Earlier this month, Dense and I were able to take our first real vacation in a long time. We went to New Orleans to visit our daughter there for five days. This posting will cover the first two days we spent in NOLA, as we visited several restaurants and did quite a bit of wandering around. The apartment she shares with her best friend from College is in the French Quarter, which made getting around that part of town very easy. Even though it wasn’t very warm the first two days, it was certainly much nicer to look outside and see green plants, instead of snow.
For supper that first evening, we went to Mandina’s Restaurant and had some great food and laughs. Took a while to get seated, but the wait was worth it, as all the food was excellent and the atmosphere very relaxed. For some reason, the ladies started singing songs they remembered from Girl Scouts (Denise was a leader when our girls were young)
After dinner, we went to Angelo Brocato Ice Cream from some coffee and gelato, which was very good. We had a great time that night and after all the excitement, were ready for a good night’s sleep.
The next morning we walked to mass at St. Louis Cathedral. The oldest Cathedral in the United State. Catholics have been worshiping there since 1727. After mass we met our daughter and friend at Cafe Du Monde, world famous for their beignets. the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are served in orders of three. The beignets were so good that I didn’t think to take a picture until they were gone.
Once we were done with that snack we wandered around the French Market looking at all the items. The French Market is a combination of a farmer’s market and flea market, catering in large part to tourists. After wandering around for a while, we decided it was time for lunch. We ate at Frank’s Restaurant and had a wonderful meal with a muffuletta (Baked Ham, Genoa Salami, Imported Swiss and Italian Olive Salad on Italian Bread), some red beans and rice, and seafood gumbo.
After lunch we did some more wandering around and killing time until Denise and I went for a ride on the Steamboat Natchez. About a half hour before departure a person started playing the calliope on the top deck
The ride was about two hours long and went down the Mississippi for a ways, before turning around They pointed out a number of historical sites along the banks of the river. Perhaps the most interesting is the building where Andrew Jackson met with pirate Jean Lafitte during the Battle for New Orleans. Without the ammunition and extra men Lafitte supplied, the battle would have been lost.
After the ride we met up with our daughter’s roommate and walked back to their apartment. Before supper she took us for a driving tour around the 9th Ward, as I wanted to see some of what had happened since Katrina. While a lot of the damage had been cleared away and/or rebuilt, there were still buildings marked for demolition, which gave us a better idea of the destruction of that hurricane.
Supper was at another wonderful restaurant, Acme Oyster House. We were dropped off to get a place in line, as they don’t take reservations. The line took about 45 minutes to move forward enough so we could get a table. We started with char-grilled oysters, which were fantastic. I had a fried oyster Po-boy and Denise had a Fried Stuffed Crab, which she really enjoyed. After dinner, since the walk back the apartment was a bit too far, Denise and I took a bike taxi back to the apartment.
The next two days were great, with warmer weather and seeing some very interesting sites, and those days will be covered in part two.