I bet you thought I forgot all about blogging the NOLA trip. I bet YOU forgot all about me blogging the NOLA trip. After all, it was nearly two months ago already. But, never fear. I’m catching up. Bit by bit.
On the third day of spring break, my true love brought to me – breakfast at Café Fleur de Lis .
Being a Sunday morning, there was a bit of a wait, so we put in our names and found out about the nifty app called Nowait. Not that you don’t wait, but you’re free to do stuff while you wait. It’s instead of those bulky blinking buzzers. The app notifies you of your place in line and when your table is ready. They also text you when it’s ready. Pretty cool, n’est pas?
Anyway, we wandered the nearby streets, checking out windows (shops and otherwise) and the cool architecture of the French Quarter.
When our table finally came up, we made our way back to the restaurant. As we were walking through towards the of the bustling, narrow café space, a waitress tapped me on the shoulder to say hi. She was our server at dinner the night before at Crescent City Brewhouse! I replied, “Hey! Do you work everywhere?” We laughed. We sat down at our kitchen-adjacent table in the Here, I had my first chicory coffee. Life-changing, I tell you.
I also had seafood Benedict. I think I have feelings for this food.
After breakfast, we made our way to Jackson Square to have a look around, take a carriage ride tour around the Quarter, and get some lunch at Stanley (also used the Nowait app there). There was lots to see. The service at St. Louis Cathedral was just letting out (it was Palm Sunday). A stoner dude kept waving a palm frond and repeatedly saying (in his best Spicoli voice), “Happy Palm Sunday! Heh, heh.”
We walked to the far side of the park and found a carriage to take us on a tour. Our driver, Tony, told us great stories about the history of the French Quarter. The only one I really remember, though, was about Tujague’s Restaurant. It had a unique business model back in the day, where the chef would waltz in to work and scrawl on a board what he felt like cooking that day. And that is what you ate. Period.
After the tour, we hung out in Jackson Park for a while, wandering towards the river, and making our way back through the square around until lunch time. It’s great to see all the buskers… the artists… the musicians, the magicians.
After a hurried lunch (because we waited too long to put our name in for lunch at Stanley), we hoofed it back to the hotel to catch our ride to the Jean Lafitte Swamp for our requisite swamp tour.
Our bus was almost an hour late, which we’ve come to understand is “NOLA-time.” We made another couple stops to pick people up. One group was a bachelorette party. They were a riot! I got such a kick out of listening to them. And, it turned out, one of them was from the Chicago area, so I gave her my card.
Once we arrived at the Jean Lafitte Swamp, we got on our pontoon boat and met our tour guide. He was kind of cute, so the bachelorettes flirted with him like crazy (natch). I think maybe this is why I didn’t take a picture of him. I think I felt a little silly in their wake. Anyway, here’s what we saw and such:
On the ride back, the bus was a little less boisterous. I think we were all tired from all that fresh air. I know at least one person who was.
After the bus dropped us off at our hotel, we called my friend Laura, who happens to live in NOLA with her husband, two kids, and pets of the furry and the feathered kind. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and we were excited to get together. The plan for the evening was to go to NOLA City Park, where they were having a Chinese lantern festival. There was even going to be food, so dinner was covered.
The City Park was a bit of a hike from our hotel, so Laura picked us up at the corner of Toulouse and Rampart, about a block from our hotel (easier to meet there than have her navigate traffic and construction), and we headed to meet up with her family and see the lights.
As we wandered through, The Girl managed to fall in a mud puddle. Miraculously, I had a full change of clothes in a backpack for her – something I never bother to do anymore unless we’re on an airplane. So, after we traipsed off to the washroom to get her changed, we headed towards the tent that had the food and entertainment. Chinese dancers and acrobats performed while we ate – you guessed it – Chinese food – right out of the carton. General Tso makes a darn good chicken!
After we ate our fill, we walked around a bit more. The Girl had a great time wandering around with Laura’s kids – Belle and Russell. Even though they’re a little older than she is, they all got along.
And, there you have it. I’ve now shown you HALF of the trip we took TWO MONTHS AGO. And other stuff has happened since then, so my next post may be about other stuff, but I swear, we’ll get to the second half of the trip. Heck, I need to show all the Dr. Who memes we created. 🙂