Thursday, August 2, 2018

New Orleans - Day 2

On our first full day in New Orleans we decided to visit the French Quarter. Our first stop was the world-famous Cafe Du Monde, renowned for their beignets. There is a reason they are so popular.

The tables were filled of tourists eating beignets and drinking coffee. We had to wait to be seated in their indoor dining area, where servers would take our order by memory and bring out the food a few minutes later. The cafe only accepts cash and their items are price to round up to $3 so that there is no change needed, making their staff even more efficient.  After 150+ years, they really have the system down.

After breakfast we walked outside in front of Jackson Square. From our vantage point we could see the banks of the Mississippi River on one side and the historic St Louis Cathedral on the other. The cathedral is the longest operational cathedral in the United States.

Around the square were many artists displaying their paintings and improvised Jazz performers playing for tips. Andrew, who is not a fan of loud sounds, was terrified by their music.

As we continued along Decatur Street toward the French Market we stopped at the New Orleans Jass National Historic Park. A national park dedicated to Jazz music. The Park Ranger was actually quite a talented jazz player who delighted us and other visitors by performing and instructing us on some Jazz trivia. The Jr Park Range badge the kids earned there was quite different from the one we normally get.

The French Market was quite a sight with vendors selling all types of souvenirs. In addition to the traditional t-shirts, we saw alligator heads and voodoo dolls just to name a few.

One thing we learned quickly is that there is no bad food in New Orleans. Even the food stalls in the French Market can dish out quite the meals. Todd order a fried crab po'boy sandwich that was just delicious.

After lunch, we explored some of the history of the town by following a walking tour of the French Quarter. We walked mostly along Royal Street, but did peek into Bourbon Street. Fortunately it was pretty safe during the day.

New Orleans is known for its ghost tours and haunted mansions. We had to take a picture of the property for lease indicating the house was not haunted.

By the end of our walk the kids were exhausted so we hopped into a cable car and rode the St. Charles line through the Garden District.

While Andrew slept, we got to gawk and the many historic mansions that line the road. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours. On our way back we were caught in a major rain storm. We took shelter under some trees and someone's portico, but eventually decided to make a run for it and stop at Audubon Park, where we were able to take shelter under a pavilion.

The rain didn't last very long and at the sight of a playground, the kids, who up to that point have been drained of energy all of a sudden ran at full speed towards it. They didn't let the water that had pooled on the equipment keep them from having fun.

New Orleans is not the safest place after dark, so after the playground we called it a day and headed back to our rental home for dinner and an early night.