Oh New Orleans, where to begin?
The architecture and row houses really are something. The entire city is sort of like a postcard. Besides the parts where you should not walk or Canal Street. Canal Street 100% does not look like a post card.
But we did the basics. Like sitting on a balcony in the French Quarter.
Walking through Jackson Square. A lot.
Wandering down the Mississippi River.
I feel like Minnesotans have a real thing for the Mississippi River. Probably because we’ve all been to the headwaters.
Listening to live jazz at the Terrace while sipping Hurricanes.
And listening to more live jazz at the Musical Legends Park while eating beignets from Cafe Beignet and enjoying mint juleps.
Who knew this would be the year for juleps, right?
We got SO lucky weather-wise. There was no rain, no humidity and no clouds in the sky. It was like being transported directly back to summertime. We loved it sick.
We stopped by the Three Muses on Tuesday night because they had a great jazz band going and of all of the spots on Frenchman Street, that seemed like the place to be. We had a few drinks, watched the bands switch in and out and all was well. Ironically I only saw Laura’s comment after the fact, but I could not agree more with her – it is a great place to visit and enjoy the scene!
Since Marcus had some time earlier in the week, he had found out that Snug Harbor was hosting the Uptown Jazz Orchestra on Wednesday night. Tickets/cover were $25/person and it was absolutely worth it. The Jazz Orchestra was a big band-type arrangement with Wynton Marsalis’ brother Delfeayo Marsalis on the trombone. Very cool.
This is a great museum, y’all. They’re still adding buildings but the three I got to visit were more than enough for this trip. They have a 45 minute 4-D movie about the war narrated by Tom Hanks (always a hit) and an interactive submarine tour I declined to participate in because WWII submarines give me the most serious case of the sads. Marcus can corroborate this story because he saw me at the Pearl Harbor submarine memorial.
Anyway, when you aren’t watching the movie, they have an outdoor victory garden. Insane fact: by the end of the war 40% of American produce was from victory gardens. We probably would have starved without them. There was also a building with four floors of viewing decks so that you can inspect war plans hung from the ceiling and a spectacular D-Day exhibit.
Marcus’ #1 request for our trip was to go on a walking tour of the cemetery. That was a great choice because there were so many things we learned about the city, its founding and the horrors of yellow fever. As we navigated the cemetery with our tour guide he shared stories with us about a deceased voodoo queen, Nicholas Cage’s pyramid-shaped future resting place (hand to God) and helpful information about the above-ground cemetery strategy used in the city.
My #1 request, on the other hand, was to go on a swamp tour! I wanted to see the alligators. Yes, I know we keep them in zoos, but what could be more exciting than seeing them in the wild?
A little side-perk to this tour was the fact that our drive to the Pearl River took us over Lake Pontchartrain. It really was a sight to see. Had we not traversed the waterway as a part of this, there is no way we would have gotten to see the lake on this trip.
We went on the morning tour and that seemed to be a wise decision because I know that speeding up and down the river and weaving in and out of swamps and bayous would have been far less fun if we were roasting in the sun. For our efforts, we were rewarded with the sight of five tiny gators and all of them were so thrilling.
This trip certainly wasn’t as jam-packed as some of the others that we have taken. We knew that there were things we wanted to see, but we also knew we wanted a healthy amount of time to just kick back and relax without a schedule. Not shockingly, for two oldest children that can be really hard to do sometimes! But I think we made it just fine.