Saturday, March 28, 2015

New Orleans

Our ten days in New Orleans has come to an end. We definitely did all of our bucket list items and ATE through the food bucket list as well! Good lord I love the food here! Spicy and a lot of seafood. Plus delicious sweets. We stayed at the Bayou Segnette State park which is gorgeous and very conveniently located to the Algiers Ferry so we took the ferry into the French Quarter so we wouldn't have to drive. That also meant we had to walk everywhere so hopefully it counteracted a little of the food consumption.  Not having to fight traffic and park a dually truck is a great way to start your visit to any place but in the French Quarter it was a must. Skinny streets with thousands of people and a huge truck is a bad combo.

Our first day we got in late in the day and set up. Unfortunately, when we put out the living room slides we were welcomed with a horrible sound as the slide came out. Much to our disgust we saw that once again our cable had broken and another was well on the way to being broken. Fortunately we found a mobile repair service who came out a few days later and repaired it. Those cables are going to be the death of us! Sean watched and assisted the guy so hopefully if it happens again he can do the repair himself.

We also didn't realize when we made our 10 day reservation here that the rv sites did not have sewer. So we elected to use the parks amenities so we wouldnt have to pull up stakes and go dump. It was sort of a pain but it worked out ok.

The next day we found the ferry and made our way to the French Quarter. We wandered around a bit and decided to take advantage of the highly rated "free" walking tours to get our bearings and start to learn about the area. It was a great way to start our adventures here as it helped us find our way around and we got some great history and suggestions from the tour guide. Though these guides are "free" you are encouraged to pay what you think they are worth. We read on line that $10 per person was about the average amount that is paid. We thought it was definitely worth $20 for us both and that is what we "paid".  We wandered around some more and then headed back to the ferry.

    Ferry ride

   The famous Bourbon street

    The famous Pat Obrien's and the Hurricane drink

    Our cute tour guide who is an Australian ex-pat

    Wonderful jazz band we enjoyed

The next day we had a rather boring bike ride along the levy. The only interesting thing was this parrot who took a Kamakazi flight into Sean's bike tire. He stopped and took the poor stunned thing off the trail. When we came back later he was gone. I hope he lived.

    Kamakazi parrot

We ended our day with 5 pounds of crawfish and some local beer. Tasty little critters but so much work for so little return.

The next day we decided to head back into the French Quarter and visit some of the city on our own and see some of the suggested stops our guide shared with us.

First stop was the Cafe Du Monde, an Iconic New Orleans cafe known for cafĂ© au laits, chicory coffee & beignets since 1862. Pure deliciousisness. From there we went onto explore the city without our guide.

   St. Louis Cathederal

   Jazz musicians

  1. The Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge is the only revolving bar in New Orleans, Louisiana. The bar is inside the Hotel Monteleone and overlooks Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. 

    We went just a street or so up from the Carousel Bar and had a fantastic dinner of fried oysters. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo nor did I note the name but it was great and we were famished.  After filling our bellies, we headed back to the ferry and home.

    The next day we took a road trip to Avery Island where we toured the Tobasco factory and the adjoining Jungle Gardens.  The Jungle Garden is Edward Mcllhenny's lifetime project to save the snowy egrets and share the beauty of nature for the future generations.  Avery Island is the Mcllhenny's family home and where Tobasco first started. It was an interesting and beautiful visit.

        Snowy egrets

        Remi meets a turtle

        Beautiful flowers through out the garden

    The next it rained all day long. We stayed home and did the laundry and taxes. Not fun but necessary. And the following day our rv repair guy came and fixed our slides and luckily he was early and he completed the tasks in a timely manner so we had plenty of time to get to our ghost walking tour. Again we used the free walking tours and were very happy with the experience. Ghost tours are interesting and not really scary but again a great time to learn history and see some great architecture.  We didn't stay out and enjoy the night life for too long as we had to catch the ferry.

        Our tour guide
        One of the haunted houses

    This house belonged to a couple who tortured their slaves. Eventually Nicholas Cage bought it but lost it for unpaid taxes.  It never stays occupied for long because of all the ghostly activity. It has been unoccupied for some time now.
       Hard to take photos in the dark 

        Haunted hotel
        Haunted pirate bar. Use to be a jail
        We saw this guy when we were in Austin too. I think he is following us!

    The next day we took another road trip to Oak Alley Plantation. There are many plantations to tour but this one was rated the highest and at $10-20 per tour, we decided to do the best one and call it good. It was a great tour and we spend probably 4 hours wandering around the plantation.

        Our tour guide
    That bat on the bed was used by the slaves to pound the bulges out of the mattresses. It took hours!

        Master bedroom with babies crib
        Oak Alley. Perfectly named

        The trees were huge and their branches drooped to the ground

    The next day we visited the World War II museum. We completely blew this one. We had no idea how huge this place was or how fantastic. We didn't even get there until 1:00 or so and before we knew it they were announcing that the museum closed at 5:00 on Sunday's. We had barely seen one building. We had been reading everything and really taking our time and then boom, we ran out to the next two buildings and just ran through them, literally. I highly recommend this museum but go early, wear comfy shoes, bring a lunch and do a whole day or even two or three days. You could spend that much time easily. So I only snapped a few photos...

    We rushed out and made the ferry just in time as it shuts down early on Saturday too. Our next day was our last walking tour and it started at 9:30 a.m. so we got back and it was early to bed for us!

    Our last tour was of the St. Louis Cemetery. You use to be able and go to the cemeteries on your own but due to all the vandalism, the dioceses has since closed all the cemeteries unless you are with a licensed tour guide. It was another great tour.


    A tomb of a voodoo priest. People leave offerings and then put three X's on the tomb to get    their wish. Also typical of the vandalism that is trying to be stopped and repaired.
       Beautiful tomb for Italian Catholics

        Nicholas Cage purchased a tomb here for his future internment. That guy is freaky!

        Tombs in decay

        Some very beautiful statues amongst the disrepair

    We learned about how yellow fever killed many thousands here over time. This was before anyone knew how it was transmitted (mosquitos) and since people were afraid their dead family members could pass the disease on, a quick burial was necessary. However, when the tombs would be opened a year and a day later, they found evidence that they had buried some people alive. They thought they were dead but they were actually in a coma and then when they came out of the coma, the would find themselves buried alive. Once they realized this was happening they tied bells onto to the toes and fingers of the victims so if they came out of their death coma, their flaying would jingle the bells and would alert the guard whose job was to wonder through the graveyard at night listening for the ringing of the bells. This is where the term "saved by the bell" and "graveyard shift" came from. Or at least in this part of the country anyway.  The tombs actually acted as furnaces and would reach 300 degrees inside in the summer heat. This would basically cremate the body in a years time. Then if another family member died he or she could be buried on top of the now incinerated body. That is why the tomb could not be used for a year so as to dispose of the body. 

    After we finished our cemetery tour we headed out to the Court of Two Sisters for brunch. We had heard much about it but it is also known for long lines and waiting on the weekend but we were told a Monday would be easy to get in and it was. We ate too much but enjoyed ourselves immensely!

        Beautiful outdoor seating and live music

    After breakfast we did one last tour of the French Quarter and shopped a bit. We had our last drink at this bar we found. The drinks were great and the bartender was incredibly creative and a good entertainer! I just wish we had found this bar when we first got there. We had quite a few rather sweet, boring drinks. This guys could make a tasty beverage! Stop here first if you get to New Orleans!

        A little history if you can read it
        Gorgeous mural over the bar

        History of mural

        My drink had basil in it! Yummmmmm

       Sean's drink. Strong but yet tasty

    And so that is the end our tour de New Orleans. We are off to Alabama tomorrow where we will be staying for 20 days and touring the area. We will be quite near the coast and Florida so we will be able to see much in all directions.  I think we will have a slower pace for a bit too.

        Happy Easter from New Orleans!

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