Sunday, March 20, 2011

Strangers in a Strange Land (And I Kind of Like It!)

Jacob and I left Friday morning for New Orleans.  We took a slight detour to the Rangers Stadium in Arlington, TX to hit the cool store they have FILLED with anything and everything Rangers.  We got some little shirts for the boys and a few other cool things.  Then, hopped back in the car and headed to Shreveport -- where we got a motel room and spent the night. At one point we were driving down the interstate in the Dallas area behind a semi and things kept pelting us from the truck.  We noticed a swarm of something on the back of the truck and realized it was full of bees and hives.  Jacob laughed and said, "We're being pelted by bees!"  Needless to say it was an interesting drive.  Shreveport was a dirty and interesting city.  The hotel room wasn't horrible, but it wasn't super nice, either. At one point in the middle of the night we heard a strange high pitched sound.  I told Jacob I didn't know if it was tires squealing or some woman screaming.  When we got up the next morning and the coffee pot didn't work -- well, I was ready to get out of there.  We stopped at an old, nasty truck stop for coffee and honey buns and got right back on the road.  We stopped a few times a long the way -- Tourist information buildings had free coffee, restrooms and were VERY clean and had the nicest people inside.  We stopped to eat too. We finally made it to New Orleans around 4:00 PM yesterday. The GPS system got turned around in the French Quarter so we ended up driving around turning left, turning right, turning left. The French Quarter is nothing but one way streets that were made before cars so they're not really wide enough for cars.  PLUS there are herds of pedestrians and people on bikes all around. We finally (with sighs of relief) reached our hotel entrance.

We got settled into our very nice room and then went walking around.  We saw a parade -- which I loved.  They were blaring music that I enjoy (Pop and hip hop), people were dancing, little boys were on floats wearing little tuxedos and little girls were on floats wearing little white dresses.  They were throwing flowers and beads and, needless to say, I enjoyed it.  Jacob asked if I wanted beads at one point.  I said, "Yes!"  People were fighting over beads (well, not literally, but you had to move fast to beat people to them) and suddenly a guy threw a string of beads and hit Jacob with them.  He laughed, picked them up, and placed them around my neck.

We walked around the RiverWalk area and saw the Mississippi River.  It was really interesting -- and very beautiful!

We tried a Neptune Pizza last night.
My best friend will cringe when she sees this picture because of the tomatoes -- but wait, Denisa, it gets better. ;)  This pizza is one of THE pizzas of the area -- shrimp, crawfish, roasted garlic, tomatoes, and a TON of cheese.  It was delicious!

This morning we decided it would be fun to walk to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets for breakfast.  The cafe is a mile from our hotel, which isn't bad.  We took off this morning and there were other people walking around, the streets in certain areas (the farther we got from the hotel) were still dirty from the parades and parties of the night before.  We saw a shirtless young man stumbling around one little road -- have you ever watched a zombie movie?  Well, that is what he looked like.  It was the creepiest thing.  Jacob and I learned at that moment, as we hurried past him, that we could walk really fast.  Ha. We walked past a park where people were sitting and painting, selling their paintings, and visiting with passers by.  It was really neat.

We finally made it to Cafe Du Monde, which was a cute little place.

We ordered our coffees and beignets as well as some beignet mix and, since the place was filling up, and seating was already becoming limited, we got our breakfast to go and walked back to the hotel.

On the walk back we saw the "zombie" trying to get into a mini van.  The door was locked and he just kept pulling on the handle as if he thought it would eventually open if he yanked on it long enough.  We also saw a man sleeping on the steps of a building.  We walked a little farther and a man and woman walked past us with their young children.  I thought, "Oh the things those kids are going to see!"

This is a beautiful, yet dirty, fun and interesting city.  We have enjoyed ourselves so far and plan to try and visit the Mardi Gras World Museum today (if all goes well).

If nothing else we can now officially say that we've been here.
Oh, and my brave and wonderful husband can now officially say that he HAS, in fact, actually driven in the French Quarter.  Have I mentioned he's my hero?  ;P

Until next time . . .


  1. So many neat things! I can't wait to see more pictures! I'm glad you are getting to enjoy all the culture! And I'm proud of Jacob for his navigational skills! Love you! Have fun!

  2. Hey! So glad you are posting. I didn't even think of it until Jacob asked if I had seen it. Shows how old I am -- if a person is out of town, she is away from her computer, thus she is away from the Internet. Duh. Enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures. New Orleans is truly another world -- there is no place else in the USA quite like it. Your little boys are still asleep and it's after 7:30 a.m. :-)