Once upon a time there was a City named New Orleans. It was known as Party City, USA. It had Burbon Street, celebration parades for weddings and for funerals, Mardi Gras, fun times, Jazz and people who made their city famous just by being there. Then came the BIG FLOOD caused by HURRICANE KATRINA - and, two years later... New Orleans is Jivin' again!
After crossing two more bridges, (actually same bridges, different crossing, different day), we arrived in the French Quarter, New Orleans. Connie and Ron proved to be very informative and enthusiastic tour guides! Had started out early so Ron could get his favorite pastry and sweet, strong coffee...long, very long, line for a restaurant famous for its beignet pastry. Ron had to go without. We toured the street artists along the perimeter of Jackson Square. Connie and I got to talking with an artist, Lorenzo Bergen. I asked if I could take his picture with a piece I admired. I would have purchased it, but Where To Put It? After I took his picture, he gave me three small signed pictures he had done. He told us the story how he had composed two pictures into one...and the friend of his who was prominent in both paintings was no longer on this earth. He would not accept payment. I gave him a hug, he gave me a kiss on the cheek. He told me to share the pictures with my friend, (Connie); however, Connie said she does not have a place for them, so the three are going home with me.
Had lunch at an open air restaurant - very good jambalaya! Watched some of the street performers - Connie said there are more at night so we will probably check them out tomorrow night.
Bourbon Street Smells! It smells of food, urine, vomit, hard liquor, beer - you name it, the smell was probably there! Once you get over the smell, the music pulls you in except for it being too loud and NOT jazz. Interesting shops - risque items for sale, along with shops showing table dancing by completely nude women, or pick your nude woman to 'wash', (yep, WASH)...you get the picture.
We found the restaurant with the beignets and strong coffee had tables available, so Ron got his 'New Orleans Fix'. The beignets are airy pastry absolutely smothered in confectioner sugar. Much too sweet - but, thoroughly enjoyed by Connie, David, and of course by Ron. While we were in the restaurant, we heard music and here came a 'parade'. It was led by a horse and buggy with the Bride and Groom, then the bridal party and groomsmen, dancing down the street carrying umbrellas - it was a true New Orleans celebration!
We took a horse - nope...not a horse - he was a mule, and buggy ride. I picked the driver. His name is Howard (as in Howard Cleaning and Maintenance for those of you who might remember). His mule's name is Milky Way. He, the driver, was quite a character with a porkpie hat, big ol' grin and a tendency to break into a song or tell a joke. We really enjoyed the ride! The history and information he provided seemed secondary to enjoying our time with him. I have included a picture of Howard with his Milky Way.
We were much too full to go out to dinner or to eat one of the casseroles I had pre-made and have frozen. Ended up just watching some of a car race on the TV that is in an outside compartment in Max with Connie and Ron, and making an early evening of it. Oh, yes - coming back from New Orleans to the campground...back over the 2 bridges, that makes 4 times today.