This week my mom, Aunt Linda, and I are spending in New Orleans. The three of us have taken a few trips together, but none recently, so we thought we were due.
We left Wednesday 10/19. It is a three-hour flight, so we didn’t get in until the afternoon. We had wanted to stay in a more boutique-y hotel for a more authentic experience. However, thanks to the incompetence of hotels.com we are staying in one of the tall tower hotels. We were worried about it since it had all gone down the night before and we had not had any other choice, but it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. The hotel was nice, naturally, it was a well known chain. Plus we had a really nice view from a corner room high up facing the river. On our way in my mom and aunt noticed that there are liqueur stores on every corner (they are good at noticing that). So once we got settled they grabbed some wine, four loko, and junk food snacks that we enjoyed before venturing out. Our taxi driver from the airport, Eric or ‘Big E’, had told us that these months there are free concerts in Lafayette Park on Wednesdays at 5 PM. So we headed there first. The concert was fun. The jazz music was good. There were craft venders, too. A charity was selling tickets you could by drinks with and we found a guy who was giving very generous pours. Just before the concert ended we went to dinner at Capdeville very close to there, which worked out great because we only had to wait maybe 10 minutes and just after we were seated the place was packed. We split jalapeno cheddar corn fritters and a bowl of truffle mac and cheese then each got our own grilled cheese and tomato and artichoke soup. Everything was really, really good!
We passed a breakfast place the evening before (I hadn’t looked up any a head of time thinking we had it included). So we went there the next morning. The Red Slipper, named after the Dorothy like feeling of coming home after Katrina.
After we went to the water front to take a ride on the Steamboat Natchez. My great-great-aunt had always wanted to take a river boat ride down the Mississippi, so we did this in memory of her, and toasted her. The boat gave a nice view as we went down the river and they gave a narration of what we were passing. They are the last steam powered boat on the Mississippi, and they let us walk through the engine room and take pictures.
The port is close to Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, so we walked around there after the cruse and saw the church. There were lots of street performers, of all sorts. We stopped in a museum that was an old apartment. It was set up in period furnishings with information on its history. Also a french artist had arranged it and written these strange, colorful stories to go along with the rooms. It’s hard to explain and I can’t remember the name of it. We were getting hungry then so we went into Central Grocery, an Italian grocery story famous for muffaletta sandwiches. We eventually found ourselves wondering down Royal St. until it seemed we reached the end of the interesting area, then we hoped over a block and walked back on Bourbon St where we stopped in a few places.
Friday morning I ran out and got us breakfast sandwiches and grits from FredRicks Deli. Then we waked down Royal St, which is full of cool shops mostly art and antique stores. We went to the Voo Doo Museum which gave a history of voo doo as well as had altars set up of all sorts of voo doo paraphernalia. People add to the altars as well. After we went to St. Louis 1 Cemetery. This is one of the older and nicer cemeteries in NO. It has what is believed to be the grave of Marie Laveau though no one is sure where she is buried. There was also a large Italian mausoleum where all the early Sicilian immigrants would have been buried.
In the afternoon we went over to the Garden District. The Garden District is the other side of NO. After the Louisianan Purchase, when Americans started moving into NO, they didn’t get along with the French-speaking current residents. So, they built their own town on the other side of NO. This part of town has a very different feel from the French Quarter; less curly iron balconies and more Victorian-looking wood. We had lunch at Parasols, a neat pub were you open a trap door to the bar to give your drink order. http://www.yelp.com/biz/parasols-restaurant-and-bar-new-orleans]. After we took there trolly back and grabbed some dessert at PJs Coffee.
The rest of my New Orleans photos are in this album:https://picasaweb.google.com/111221349198606775660/20111019NewOrleans