but I don’t like to be around when he’s working.  The leaf blower is too distracting when I am trying to read the Wall Street Journal.

I can’t leave today because the plumber is here and he may need something, not that I know anything about plumbing.  All I know is what I know.  I can help the plumber carry a toilet up the staircase if he needs me to.  I thought he would be done by now.  He is still working on the first one.  In an old house like this, it is always something.

Today is another beautiful New Orleans day.  My life may not be glamorous but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I finished the Wall Street Journal an hour before the gardener showed up.  That’s why I have the time to write this blog.