- Last week we had a previously planned trip to New Orleans [Craig on business, me as a tag-a-long.] We stayed at a beautiful, small hotel in the French Quarter, just a couple of blocks from the Mississippi .
- It was a neat little place with only 80+ rooms that was built as grain processing building back in the 1800s and was fire station before becoming a hotel. [And yes the uneven floors and nooks and crannies of the hallways gave testament to the age of the building.] LOVED IT. But you know I love quirky.
- I can’t pretend to really *know* New Orleans – we’ve been there many times through the years – but mostly to the French Quarter, and out by the zoo and Tulane [and oh yay, that one time we stayed at the ALLIGATOR FARM – a true test of being a mother of boys for me – ha.] IMO - It can be a filthy – filthy city, but it can also be a really beautiful city full of history of a truly blended people. A nice place to visit, but we’d never want to live there.
- While Craig was in his meetings, I enjoyed seeing the sights – antique shops, artsy stores [oh how fun!] lots of candy shops tucked discreetly here and there [nothing blaring like in Gatlinburg,] diners galore [we didn't eat at one,] and of course, the “standard” souvenir shops.
- And I also enjoyed the beautiful architecture and culture of the French Quarter, and okay, the occasional trip down the street [eight blocks or so] to Café DuMonde. Mmm – make that daily trips, sometimes twice. And I took a cooking class too – so fun! I walked for hours every day and so enjoyed having no real schedule…
- All the walking is the only thing that kept me from gaining ten pounds because we surely enjoyed the food as well. Craig’s Cajun food of choice is crawfish etouffee [and he enjoyed several different varieties,] while I enjoyed different things – shrimp BBQ with grits, jambalaya, shrimp po-boy [above], gumbo, shrimp creole, and of course, pralines and beignets. Yum. And that delicious chicory coffee. Oh my.
- But let me tell you – my innards were none too happy with ME by the end of the week – still, it was worth every pain and discomfort, because we just don’t have food that good up this way. Ha.
- One of the pleasures of the French Quarter is the music – zydeco down in one part, jazz in another, and who knows what out on Bourbon Street . We enjoyed it all – from the street performers to the trio at The Court of Two Sisters during brunch, to the calypso music blaring from the local riverboat..
- And yes, we did take a little stroll down Bourbon during the late afternoon hours – and oh my goodness [said in my best MK voice!] it’s a different world over that way – yes, we saw the unsavory side of life, but we also saw some fun [creepy -?], off-the beaten-path street people, and the dueling pianos at Pat O’Bryan’s [if it hadn’t been so dark and dirty feeling we might have stayed a bit, but I just couldn’t shake that itchy feeling to get out of there, but that's just me folks.]
- It was a wonderful week – and we came home to have a great weekend as well – I had a scrapbook event planned [I’ll share more about these scrappy outings another time] and Craig fished with his buddy. Then on Sunday, we went over to The Shoals and had breakfast with my mom, lunch with Craig’s mom and came home to a [soon to be] beautiful bougainvillea in a hanging basket from my boys. They’re hard to find in our neck of the woods, and I’m so happy they made the effort!
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