Jan and Stephen's trip to
May 12 to May 19, 2003
Click on Camera to see Pictures
|May 12, Monday||San Francisco
Airport to New Orleans
|We left San Francisco at around noon and arrived in New Orleans at 7pm Central time. Checked into the hotel, and then took a walk through the French Quarter to the Mississippi River. We then went to dinner at Oliver's, a Creole restaurant, took a walk on Bourbon Street and went back to sleep.|
|May 13, Tuesday||New Orleans||Today we did more eating and lots of walking. Creole breakfast - scrambled eggs with vegetables and Creole sauce in a restaurant built in 1897. Then we took a walking tour of the French Quarter with a guide from the Louisiana State Museum. After two hours we sat at Cafe Du Monde drinking iced coffee and eating beignets - French donuts. We then toured a house from 1850 and finished with more walking. Now for a rest at the hotel and dinner tonight - at the Red Fish Grill (guess what they serve!).|
|May 14, Wednesday||New Orleans||Today we went to the zoo via riverboat. Lovely 40 minute ride upriver from a dock by the Aquarium, near our hotel, hot but fun wander through the zoo, then back on the boat for beer and leisure. We walked along the Mississippi River to the Cafe Du Monde for our iced coffee & beignets (dangerously habit forming), then saw the IMAX presentation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Back to hotel for siesta & Star Trek, then walked to the Gumbo House for a great dinner. Back via Bourbon Street again - it is blocked off to cars at night and is always crowded with people, cops on horses, colorful, live music, blues and rock, tacky shops, block after block of the best and the worst.|
|May 15, Thursday||New Orleans||We started off with a late breakfast at Mother's. This is the New Orleans version of New York's Carnegie Deli. Long lines, lots of screaming, surly service and great food. We then walked down Magazine St. to the D-Day Museum. We thought we would spend a few hours there, but stayed until closing. This is the creation of the author Steven Ambrose and it is a very intense experience with many exhibits detailing the events leading up to WWII and the preparations for D-Day in both Normandy and also throughout the Pacific. A wonderful reproduction of Roosevelt's speech after Pearl Harbor with his hand written notes and changes that made the speech so powerful. After the museum closed we walked to the one remaining street car line in New Orleans and took it back to the hotel only to build our strength up for dinner.|
|May 16, Friday||New Orleans||In the morning we went to see Oak Alley Plantation, named Oak
Alley for the row of 24 huge, magnificent oak trees that line a path on both
sides from the main house to the Mississippi River. The history of the
house is not wonderful - slaves, bankruptcy, sadness, multiple owners.
It is now like an old English castle, kept going by charging admission and selling
chochkes in the gift shop. The house has been restored and it is nice, but not
spectacular. What is beautiful is the Kodak moment, looking out from the
second floor down the beautiful columns of 300-year-old oak trees. We
finished the tour with a mint julep on the veranda - (bourbon and mint sugar
syrup - yum yum buzz buzz). After the plantation we took a swamp tour on an
airboat (powered by a big V-8 engine attached to a monster fan). Lots
of fun and we got to pet and hold a two-year-old alligator and see their snouts
moving through the water. Beautiful, quiet (once the boat stopped) and
serene. Maybe buying swamp land in Louisiana is a good idea?
Finally a late dinner at the Red Fish Grill across the street (2nd time) and some incredible bread pudding with hot dark chocolate and white chocolate sauce for dessert.
|May 17, Saturday||New Orleans||We started our day with a streetcar trip to the Quilt Cottage in the New Orleans Garden District - guess who wanted to go. After the selection of various fabrics we looked across the street and there was the biggest Whole Foods we have ever seen in a very cool rebuilt brick warehouse. So we stopped in and had our breakfast/lunch. We then took a bus to the heart of the Garden District and took a walking tour of the homes, ending up at the local cemetery. The Garden District was developed after the Louisiana purchase by "les Americans" as opposed to the French who built the Vieux Carré (French Quarter). New Orleans was a hot city around the early 1800's for trade (the Mississippi river), cash crops, banking and sadly, slavery. The Garden district was more colonial in style than French. It was a warm day (90's) and after making several mistakes reading the map (and reading the description of the wrong house which didn't matter because they were all gorgeous) we found our way back to the St. Charles streetcar and our lovely air conditioned hotel. Dinner at Petunia's - in a neat house built in 1830. Waddled back to the hotel through Bourbon Street on a crowded, noisy, lively, Saturday night.|
|May 18, Sunday||New Orleans||Our last day in New Orleans. Maybe this is OK. One restaurant
brochure said New Orleans was the city with the fattest people in the U.S. and
we felt we might be joining the ranks. Lean cuisine for us next week!
We started the day with a tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1, the oldest in the city,
dating back to 1789. Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans is
buried here, as well as assorted N.O. characters. All burials are above
ground with an intricate system of a slow form of cremation (because of the
heat). Ask us for the fascinating details about the rotating deceased!
I also spotted a tomb for Homer Plessy who did a "Rosa Parks" in 1892. He sat
in a white seat on a railroad train. The case went to the Supreme Court
(Plessey vs. Fergusson) and the court ruled separate but equal was constitutional.
This was not overturned until 1954 in Brown vs. the Board of Education which
re-shaped America and began to make up for years of discrimination. Additionally
this is the cemetery where Easy Rider was filmed and Peter Fonda hugged the
statue. After lunch at Johnny's Po-Boy in the French Quarter we went to
the Aquarium, which rivals the one in Monterey. A beautiful exhibit of
ocean life in the Amazon Basin, Caribbean, the South & other places, and many
individual exhibits of sharks, jelly's, frogs, otters and the obligatory white
alligator. Also sea horses and an astonishing "leafy dragon".
Now for some rest and then our last dinner in New Orleans -- Creole no doubt. We went to the Coffee Pot for Jambalaya & fried catfish, red beans & rice & blackened chicken. Frosted Banana Pie. Oh yes! It's just down the street from Preservation Hall which was jammed. Bourbon St. lively as ever as we returned to our hotel.
|May 19, Monday||Return to
|No pictures today - just hotel to airport and then home. Hope you enjoyed this web site.|