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Its all about the food in NOLA

February 13, 2011

What fun I had wandering about in the French Quarter yesterday.  The sun was shining and it was actually warm…after a below freezing morning and frozen water hoses, that is.   I think that Arctic band of cold air is finally loosening up and will soon let the South get back to normal temps.  It is another below freezing morning today with frost on the ground, but is supposed to get up into the 60’s and then, beginning tomorrow,  into the 70’s for the many days to follow.  Lovely.  Where’s my sunscreen?

I arrived on the West Bank of the Mighty Mississippi on Friday afternoon and got myself checked into Bayou Segnette State Park, http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/ibyusegne.aspx, which has a very pretty campground with all the services one might require, including a wave pool….and here I am without a surf board.  From here, it is about a 10 minute drive to Algiers Point where I catch the free Ferry over the river and into the heart of the French Quarter.   Since I lived here during 7th and 8th grades, many things I saw yesterday were familiar.

The first stop on yesterday’s agenda was Cafe Dumonde for Bengiettes (sp?) and cafe au lait.  We used to go there after church sometimes. Yummy.  It being a Saturday, the line was almost all the way down to the other side of Jackson Square, but going inside to find the restroom, I found several empty tables and a sign that said Self Seating, so I sat down and enjoyed a lovely breakfast.

After breakfast, I turned on my gps and commenced geocaching, which is a great way to see the sights since it gets you to areas you may not have otherwise visited.  All told, I found 10 including one called “Brangelina”, which is right in front of Brnagelina’s French Quarter “mansion”.  For those of you way out of the loop, Brangelina is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  They have a lovely house here but were not in residence at the time.  How do I know this?  Because the man driving one of the many carriage tours came by while I was hunting the cache and announced that if they were in residence, a guard would be posted outside the front door, so no star sightings today.

Here are a few shots I took while walking around.  First is an obligatory shot of St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square.

And a street band on the Square.

And next to the street band was a nice selection of Palm Readers and Psychics.  I liked this sign in particular…nothing fancy for this guy.

Although tempted, I forewent having my palm read by Jeffy.

For lunch I wanted a Muffalleta from Central Grocery or Gumbo from The Gumbo Shop and since both are well known to locals and tourists alike, both were extremely crowded with lines down the block.  Whatever.  I just kept walking around and got lucky at the Gumbo Shop and hit it when there was only a party or two in front of me.  While eating a delicious bowl of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, I enjoyed a chat with my friend Marilyn and met the nicest couple at the table beside me.

My half eaten gumbo bowl.

Maybe next time I’m here won’t be on a weekend so I will stand a better chance of getting a Central Grocery Muffaletta.

Mardi Gras begins next weekend and lots of folks had their decorations out in preparation.

I’m pleased to say that one of my caches took me to the tomb of a famous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.  I did my 8th grade paper on the Cemeteries of New Orleans.  You’ll notice all the “graves” are above ground.  This is due to the fact that the city is actually below sea level making the water table too high for standard below ground burials.

And back at the river before getting on the Ferry I caught the sternwheeler, Natchez, leaving its dock and heading out for a river tour.

And finally a great view of the Mississippi River Bridge.  Since we lived on the West Bank and I went to school on the East Bank, we crossed this bridge two times a day during the school year.

Today I had a great time visiting my friend Whitney and his wife Paula along with their young daughters Ella and Camille.  We toured around the Garden District and Audubon Park before enjoying a delicious lunch.  Our trip home took us down Magazine Street, which has so many wonderful shops and homes.  I think if I were to live in NOLA again, I’d like to live in that area.  While I had my camera with me, I neglected to take a photo of the Keith clan or their lovely, grown-up home.  Bummer.

I’m off tomorrow and headed toward Texas.  I’ve got reservations at Big Bend National Park starting on Thursday, so it’ll be mainly just road between here and there.

Stay tuned.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lucinda permalink
    February 13, 2011 10:53 pm

    Wow……..you made me homesick for NOLA! We never lived there but have visited several times and at one point, I decided the perfect life would be living in the French Quarter and having a VooDoo shop downstairs!!! We have done absolutely everything on your picture tour. I tell fortunes at our grandchildren’s school Fall Festival and I adapted my “stage” name, MARIE LA FAUX, from the VooDoo Queen. We have only been to Mardi Gras one time….you should have stayed….best party EVER.

  2. Devin permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:57 am

    Gosh, your photos brought back such memories for me. I always loved that city and spent a lot of time there. Sunshine, great music and scrumptious food! I’m living thru you.

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