Sunday, May 27, 2012

Welcome to New Orleans

Well, the Subaru's navigation system didn't want it to happen; Louisiana wasn't listed as a state on the US map when we started the car at 5:45 AM.  That was a real WTF moment that only made our early-morning commute more infuriating.  After my dad determined a "top secret" compartment existed somewhere in the Subaru's control panel that required hidden CDs (later located in the glove compartment), I literally ripped a section of the panel open to discover the special navigation compact disc dispenser.  Eureka!  I totally Robert Langon'd that shiznit.  More realistically, though, I think we looked like Derek and Hansel trying to find the secret files in the Mac desktop computer in the legendary cinematic masterpiece Zoolander (  You're welcome! 

Long story short, we made it to New Orleans without additional headaches around 2 PM.  This is the first picture I took on the street outside our inn:

This is for you, Chrissy! 

We decided not to take the streetcar into Jackson Square because we needed to stretch our legs, so we walked to Mother's Restaurant for po' boy sandwiches ( Despite the long wait outside the restaurant, we stuck it out because my miraculous (read: bizarre) father can still remember the po' boy sandwich he enjoyed 30 years ago at the same place.  Look how happy we are with our delicious food!

After our lunch, we wandered Jackson Square, bought a few souvenirs, chatted with local artists, and browsed Bourbon Street.  The 97 degree weather was killer, and the myriad of sights to see was overwhelming, but I managed to take a few pictures:

I'm a sucker for art shops and Vincent van Gogh.  I'm still convinced presenting a part of your ear to your lover is the sincerest form of flattery even today.

These are two of the many diverse art portfolios displayed in Jackson Square.

Here we are in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.  We peeked inside for a moment to see the confirmation ceremony taking place.  

These are a few of my favorites from today:

This is my favorite art nerd photo in this series.

One of the best street signs for the famous Bourbon Street.

We stopped and ordered refreshments at Cafe Beignet before the heat ruined us for the day.

Later that night, we embarked upon Bourbon Street once more.  We may have searched a little too long for a place to eat dinner...I'm not pointing fingers, know who you are.  But we eventually found the NOLA restaurant off Bourbon Street.  I was hoping for something authentic, so I tried the "Shrimp 'n Grits," which was freakin' delicious.  We split the fried green tomatoes and dad enjoyed the butter-battered drum fish.  Also freakin' delicious.  

Finally, we ended the night with one last stroll through the crazy nightlife that manifests on Bourbon.  Street performers, half-naked men and women, artists, inebriated crazies, kids, and musicians all come together in this incredible patchwork of exposed flesh, tommy bahama-style designs, pleasant and equally foul smells, and noise--lots and lots of noise.  It's fantastic and beautiful and ghastly and disgraceful all at the same time, and I love it.  

For me, however, New Orleans--like any other new city--is a colossal museum I could never hope to wholly take in and experience in a month let alone an afternoon.  Still, I enter the museum's doors with the same sense of wonder and hope.  I expect to learn so much and to see everything, and for awhile, I try to accomplish that.  But after I spend 20 minutes in one room looking from small ornamental pot to smaller ornamental fork, my brain begins to waver.  I forget what I've learned, I skim the details, I abandon whole rooms, and I eventually leave.  I haven't accomplished everything; I haven't seen everything.  I must go back.  I must experience it again.  This is what I will attempt to do again when I revisit New Orleans.

Enjoy this final video of the wedding parade we stumbled upon on our way back to the inn.


  1. Okay, now I am jealous!

  2. Yep, there's plenty left to do in NOLA, but y'all certainly made a full day of it. Glad to hear that you want to return!

  3. Wow is all I have to say about this post!!! I love the words & the photos, especially the one you took just for me! What wonderful experiences! I love that you ate the authentic food, and I was going to say I want to be there so bad with you, until you mentioned the temperature. Then I reconsidered...LOL! I am living to read this blog the rest of the week! I love it! Cannot say enough about how happy I am that you are having an amazing time. The food looks delicious & I love the artwork! So cool... So to Bill, was the po' boy sandwioh as good yesterday as it was 30 years ago??? ox Chrissy

  4. P.S. Where to next???? The suspense is killing me...

  5. it looks like you are having a great time! nice pictures!