Boy, did we do a lot this weekend! Both of us were extremely tired after our fun-filled weekend, but we have recommendations now! And some suggestions of what not to do while you’re in New Orleans.
On Saturday, Michael and I drove into downtown New Orleans and parked near Canal Street. A little word to the wise, if you don’t know the streets of New Orleans, you should have an app like Ways or Google Maps helping you because there are a lot of one ways and cars and pedestrians are chaotic! Also, finding a parking garage on a map before heading into New Orleans might save you from some unnecessary stress.
One thing we learned was that don’t just cross the street because you have a walk symbol. Check both ways, because the drivers down here don’t care about signs of red lights… they will run you over. We ourselves and many others got to experience the close call of death a few times. Thankfully Michael and I are a couple of intelligent human beings, and we quickly realized the jaywalking was a much safer, if odd, form of crossing the street.
Once we got ourselves parked near the French Quarter, we went and quickly bought a trolley ticket. There are many places that sell them like Walgreens and other small grocery stores, or you can purchase it at some of the stations, assuming those stations are working. We found a couple that were out of service. The tickets don’t cost much, and for $3 each Michael and I both got a 24hr pass. The 24hr pass doesn’t start ticking away until the first time you use it!
We headed over to the Audubon Insectarium. Michael and I decided to stop by and take a look. While you are there, you can also buy a ticket to the Aquarium. A combined ticket is cheaper than buying separate ones. We decided we’ve been to enough aquariums, so we only bought a ticket to the Insectarium, which was around $20 per person. It was fun, and they had a vast assortment of bugs. There were beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, and centipedes of impressive size and color. We got some great photos of some of these remarkable insects that I will slowly put up on the Images section of the blog. Not only that, but they have some bugs that you can eat in the cafeteria. Yum! Michael wasn’t interested, so we went past without eating anything. Then we made our way into the small but pretty butterfly pavilion they have. They designed the pavilion to look like a Japanese garden. All the butterflies were radiantly beautiful. Definitely, a place to hit up, especially if you’ve got children in tow!
We’d heard some good things about Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street… to say we were disappointed would be an understatement. We did not find it to our standards. The beignets were not light and fluffy, more like dense squares, and the chickory coffee they are famed for was nothing special. You can find a full review on Google if you’d like because I (Lily) do have a lot to say about them. Main point? It’s a tourist trap, but don’t worry, later on, I will mention a beignet place that will blow your mind! If you do decide to go, they are cash only.
Then we walked around the French Market. If you’re looking for a trinket or something to bring back home, this is probably the place to find it. They have dresses that my mom (Lily’s) loves to buy when she’s in the Caribbean. The French Market also has alligator sausage on a stick that most vendors offer. Take a seat, have a beer, and watch all the people walking past! Or just wander through and browse all the items.
From there, Michael and I made our way to Frenchman Street, which he’d heard was a nicer version of Bourbon Street. I don’t know if I’d say it was nicer, but it was quieter and with fewer people… so I’ll leave it to all of you to go and decide for yourself. If you do go, don’t forget to hit up 30/-90 Bar because it was good! Great jazz, lip-smacking food, and good drinks!
Then we headed over to Bourbon Street. We passed through a few residential streets, which were stunning of course. The homes in the French Quarter deserve to be admired with a slow walk, or perhaps a horse-drawn carriage ride. Bourbon Street was interesting. Loud, but interesting. Michael and I only lasted a couple of blocks before we had to get off the noisy, crowded street. It’s worth a visit, but unless you like crowds and loud music, you might not want to stay for too long.
As we walked away from Bourbon Street, I (Lily) was looking around for a place to have some dinner. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a cute little alley between two buildings and noticed someone standing outside with a menu. We decided to take a chance after glancing over the menu briefly. We were taken inside, but they do have outdoor seating if you want, and it was so lovely. The dinner we ate was so scrumptious. We shared the New Orleans Sampler with garlic bread, and we each had a local beer. Highly recommend. It was only after our dinner was finished that we realized Triple D had stopped here! No wonder the food was so great. The name of the restaurant is The Old Coffee Pot, and this needs to be a place you eat!
While we ate our dinner we watched, what we believe, was a wedding. A man dressed in black and a woman dressed in white marched by with their reception in tow while holding umbrellas. It was a night to remember! You never know what you should expect.
Part 2 will be Sunday, and the blog will be posted on Thursday (11/8/18). I’ll mention the good beignet place in Part 2.