The last weekend of August, Austin's family traveled to New Orleans and was nice enough to bring me along. It was a great weekend - HOT and humid but I actually kind of love that summery weather.
We did mostly typical touristy stuff (my favorite kind of stuff). We stayed at a hotel right off Bourbon Street, so we ended walking up and down it, by day and by night. We ate Cajun classics, amazing po-boys and alligator gumbo at Parkway Bakery and Tavern, barbecued shrimp at Pascal's Manale on my parents' recommendation, gelato on Magazine Street, oysters at Peche, and beignets at both Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet.
We drank very sweet drinks on Bourbon Street, chicory coffee, Sazeracs, gin fizzes, Bloody Marys, and a number of other excellent cocktails. Bourbon Street was somehow trashier than I expected. (I don't know what I was expecting.) We didn't spend too much time there, but I dragged Austin out for one final Hurricane on Sunday night. And I'm sure I'll be back for a bachelorette party sooner or later...
We took the trolley to the World War II museum (which had an awesome hangar where you could stand eye-to-eye with WWII airplanes and, best of all, a working victory garden). We took the ferry to Algiers Point (the name was more exciting than the location) for what was most of our first official encounter with the Big Muddy. We wandered Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District - I LOVE old cemeteries, and this one did not disappoint. I spotted the New Orleans branch of my network of Catholic high schools. We saw live music (some pretentious, some awesome) on Frenchman Street. We sampled hot sauces. I played with my new camera and took my new Fitbit for walks around the French Quarter and down to the French market.
I was wandering around Bourbon St one night (see above RE Fitbit) and followed the sounds of live music to a neighboring street, where I stumbled on a wedding procession, the bride and groom and wedding guests circling the block with their jazz band. It reminded me that I'd gotten just a tiny taste of a fascinating culture. The more I travel, the more I realize that I am just scratching the surface of everywhere I visit.
Resolved: to keep traveling, of course. And to pull out the Big Camera for more pictures of people and not just pictures of buildings.