New Orleans

New Orleans, the land of sore feet and long and high bridges and overpasses over overpasses (can you tell I am a little bit scared of heights?). I have gone over high bridges and long bridges, however getting into New Orleans from Natchez took it to a new level!

I checked into New Orleans on Monday, April 18th. My hotel, Prytania Park Hotel, was wonderful. The rooms were small, but the woodwork was beautiful, the bed was very comfortable, and it had a nice desk for spreading out all my art supplies. Not that I really used them much. I had a nice little courtyard outside of my room where I would sit and have breakfast (usually yogurt and some fruit from the hotel) or read a book to rest my feet. Gated parking, so my little car felt safe. Locked gate and a security guard at night, so I felt safe. Plus, it was only one block from the St. Charles streetcar line and there were a number of great places to eat close by. Everything I needed! A wonderful respite from all the driving, and my allergies! The only thought I had, here is this town full of wonderful art, and the room is bland like vanilla. That is it! Dinner was at Lula’s Distillery and Restaurant, just one block away on St. Charles Street. Very good!

The weather at the start was in the 70’s and breezy, so I spent a full day just wandering around town and stopping at various shops to look at merchandise. I have to say, not impressed by Bourbon Street, it was dark and narrow and dirty. But it was daytime, I imagine it is more alive at night. I walked through quickly and then spent more time on areas such as the waterfront and Royal Street. Being a Tuesday, not many tourists around. Lunch was chicken alfredo at Pere Antoine Restaurant, very good and filling. Then after meandering down to Jackson Square (closed, as they were setting up for a festival the following weekend) I walked along the waterfront (Woldenberg Park) and stopped for beignets and hot chocolate at the Cafe du Monde (of course). I meandered so far, I even made it to Frenchman Street, Magazine Street and the Longshore Studio Gallery. Definitely got my steps in today! And spent a little more money than I probably should have on artwork. My favorite shop, Fleur d’Orleans. The owner/artist was in her shop, and she was very nice to talk to. Her focus was silversmithing and she had some beautiful jewelry in there! If you like silver jewelry with a New Orleans flair I would definitely check it out!

My next day I spent wandering through the Garden District, which was walkable from my hotel. But first, I searched for breakfast/lunch. I was walking down St. Charles Street looking at my options when this very nice gentleman fell into step with me and proceeded to tell me all about the neighborhood and the better places to visit and eat at. I took his recommendation and stopped in this little diner for lunch and ended up having the roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy and peas. The peas were your typical canned mushy peas (but hey, a vegetable other than potatoes!) but the roast beef and gravy were SOOO good. I totally forgot to note the name unfortunately, but it was just east of my hotel, on the south side of St. Charles. My only sadness was that I didn’t ask him to join me, he seemed like someone who had some great stories. Always give others the benefit of hte doubt has been my motto.

Next I visited Lafayette Cemetery #1, it was closed but they had a number of gates you had no problem looking through so I was able to get a good look. I also hung out for a few minutes with a tour group going by (not long, I am sure they don’t like interlopers).

While walking around the cemetery, I stopped to speak to a resident who surprised me, she was behind a bush on her front lawn when I stopped to take a photo of her front. Her dog was very pretty too! She was super nice and I enjoyed talking to someone about living in the area. She even moved a rug she was drying so I could take a better picture.

Other than that I just meandered around, taking a few photos. So far I am up to over 1,200 photos to go through!

My last full day was in the Warehouse District. I am not sure how I felt here, I did visit some museums and meandered around, but it seemed like it wasn’t as exciting as I hoped. I did find a nice place for a muffin and a glass of iced tea (wow, their muffins were awesome).

Then it was time to pack up and leave for my trip along the southern coast, on the way to Florida. I took an alternate route, in order to avoid all the higher bridges. 🙂 Glad I did, it was very scenic.

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