Laissez les bons temps rouler! (New Orleans: 11.24-11.29, Part 3)

And now for the final part of the story of my trip to New Orleans.

Tuesday morning greeted us with rain.  We opted for a more leisurely start to the day.  We bought a few food items to take with us on the trip before leaving San Antonio, and decided to just eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast before heading off to check out the Crescent City Farmer’s Market.  The rain and chill made it difficult to enjoy as much as I would have liked, but I did buy some fresh Satsuma juice and a cheese tamale.  And Chantel bought some homemade muscadine jelly, which turned out to be fantastic.  Then it was off to the Audubon Zoo.  We pretty much had the place to ourselves because we got there right when it opened and it was a very drizzly day.  So, with umbrellas in hand, we frolicked through the zoo and met loads of cute animals.  By the time we were finished with the zoo (which was HUGE), we were quite hungry.  We went to the Fat Hen Grill, where I ordered Eggs Creole and a fresh blueberry lemonade.  It was super yummy.  Their biscuits are especially good!  After that we went on the longest walk ever through Audubon Park in search of The Labyrinth.  Once we arrived and realized how easy it was to access, we were sort of kicking ourselves for going about it the long way.  But our walk did allow us to see lots of adorable squirrels and ducks in the park.  And I thought walking the labyrinth (a concrete path on the ground) was pretty fun.  We didn’t have any plans for the night, but we did drop by Lafitte’s for another Voodoo Daiquiri, which we took back to the inn and sipped on while watching TV and browsing the internet.

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Wednesday morning we ate at River’s Edge Restaurant.  I had the smoked sausage omelet.  It was simple and yummy, and was served with an order of grits.  I’ve had good grits before, but I never realized how much I liked them.

During our ghost tour we were told a story about a doctor who used to buy slaves and experiment on them in hopes of finding a cure for his own disease.  The place where these events occurred is now the Pharmacy Museum.  Supposedly there have been reports of people feeling as though they are being pushed as they try to go upstairs.  After hearing that, Cynthia wanted to go to the museum in hopes of experiencing something supernatural.  The museum was really cool, and we did hear some spooky creaking as we walked around, particularly upstairs.  However, we didn’t feel or see anything out of the ordinary.

We did some random shopping after that, and stopped by Le Croissant d’Or for an afternoon snack, a chocolate croissant.  Then we went into the shop at the Old Ursuline Convent, which we heard tales of on our vampire tour.  Cynthia bought some gifts for her mom before we went back to the inn to rest until it was time to leave for our jazz dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez.  We were worried we didn’t leave early enough and had to wait for a train to pass before we could cross over to where the boat docks, but we made it!  Dinner was good, and so was the music. After we ate we walked around on deck and watched the city lights drift by as we traveled up and down the Mississippi River.  There was something magical about it, and I don’t think we were really ready for the night and our trip to come to an end.  We joked about taking our last five dollars in cash to Harrah’s Casino and seeing what we could make of it, but decided against it in the end.

Thursday was our departure day.  We munched on our snacks in the room, did some more random browsing/shopping, and bid farewell to New Orleans.

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I was so resistant when Cynthia first suggested going to New Orleans a couple of years ago. Now that I’ve been, I would definitely go again. There’s a magic in that city, and it’s full of interesting people, delicious food, and fantastic things to see and do. Tales of ghosts and vampires (and the attractive fellows who tell those tales) don’t hurt the city’s mystique either. I easily fall in love with the places I visit, and I’ll admit that I think New Orleans kept a little piece of me. That little piece of me is probably wandering the French Quarter at this moment, listening for some interesting story or seeking some new adventure.  And the best part was being able to share these experiences with Chantel and Cynthia.

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