Day 1 - Sunday

Trip Start Apr 09, 2011
Trip End Apr 24, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Sunday, April 10, 2011

So we spent a good night out by the airport and packed everything up. The coffee and pastries at the front desk were very sparse. The coffee was OK, but there was little to recommend in the pastry area.

Got a taxi into town -- shared it with a lady who was in town for a conference (Education Researchers of America, or something like that). When she was checking to see the address of where she needed to go, I saw an Ohio University logo at the top of her confirmation sheet, so I made a comment about Athens and she was a bit freaked out because she knew she hadn't said anything about being from Athens. Nice cab ride.

We got to the Avenue Plaza and put our luggage into storage. Went to the concierge, Pierre, and got directions for the nearest Catholic church, made reservations for a city tour and a swamp tour, and a sales presentation at the resort where we'll get vouchers for the steamboat Natchez river cruise. After we left Pierre we went over to Williams Market, just to the west of the resort and got our 5-day transit passes and a Powerball ticket for Jeanette. We then headed towards the river in search of St. Alphonsus church. We were a bit too far to the uptown side, but we found it in time for the 9:30 mass. While Jeanette was in church I returned to the resort.

I went out into the courtyard area, set up the computer and connected via the wireless to check out my chess games. While I was working, the machine suddenly shut down, and I assumed that I'd exhausted the battery. (I later found out that it was an automatic update re-start, but I had apparently missed the notification that the restart was about to happen).. I closed up shop and returned to the church to pick up Jeanette. We walked back up to St. Charles to see about catching a streetcar in to town.

We waited for a good time and when the car arrived, the motorman leaned out and suggested that we take a bus into tiwn instead since the car was loaded to the gills. We decided to start walking in toward town and check out the next streetcar headed into town to see if it was going to be any less crowded, When the next one finally came at the next stop into town, the driver didn't even slow, let alone stop because it was so crowded. We then hopped one outbound and rode it fro a ways before catching one back inbound.

We rode down to Canal Street, got off and started our walking tour for the day. We had decided to go to the Central Grocery and get a muffallata sandwich since that was where they originated and Pierre siad they were the best in town. We went toward the river for a block, crossed Canal and entered the Frencg Quarter on Chartres St, intending to cross lakeside of Jackson Square before going down to get our sandwich (share a half, that will be plenty, said Pierre). A block in, at Iberville, we heard music coming from the direction of the river, and went down to Decatur where we saw a small stage set up for the French Quarter Festival. Headed further uptown, past Jackson Square and the Cafe du Monde to the Central Grocery to find that it was closed on Sunday! Bummer!  So we went next door to Frank's and had our sandwich. Had a nice conversation with a gentleman who recommended the Algiers ferry and told us about the sculpture garden behind the art museum, which is supposed to be very good.

After lunch we headed for the Cafe du Monde to get beignets and found a very long line outside. We stood in line for a short while and decided that we could get that treat later -- they are open 24 hours a day. Headed back to the Jackson Square area and stumblede across the Dragon Master Showcase group doing their act. Watched the whole show (videoed a bit on my camera), purchase the DVD and got it autographed. We went to the river and walked a bit on the Moonwalk, then saw a Riverfront streetcar haeded downriver. We chase it a bit and got aboard and rode to the end of the line. Caught it going back downriver and rode to the end of the line. Returned to the Riverwalk area to catch the ferry to Algier Point. It was a quick crossing.

In Algier we walked the Jazz Hall of Fame walkway down to the Mardi Gras World area (actually went to the end of the path) and returned to catch the ferry back to New Orleans. We walked up Canal Street to St. Charles where we caught the street car back to the Avenue Plaza. We checked in to room 404, retrieved our luggage and got unpacked and settled in.
We slathered our burnt arms, calves, knees, and any place red with aloe and vowed to be more careful tomorrow.

We headed out for dinner about 8:30 and walked down to Mia's Balcony, a place about four blocks downtown. We had some small plates: skewered chicken and spinach spirals, seafood stuffed eggplant, fried okra and lemon zested grilled asparagus. We finished off with a shared piece of seven-layer chocolate mousse cake.

We returned to the unit and retired for the night. 
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