What an adventure–four days in the French Quarter of New Orleans. We stayed at a beautiful little RV park that was in walking distance to the French Quarter and couldn’t wait to see what all the talk was about.
We got there in late afternoon on Sunday and were not prepared for the sensory overload that smacked us in the face when we arrived on Bourbon Street. The lights, sounds, and smells (not always good) were too much to even take in.
Everyone is walking down the middle of the streets with beads around their necks and drinks in their hands. There are musicians or bucket drummers everywhere and everyone wants you to come into their bar! Wow-what a place. New Orleans is celebrating its 300 year anniversary this year and we found one of their NOLA 300 signs.
We also made sure we made it to the oldest building in the United States which is a bar. It’s call Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar and it was built in 1722.
We were also quick to try out the local cuisine–of course!! We tried a different restaurant every night and made sure we had all the specialties of the area. We had crab cakes, redfish, fried catfish, crawfish, red beans and rice, po-boy sandwiches, and tons of shrimp–everything was delicious.
It only took us one day to make our way to Cafe Du Monde near the Mississippi River for beignets and coffee Au Laits.
Basically rectangle-shaped donuts with tons of powdered sugar on top served with coffee. The cafe has been open since 1862, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it is crowded all the time.
While in this same area we took in all the sights around us. We saw the oldest cathedral in the United States- the St. Louis Cathedral.
It sits across the street from Jackson Square which was lined with artist sharing their work. I couldn’t convince Mike to have Tarot card reading–maybe next time. On the other side of the cafe is the Mississippi River with a lovely Riverwalk along the edges. At this point in the river it is 1/2 mile across and 200 feet deep, it is huge!
We watched huge ships come up the river and barges going in both directions. A lot of activity going on.
A trip to New Orleans would not be complete without a trip to the swamp.
We booked a swamp tour and enjoyed the heck out of the whole experience. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
Our guide took us deep into a bayou and we kept our eyes out for wildlife.
We saw many birds, a snake in the blackberry bushes, alligators, turtles, and even some wild hogs and a raccoon.
We had an awesome local guide who kept us entertained the entire time. It was a great tour.
Finally we also did a walking tour of the Garden District with their big, beautiful, old houses and cemeteries.
This was also very informative and fun. They bury their dead above ground, not because of surrounding water, but because they don’t have enough space.
Again, our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of history of the area. The French and Spanish influence is everywhere and this is what makes New Orleans such an amazing place.