Tuesday, October 1, 2013

road trip recap: new orleans (part ii)

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Day 2 in NOLA was a success.  We started the morning at Cafe Du Monde with beignets and cafe au lait (so good), and then went for a walk.  A loooooong walk.  Since we had all day, we decided to cross town to the Garden District by foot, even though I had forgotten our map and had only a vague idea of which direction we should be walking in.  We did get there, eventually, but it took several hours (I'll leave it at that).  We loved walking around the Garden District, which was a bit like Savannah with all of its colorful homes completely surrounded by flowering trees and plants.  I loved how the gnarled trees just grew right up through the brick sidewalks like they were laughing in the face of civilization.  We took the streetcar back to the French Quarter, walked around the French Market (where I got a mango snowball), and had dinner at the Gumbo Shop.  Then it was time to give Bourbon Street another shot.

We stopped at Maison Bourbon for a drink on their (rather precarious) balcony, which was actually closed until we (the only patrons) expressed an interest to sit up there.  We had the place all to ourselves and were able to do some serious people-watching from our perch. We were a little discouraged that the only music we heard coming from the various Bourbon Street bars seemed to be classic rock middle-aged-man bands, and most of those same bars were flanked by guys holding signs for get-drunk-quick drink specials and being generally obnoxious.  So we were pleasantly surprised when we decided to make our way out of Maison Bourbon (dedicated to the preservation of jazz!) and discovered that a real live jazz band was setting up to play for an empty audience.  We ended up staying for their entire first set, and it was New Orleans perfection to sit by the open window and listen as dusk settled into evening.  The band leader remarked that it was pretty absurd that so many tourists were passing by in droves without stopping to hear the music the city is known for.  So true.  Anyway, we enjoyed it :)

We ended the night by sitting on the river watching the moon rise before heading back to our hotel.

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