The last few days we have been simply taking the ferry over to the city of New Orleans and doing several different walking tours that we found by doing an internet search for free tours. The first walking tour was the Riverside walk. Sharon found an aplet for her android phone that provided a narrative by John Goodman about the landmarks we would encounter as we walked along the riverfront of New Orleans.
We got off the ferry to stroll past the River Front Fountain, the Aquarium and then made our way down along the river through Woldenberg Park. Here we saw the Holocaust Memorial and wandered around it as it changed like a kaleidoscope providing different artistic images at every angle. As we walked a bit further we spotted the Steamboat Natchez plodding along the Mississippi River and as our narrative explained it was one of the few remaining truly steam powered boats As we headed toward town we were guided past the Jax Brewery to the outdoor amphitheatre and along the way we saw many mimes and street entertainers. The amphitheatre had attracted a big crowd where some comedian/gymnasts generated lots of laughter and applause. Next we made our way into the French Market enjoying the last of the historical narrative. We wandered inside as I was hoping to buy some Rex branded Blackened Seasoning but was unable to score any this time around.
We opted to not have Coffee and Beignets with the throngs at Café Du Monde but decided instead try the Café Beignet. The beignets were served hot and we enjoyed the less crowded venue where we could leisurely enjoy our treats. We then took a lengthy walk around the Jackson Square and the French Quarter all the while pausing for photos of the architecture and other interesting sights. Later in the afternoon we stopped at The Embers which has an overhanging patio giving a great view up and down Bourbon Street. For happy hour we were able to buy a fairly decent priced bottle of Chianti ($22.00 per bottle) and the bottle was an easy choice after comparing prices for a single beer or a glass of wine. It also gave us a chance to relax and reenergize after our long walk as we chatted with our friends Holly and Randy while people watching from the patio… Certainly a great spot to watch a wide variety of people from all walks of life here in New Orleans.
Another day we took a self guided walk in the Garden District that Sharon found online. To get there we went over once again on the ferry and bought a $3.00 all day pass for the trolley. We got on the trolley at Canal Street and took a very
crowded transfer at Bourbon Street to the Garden District. I had printed out the walking tour for Sharon and as we passed by each landmark we were able to read about the history and characteristics of each home.Each of these 1800's mansions have quite an interesting history and many of these historical houses are now owned by the likes of Anne Rice, Sandra Bullock, Archie Manning and John Goodman. Another highlight was reading about the house where the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, had died in in 1889. He lived quite a long life for people back then.
We stopped for a little happy hour at Superior Seafood in the Garden District and then took the trolley back into the French Quarter. One more stroll around the downtown area and then as we made our way over to toward the Ferry we decided to stop in for a bite at Cafe Masperos, a pretty decent eating spot but with only so so service. One other evening we stopped at a small corner restaurant near the river front. We didn’t review this restaurant before walking in but this is New Orleans so it had to be good. Right? Well Sharon and I ordered a sampler platter of red beans and rice, shrimp creole, gumbo and jambalaya. Every one of the items would not have rated above average and the creole well below average so we learned our lesson not to chance a stop anywhere without first reviewing the place online.
A few more days left here then we head over toward Mississippi as we slowly make our way towards Gaffney, SC for the Freightliner Class…