Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Visit To New Orleans

On New Years Day, Greg and I spent a good three hours getting ready and packing up the car for our long drive to Houston with a stop in New Orleans.  Greg hadn't gotten home from West Virginia til about 7:30pm on New Years Eve, so he had gone through a lot of packing, unpacking, laundry, and repacking in a short window of time.  After countless trips from the house to the car it was filled to the brim and we hit the road.  Clyde had a little perch that he sat in.

It was a gray, drizzly, dreary day and we had our share of rain on way.

Clyde seemed to enjoy the trip, at times.

Later he crawled through the maze of stuff in the back seat and opted to stare out the back window.

We went through a lot of states on the drive: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, before we finally reached Louisiana.  We stopped a few times at rest areas and restaurants to use the facilities and grab food.  I requested Panera for dinner so I could get in some veggies and had my favorite: the Greek salad.

It was a loooooooooooooooong day in the car, but finally we rolled into New Orleans pretty late on Saturday night.  I tried to get some pictures, but nothing would come out.

We were using Greg's older model GPS (mine is in my car), and had some trouble finding our hotel, which was in Kenner, right outside New Orleans, but after consulting his phone we got an accurate location and finally found our hotel.  We were VERY tired and pretty much unpacked and passed out immediately. 

Sunday morning we woke up and got ready to head into the city to check it out.
Clyde assumed his usual position in the car.

Soon I saw the skyline and the Superdome.  I really started thinking a lot about hurricane Katrina at this point and how unreal it was that a few years ago this place was a complete disaster area.  Really surreal.

I have to say, the city is in GREAT shape now.  You would never know something so tragic and awful happened there, everything looked wonderful.

We drove around the French Quarter, looking for parking, which proved to be tough as we soon realized the Sugar Bowl AND a Saints game were happening in town that day. 

I definitely found it funny that my college team, Ohio State, was playing in it and that I had no idea.  I have probably mentioned it before but I'm the worst OSU alum ever.  Completely out of touch with what our team is doing 99% of the time.  I saw Ohio State fans everywhere.

I was immediately was in awe of the pretty scenery and started snapping pictures of all the intricate ironwork.

We parked and began bee-lining for the one place I had as a definite on my list of places to go in New Orleans: Cafe Du Monde.

There was a long line to sit inside the tented cafe, but we had Clyde with us, so we knew that wasn't really an option.  We quickly realized there was a take-out window and headed over there to get our beignets and coffee, which worked out great, because we only had to wait a couple minutes til it was our turn to order.

We carried our beignets and coffee to a nearby bench to eat.

There are really no words to describe how awesome they tasted...  They were like a combination of fried dough and donut, but better. They were dense and chewy, but they melted in your mouth.  The amount of powdered sugar in the bag they came in was insane.  I'd put it up there with the top five messiest things I've ever eaten.  Mental note, next time I go back to Cafe Du Monde, do not wear dark clothing.  That white sugar was EVERYWHERE!  You could actually see splatters of it all over the place within about a block radius. 

With our bellies full of beignets, we headed out to explore more of the city.

We window shopped...

And got some beads from some dude on a balcony...

And eventually ended up on the famous street.

I had ideas about what Bourbon Street would be like, but I was not prepared for how huge it was and how there was bar after bar after bar there...

I didn't think it would be that busy on a Sunday afternoon, but the party was in full swing.  I said more than once that I should have come here in my early 20s when I was more of a party animal. 
Being the "one drink wonder" I usually am now this scene was wasted on me!

Greg and I did share a frozen margarita as we walked around.  We're animals, I know. 

As happy as I was to have Clyde with us, it did hinder our ability to go in most places, but it was still cool to just walk around and enjoy everything we saw.  Eventually, when we wanted some lunch, Greg waited outside with Clyde while I went into a place to order stuff for us to go.  I was dying to try a muffaletta, so thats what I got.

It's like an Italian sandwich with this olive salad in it.  It was pretty yummy!
Greg had a BLT and Clyde eagerly awaited a sample of his bacon.

I think Clyde enjoyed New Orleans.

I really had a great time.  New Orleans is such a cool city and scenery will stay in my head forever...

We headed out of town to continue our drive to Houston mid afternoon.  I probably could have spent days or even weeks there and not seen even close to everything, but I'm grateful I got to spend a day there.

I know that New Orleans had a lasting effect on all of us...


Anonymous said...

Haha, what did Clyde have to do to get all those beads?? ;-)

Joanna said...

It has been years since I have been there, but what an amazing city! The best meal I have ever eaten was there (Brennan's)...hands down!

Runblondie26 said...

Looks like it was an awesome day! That's so cool you were able to turn the drive into a mini-getaway weekend.

Whirly Wife said...

New Orleans looks amazing I think I need to take a trip.

Marg said...

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I love that city, grew up in Louisiana and was always there.

Monique said...

I've always wanted to go to NO!!! :) Clyde looks super comfy haha. Woodstock can't handle car rides. He's literally attached to the hip with me and whimpers when I'm not around. He actually has to sit touching me somehow on car rides... which sucks because usually when he's in the car I'm driving solo!

Anonymous said...

glad you had a good time in my stomping grounds! I meant to tell you not to exhale while eating benignets or they will get all over you! sorry I wasn't in town to meet up with you!

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