Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End May 14, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Having stayed for the week in Gonzales, we found ourselves a short hour's drive from New Orleans.  So, for the weekend we took off!

My brother lives in Alabama, only four hours from New Orleans.  Since his boss left town for the weekend, he decided to also and join us!

I figured it would be nice to stay in a New Orleans Inn instead of a chain hotel.  I also thought, with three of us, a suite with multiple rooms would be great for more space!  I found just that.  The Olde Town Inn just blocks from the French Quarter.  However, the mini-suite was made out of converted slaves' quarters and offered, between two beds and a bath, less space than your typical Motel 6.  "C'est la vie" says me.  The place was quaint and VERy N'awlins.  Between the center courtyard, wrought iron fencing, outdoor breakfast nook and eclectic decor, we felt like we'd arrived in the heart of the spirit of New Orleans.

We were all excited for a fun-filled weekend of strolling, people watching and good food eating.  Our only foe was the weather.  The night we drove in, a cold front followed and the temperature never let up. Saturday morning we woke up in time to grab some breakfast.  We donned our warmest layers to walk the 30 feet outside to the breakfast bar.  We huddled around the toaster to warm up a few bagels, then jutted back to our room to eat.  We stayed there for a few hours playing our home-made board games with my brother.  It was a battle to the win, but I think I ended up with the most kills in our laser tag game.  Being as how the inns down there are not made for cold weather, we were mot much warmer by staying inside.  So we bundled up to face the cold. 

Not realizing how close we were, we piled into brother's truck to drive downtown.  We ended up parking in a public lot the same distance from, but in the opposite direction of our hotel in relation to the Quarter.  "C'est la vie." (As a side note: Besides using french phrases to blend in to LA, I also wore my beret i got for my birthday.) 

We were hungry, so we tarted to walk.  We jumped in and out of little shops along the way, chatted with the shop keepers and glanced around at the nicks and knacks.  We ended up at lunch in the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.  They had fabulous pizza.  The most notable dish we had was the Jambalaya Pizza Michael ordered.  Very bayou, he thought.  And it was.

From there we kept walking a short while through the French Market before we got very cold and went back to the inn.

Things we noticed along our way:
New Orleans is made up of all those artsy, who would be considered "weird" anywhere else, people.  Great for art, strange to behold.  You see, anywhere else, like Chicago, New York, Springfield, you name it, a person need only be a little off - a little different to stick out.  This receives attention and the person feels unique.  However, in New Orleans you have all these people all together and they still want to feel unique, so they have to be that much more eccentric to stick out among the very colorful crowd.  It's a different sort of place where anything goes.  As we were walking later that night, we passed a bar with music spilling onto the street.  I danced as we walked past and my brother noted that in any other city, he'd be embarrassed of me dancing on the sidewalk.  But here, in New Orleans, I fit right in!

Back at the inn, we pulled out a projector from the van and our wii.  The only available wall space was over the bed.  So we pulled down the painting that was there, set up the projector on the cabinet on the other wall and sat on the floor or layed on the bed to play.

When it came time for dinner, brother had a place in mind where he'd eaten on previous trips here.  This time we saved the parking fee and walked.  As we neared the restaurant we were met by the realization that Mardi Gras month is starting.  (It is not one day of the year here, but more like four weeks of celebration.)  Anyway, a parade was passing by the corner where our dinner was set to be.  Luckily for us, the majority of the people were outside, so we got a table easily, but not before catching glimpses of the parade floats which I will not describe here.

We ate well, tried new things.  I had fried oysters on a Po' Boy sandwich.  Michael had some sort of oysters in soup... It was good anyway!

We played more games and then slept.

Sunday, Michael and I woke up in time to get some breakfast, then brought it back to brother who was sleeping in.  We played more games, requested more time before we had to check out and left the inn.  We had asked for a lunch recommendation at the inn and so went to La Peniche.  Great food - Michael had alligator sausage.  Mike had a pancake bigger than your face.  :)  Also notable here was a man dressed in a gold tu-tu. 

After lunch, we stopped in to see a friend of brother's with whom he had stayed on a previous trip here.  And then walked back to our cars.  We decided then it'd be best to leave and get home at a decent time, so we said our sad good-byes and started to drive.  Soon, my brother was on the phone saying "why are we leaving so early?"  It was only 2:15.  I had no good reason to give, so we agreed to go back to the French Quarter to hang out some more.  We drove around looking for parking on the street, but to no avail.  By the time we decided to go back and park at our inn, we were stuck in one-way streets with no way to turn left or right!  At 3:15 we pulled in front of the inn having only accomplished parking 50 feet BEHIND where we were an hour previous.  I laughed at this fact for the first five minutes of our walk.  We soon popped into a little coffee shop where we drank and were serenaded by a live pianist.  It wasn't too exciting, but we enjoyed squeezing a little more time out of our weekend together.

We finally did leave the city and head back for Gonzales.  New Orleans was a very different city.  The art and architecture is beautiful.  The people and culture are very free and fun-loving.  I definitely want to go back.
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