A Little More Mardi Gras

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Site Five At the Park

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Sunday, March 6, 2011

Got out of the park early this morning intending to go to La Cafe du Monde for a quick breakfast and then off to church.  Good plan, but not to be... The line at the Cafe was about half a block long, so we had breakfast just across the street, The River's Edge Cafe.  We each had an omelet, both of which were quite tasty.  The coffee down her is excellent!  Full bodied and rich to the taste.  Wakes a person right up too!  Our server, Kenneth, did a great job in taking care of us.  He's a teacher, by training, and is waiting tables as a temporary job, since he's just re-located from Houston.  He'll be reading this, so I'd best watch my punctuation and word usage.  A picture of him is included below, however, he does smile very well and made us feel very welcome in New Orleans.  All of the folks we've met have been very friendly and curious about Montana.

After breakfast, we walked a short way to the Cathedral of St. Louis, named after a renowned King of France.  It's the oldest cathedral in the US.  This version was built between 1849 and 1851.  There's been a church on this site since early in the sixteenth century.  It's a beautiful place with an outstanding organ. The short video will give you an overall impression of the interior.  The Cathedral is a basilica and the home church for the Archbishop.  He celebrated Mass and did the homily.  I stayed awake, mostly, so he must be rather adept at what he does.  The church was packed, what with all of the folks here for Mardi Gras.

Oh yes, parking.  There were virtually NO parking places in the area, but we were near the Cathedral and looking for the church parking lot. I asked a policeman in the area where parking was and he directed me to the school lot.  A very friendly man there told us we could park for Mass, but had to move our car immediately thereafter, since all would be locked up until Wednesday.  If we were late, our Sooby would be towed.  Hmmm, made a definite impression on us.  I didn't say anything to Sooby, so's he wouldn't have any undue anxiety.

After Mass, we got a bit confused as to where the lot was located, but leave it to another friendly New Orleansaner... new word... we found our way there.  A fellow I had visited with when trying to find our way tipped me off to some relatively cheap parking near the cemetery... only $20 dollars for the day. We found the area, but found free on-street parking just about a half mile from the French Quarter.  

We wandered around the Quarter and ran into another parade, much larger than what we had seen yesterday.  We each snagged a strand of beads and went on our way.  We got into much larger crowds of revelers.  We went back to the square and happened upon a zealous character, with a mike and sound system, telling us all about Jesus and how we could save our souls.  I'd heard the story before, so we went on our way.  One interesting thing we saw was a police officer on a Segway, doing crowd control.  This is about the third time we have seen Segways on our trip.  An interesting device, for sure.

We spent some time in the French Market area and bought a few gifts for some folks.  We also went to lunch.  It was getting on toward two o'clock.  We ate at Franks' Italian Restaurant.  By now the sun was out, so Lynnie asked if we could be seated outside.  We went up to the upper level of Frank's but no tables were available on the balcony.  Lynnie had a corn and crab bisque.  I had a local favorite, Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage.  Mighty tasty, I must say.

When we finished lunch, we hit the streets again, to find that the revelers had turned it up a notch. We lined up for beignets at Cafe du Monde and soon were standing at a table.  It was still covered with the remains of what the previous diners had had.  After several minutes, it was cleaned and our order was placed.  The beignets and coffee arrived soon enough.  They are DELICIOUS, I must say.  We savored every morsel and I even tested the powdered sugar to make sure it was tasty on it's own.  It was.

Oh yes, the revelers... They were loud and boisterous, but harmeless.  Why the increased revelry?  Must have been the sunshine that did it.  Or was it the moonshine?  Nevertheless, we managed to find Sooby and got on the highway back to the park.

New Orleans is a great place to visit.  Had it been at a quieter time, we would have done more sightseeing.  We had a self-tour map of the French Quarter that I had downloaded an printed.  There were just too many happy folks and many places closed for Mardi Gras.  I had been here in my youth, enroute to USAF school in San Angelo Texas, but this time was a real treat.  If you haven't been here, put it on your Bucket List.  It's really worth it!

By the way, I've increased the quality of the videos I have taken today.  I hope that they are easier to view.  Feedback would be great.  
We're off to the east tomorrow, somewhere in Mississippi for a couple of days before visiting our nephew James in Ocean Springs.  We'll be here again tomorrow with another entry.  I hope to see y'all again.
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