The Big Easy (New Orleans, Louisiana)

April 21, 2017

The tennis was finished by 11am so it was off to New Orleans for Susan Wright and me. New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana, is less than 1.5 hours by car from Baton Rouge. I had been there once, for a meeting about 10 years ago, and Susan played tournaments there in the 70s, so it seemed like a good adventure for a Friday afternoon.

We took a hop on hop off bus tour. We were lucky with our connections…we parked, and saw the bus just pulling into the stop as we were walking toward it. We drove by the Central business district including the museum quarter, saw the Superdome and the quaint Garden District homes and businesses. Food seems to be a huge business in New Orleans. All the trees were laden with Mardi Gras beads. The City apparently gave up on extricating them from the trees after each year’s Mardi Gras celebration so they linger all year or till they fall down. The Mardi Gras float characters are hand painted…a few samples are below.

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We exited the bus in the French Quarter, the most famous area of New Orleans. After taking a look at the Mississippi and the long bridge crossing it, we wandered down Decatur street in search of Beignets, the famous New Orleans square donut topped with powdered sugar. We found them at the Café du Monde (and tous le monde did seem to be in the café). It was an interesting operation. We were told to find a seat, then a waiter took our order. The menu is compact, beignets and a few drinks…cash only. The waiter then puts in his/her order, pays for it and collects the cash from the customers. Beignets came in threes, piping hot and were quite good.

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Thus fortified we wandered through the French Quarter (I got a hat) and eventually found the famous Bourbon Street, which seems to be a street of bars and cacophony. On a side street, St. Peters I think, we stumbled across a really cute house with flowers in front, one of the few houses in the area that didn’t have a business on the ground floor.

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New Orleans is an interesting town…at one time the largest in the South, a major port, a place for destination weddings, and of course famous for its cuisine.

Tomorrow it’s good bye to Louisiana and back to California. 

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