Sunday, May 22, 2011

C'est Manifique - Friday in the French Quarter

As we pulled into the parking lot, the Natchez river cruise boat's steam calliope was playing 'Zippity do dah'. (Disney itself couldn't have scheduled it better). As we headed into the French Quarter, a horse drawn carriage passed by, and I quickly did a double take - with its long ears and long face this was no horse it was a mule! Ernie Beyer explained horses can't take the humid steamy New Orleans heat, but mules can!

Our walkiing tour of the quarter began at 130pm, so we headed to the Gumbo Shop, a long time New Orleans favorite. At 1130 the diningroom is packed with locals and tourists enjoying Gumbo. We sat with a couple from CA who said they visit the Big Easy yearly and the Gumbo Shop was always on their itinierary. MMM the French bread was some of the best I had every had and I know the others enjoyed their Gumbo.

Our tour started over looking the Missispi. We learned Louisiana is realtively new in world history 1718 it was founded by the French as a natural land barrier between their English enemies on the east and their Spanish enemeies on the west. Jackson Square lay at our feet the creation of a Spanish born resident and his daughter the famous Madam Cantabalo.

The tour wound through the twisting streets of NOLA and with my love for flowers and architecture it was fantastic. In addition to Victorian, Greek Revival and Italianate styles there were the uniquely New Orleans 'shot gun' homes and 'Creole' cottages (I'll post some photos later today).

The evening ended back at New Orleans City Park with a performance of "A Mid Summers Night Dream". We drank wine and enjoyed the NOLA sunset.

Off to the Carnival Triumph tomorrow - will check in then.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big Fun in the Big Easy

Today, I embark on my first trip as a travel agent(I'm like the Hair Club for men guy). You'll only hear from me on this trip as David is staying home to care for the critters. Back in January when I booked this trip (and made my first sale) I was a very nervous and green travel agent. Five months later I am happy to report things are going well, and I am as excited to plan others vacations as well as my own. Hawaii, Alaska, Disney, Europe, my clients are headed out to the four corners of the earth! (look for a big announcement soon about a travel business partnership

But, today is about myself, my mom as we fly out of Metro airport to New Orleans. Port of the Carnival Triumph, land of Creoles, Cajuns , Vampires and Witches (courtesy of Ann Rice, I am rereading "The Witching Hour" in my opinion Rice's love letter to the city in addition to fantasy) and most importantly my lovely cousins the Beyers, Ernie, Lila and Lisa as well as Lisa's boyfriend Brian Solito. Today and tomorrow I plan to live out my New Orleans dreams of: visiting the Garden District and the French Quarter as well as eating a Beignet. Lila and Ernie are the consumate hosts and I am giddy with excitement.

I'll report back with all my N'Awlins adventures soon. In the meantime in the words of my personal mentor and strangely sexy guy, Rick Steves, keep traveling, hopefully with me.

PS - Spent yesterday in the amazing Garden District, Ms. Rice's descriptions certainly lived up to the reality. Antebellum, Greek Revival Italianate mansions, they are all represented here, as well as the uniquely New Orleans Shotgun houses. After our Garden District tour and a peek into the locked gates of Lafayette Cemetery(dang it) we headed out to New Orleans City Park and enjoyed a jazz concert of the old standards. The evening was wrapped up with my enjoying my first authentic Po' Boy at Parkside Bakery. More NOLA details to follow with photos, sorry this has to be quick - Pam