New Orleans Louisiana

Bright(okay the bright part is far from true it was dark and I wasn't very bright either having not slept the night before) and early on December 16th we went to the airport and hopped onto a plane to New Orleans.  The sun was just beginning to rise as we pulled up out through the clouds trapped in our valley.

Eventually we landed in New Orleans.  Unless you have a car there, or someone to pick you up, you have to pay to leave the airport.  There are no free shuttles to hotels.  And it's expensive to get on a shuttle or taxi.  We checked into our hotel on the Riverfront, the Hilton Riverside, and I was quite impressed once we got past the massive and gaudy lobbies.  It's a very large hotel.  The room was gorgeous and oh so comfortable.  we met back down by the concierge desk, grabbed some maps, then walked up the street to check out the French Quarter.  Note:  If you have never been to New Orleans and you aren't big on the whole getting drunk and "earning" beads, go to Disneyland.  New Orleans Square captured New Orleans French Quarter PERFECTLY.  The look, feel and smell of it.

Mr. Man and I got distracted by a courtyard on our way to the lobby.

 What Disneyland did not equal is the food.  I'm not overly reliable on that statement, as I actually very rarely ate at Disneyland, but I have a hard time believing they could get the food anywhere near as delicious as what we had at The Gumbo Pot.  It was expensive, the prices seemed high all over, but by golly was it good!  I got the blackened red fish and I would so get it again.
 Mr. Man got the fried catfish which was so tender it melted in your mouth.  My sister-in-laws both got the stuffed crab which was very yummy.

 I don't remember what everyone else got.  Sorry.
 This is Jackson Square and the Cathedral beyond.  

 It rained on us as we were walking around, except it wasn't really like rain.  It was like being misted on with huge drops of mist.  In other words, you never really felt soaked, and you knew the outside of your clothes were completely wet, but it was never heavy enough to soak through.  Cause that makes tons of sense I'm sure.

I recommend hitting the French Quarter in late afternoon/early evening.  We got there after all the artisians left,  and as the palm readers, fortune tellers, and "spiritual counselors" (he was dressed as a monk) started setting up.  It was an ideal time for us since we had no desire to interact with any year round drunken revelers.  I do wish some of the shops had been open still though as we saw some very nice masks in the windows of a few.
We headed back to our hotel and tried out the hot tub, which I thought was perfect and everyone else thought was 'eh' because it wasn't hot and the jets weren't working or we couldn't figure out how to make them work.  I enjoyed it because it was square, so I could sit in a corner and keep my hands and feet out (I don't enjoy being prune-y, it hurts) and it was the perfect temperature for me.  I don't like hot.

In the morning we could see our ship from the window in my in-law's room.  We got all our things packed up and in one room, then headed off to find breakfast in the French Quarter.

 We asked somewhere where they recommended and they told us to go to the Cafe Du Monde.  We did and it was packed.  The Cafe Du Monde is the "Original French Coffee Stand".  The place was packed and then there was a massive line out the door.  Fortunately they have a "to-go" line on the other side of the building which moves quickly.  The only things they serve are coffee, hot chocolate, and beignets.  We also got to watch them making the beignets on that side of the building.   It was entertaining that they just quickly stack the squares of dough in their hand and toss them behind them into the oil without looking! Quite impressive.
 So yummy!
 After that delicious breakfast (seriously, YUM) we hopped on a trolley and headed to the garden district.  Don't let the name fool you, there are no gardens.  The public transportation is the best deal you will find in New Orleans.  For $3 you get a day pass and you can use the trolleys, street cars, and buses as much as you want.

 There is a little cemetery, and I say little because we passed a MASSIVE one on our way to the hotel.
 I'm used to boring west coast cemeteries, I think I should die in the South so I can have a family tomb.  So much prettier than just a headstone on the ground.

 Signs of Hurricane Katerina are still all over.
 Though it think it adds character to the cemetery.
 The Garden District is pretty, it is full of gorgeous old houses.
 And old trees.
 And brick sidewalks (seriously in love with the sidewalk).
 I liked this fence alot.

After walking around for a bit and admiring the houses and reading the historical plaques on some of the fences, this one being the most entertaining:
We headed back to the hotel to grab or luggage and head to the ship.


Trishgoger said…
I ADORE New Orleans!!! It was my favorite! My boyfriend and I find ourselves trying to plan when we can go back again, the culture and the food is AMAZING! I miss the food so much!

We were there a few months after Mardi Gras, so during a nice walk around the neighborhood we were staying at, I was able to obtain beads that were thrown and left stuck on trees and bushes!
Julianna said…
I have never been to New Orleans, always wanted to. :) But I am also not into the drinking or beads thing, so maybe I should pass. Still would like to go someday though.

And Yes, I followed you on the whole rain thing. Really. I did.

sleepless said…
Awesome..thanks for sharing new photos...I didn't see most of those at your home ! So glad you had FUN !!

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