Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Orleans

After Memphis, we drove to New Orleans and checked into the French Market Inn in the French Quarter. We arrived late at night, but Cafe du Monde is open 24/7, so I was able to indulge in beignets and a cafe au lait: the real reason I had come to New Orleans.

We spent most of our nights wandering down Bourbon St., party central in Nola. Obviously, I couldn't indulge in the debauchery in my delicate condition, but it was fun watching the tourists get really drunk every night. Every bar along Bourbon St. had live music, and while there was no cover charge to enter, there was usually a drink purchase minimum, so we never went inside. We did visit a little dive outside the French Quarter one night so Andrew could listen to this band he had read about, but we weren't that interested in the music they played, so we didn't stay long. One highlight of our nightly excursions was that Andrew learned that absinthe was finally legal in the U.S. again, and we found a bar that sold it to him for $22 a shot. Apparently it was worth it for him to see them light the sugar cube on fire.

Cafe Beignet
Our days were spent wandering around the French Quarter and the waterfront, dodging the torrential rains. I loved the architecture!

Creepy Nola cemetery

French Quarter charm
Alligator sausage sandwich and jambalaya
Anne Rice's house in the Garden District

The highlight of our time in Nola was going on a bayou tour and seeing lots of cool animals. From the second we stepped on the boat, we were followed by alligators. Every once and a while the boatman would stop and feed them raw meat on a hook. All along the bayou we were stalked by these nasty black vultures who liked to perch on the trees above us and drop branches onto the boat. It was a little freaky. At the end of the  trip, the food that was leftover was fed to those creepy birds. We also saw turtles, baby alligators, giant spiders, pink snails, and raccoons, which we fed powdered donuts. Overall, it was an amazing tour.

After the tour, we headed over to Oak Alley Plantation, where several movies have been filmed, including "Interview with the Vampire." It's a beautiful old home, but the real highlight is the alley of oak trees which lead up to the house.

Upon leaving there, we decided to follow radio announcements to a nearby town to see "Boogie on the Bayou," which we had hoped would be a good chance to hear some local music, especially since the main attraction was a band called "Snapper and the Fishsticks." Unfortunately, Snapper was a rock cover band, so we didn't stay too long.

Snapper & The Fishsticks

After three days in New Orleans, it was time to head back home. We made our way back north, stopping to stay in Atlanta and Richmond before stopping in Washington, D.C. to visit the Mette-Bory family.

For fun, we tried to take pictures of all the state signs we passed along our 3,200 mile trip.

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