Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The 2004 Adventure, January 27 2004, Touring and Dining New Orleans

The campground shuttle picks us up at 9 AM, delivers us downtown New Orleans to the Grey Line Bus tour office. We have several hours before our tour begins so we walk around and eat! Al will prove my prediction that he will eat his way through New Orleans before the day is over! We start at Cafe du Monde for coffee au lait and hot chocolate and beignets. Oh, lordy, those things are good. Sinful is more like it.

By the way, we are starting to see a pattern we are not sure we like, but, you have to laugh, or cry??? When we toured the Florida Space Center a couple of years ago, it was cold. I mean COLD! As you have read from this years report, when we toured the Space Center in Huntsville Alabama it was COLD. Guess what the weather is today in New Orleans? Yep, COLD! I did not expect this, but they have wind chill numbers in their weather reports! I think the wind chill here is about 20 degrees.

After our warming breakfast, we tromp back out to the sun and chill. We don’t go far, end up eating again. Al had crawfish, I had a hamburger. Then some more shopping/walking, etc. OK, I did buy some Mardi Gras beads. And a small face mask. Al bought HOT peanuts! (Does that surprise anyone??) Anyway, our tour is about to begin, we board the bus.

They drive us 40 miles around New Orleans, telling us numbers and facts, history and stories. Something about 4200 bars in New Orleans?? WOW! Later we find out why, some of the bars are smaller than my master bathroom at home! They are tucked in everywhere. There are many beautiful churches, homes, and of course, the above ground cemeteries. They stop and give us some very graphic details about burials in these cemeteries. Very interesting, and of course, a photo opportunity!

After the 2 hour tour, we walk around the French Quarter again, and we eat AGAIN! Al has jambalaya, more spicy food! We walk Bourbon Street, shall we say it was “interesting”? The music was loud, the drinks were 3 for the price of one. We opted for a beer in plastic cup and kept on walking. Some of the homes and businesses are starting to decorate for Mardi Gras. The predominant colors are green, purple and gold. Large ferns hang from many of the balconies. The architecture reminds us of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. There are historical markers on many of the buildings, making for some interesting history lessons.

Our bus is not due to pick us up until 5:45, a very long day for us (and for the yorks, back at home in the 5er). By about 4:45 we are back close to our pick up area, resting. We have walked quite a long way, the weather is brisk, and enough is enough!

Bus trip home is quiet, we are not the only ones tired!

Tomorrow we will go back downtown for a boat tour via the Mississippi, however, we will take the city bus and trolley system down, the campground bus home, we won’t be gone quite as long, and will have a few hours in the morning to do a few errands.

We have been watching the weather reports on TV, see that the midwest and northeast and even North Carolina and South Carolina have been hammered with horrid weather. Kerry wins the New Hampshire primary.

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