Pre-Birthday Party: French Quarter Festival

Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
Maw Maw's House

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Saturday, April 10, 2010

Michael’s sister Barbara answered the door when we arrived at 2 a.m. and quickly instructed us, in her sleepy voice, to go straight to bed; we did just that. Several hours later, I awoke to the smell of Barbara’s hot sausage and cheese grits cooking downstairs. Mmmmm, good. This is only the beginning of what I love so much about New Orleans -- the food. Each time I come here there are certain local delicacies I MUST have -- PoBoy sandwich (catfish or shrimp), crawfish (when in season; and they’re definitely in season now), sno-ball and beignets. I’m sure most locals take all of this for granted; after all, they eat it all the time. But for me, it’s always a treat.

After breakfast, it’s time to relax. I’m so glad it’s sunny outside. We catch some sun rays, and before we know it, Michael’s other sister, Germaine, or Nanny as the family calls her, arrives. She makes a delicious batch of strawberry/banana smoothie using Ardyss Nutri 9 shake, and we all enjoy it while catching up on what’s been happening. A little more time in the sun and we decide to head over the river to enjoy the French Quarter Festival. Nanny goes home to pick up her daughter Brandi and we’re off.

Michael and I suggest we park in Algiers and take the ferry over the river, but Barbara and Nanny don’t want to do that; they insist we’ll find a parking space at Harrah’s Casino. Once we drive into the city, we quickly hit a long line of traffic headed into downtown and discover that we’ll have to park quite a distance from the festivities. On the long walk over to the Quarter, Barbara, Nanny and Maw-Maw decide to go into one of the adult video arcades in the Warehouse district and Michael and I take Brandi along with us to enjoy the fun. Soon enough we begin to see the crowds and hear the music, then the smell of food hits us. Suddenly, I’m hungry. I’m going for the gumbo, Brandi wants a hamburger and Michael wants a grilled chicken sandwich. We're here to eat! We walk a bit more and it’s time for a sno-ball; cherry/grape for me. There are so many different looking people all here to enjoy themselves. 

Brandi wants to see the street performers -- a group of five guys who perform acrobatics. They’re pretty entertaining. Michael wants to walk in Jackson Square. The music is great. I suddenly need to taste the jambalaya. Pretty good. Michael goes for a blackened catfish sandwich. After getting her face painted by one of the local street artists, Brandi wants beignets, so we head over to Cafe du Monde. The line to get a table is pretty long. We could be here a while, but it looks like Michael has other plans. As he walks the floor of the open-air cafe searching for signs that a group is ready to leave, suddenly, a table opens up right in front of where Brandi and I are standing. If you've ever been to Cafe du Monde, you know how crowded it can be and how long you sometimes have to wait to get a table. I won't call it fate or luck; I'll just call it favor -- it ain't fair, but it sure beats waiting. After a few beignets each, we're all stuffed. It's getting chilly now; time to head back. On the way to pick up the others from the adult video Arcades, we get a call from Barbara; she just become the fortunate recipient of $600 on the  one of Video machines! Sounds like we all got what we came for over at the French Quarter Festival!




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