Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Orleans (Jan. 11, 2012-Jan. 18, 2012)

We had planned a week for visiting this area, but it was evident after the first several days more time was going to be needed to see and do everything on our list.  We made priorities on the list and worked from there.

First on our list was the famous French Quarter.  We devoted a full day (two four hour visits) to experience the Quarter.  Our first trip was on a late, cool, blustery morning and we walked all over the area taking lots of pictures and sampling a few of the many bars on Bourbon St.  This part of the city is devoted strictly to tourism and there certainly was not a shortage of that.  Even on a weekday and in the middle of January the place was packed.  We were told that in the evening, every evening, it is wall-to-wall people and they do tend to get rowdy as the night wears on.  That may have been our time years ago, but, alas, we decided not to put ourselves in that situation.  We'll stick to the daytime.

Next on our list was a driving tour of the old sugar plantations along the Mississippi river.  There are quite a few of these plantations that have been restored to some degree or another.  Our plan was to go up the east side of the river and return to our RV via the west side of the river.  We took the Boys with us because we did not intend to tour any of the plantations at this time.  This trip took the better part of a whole day and we were not as impressed as we thought we would be.  Many, save just a few, were in disrepair and were not open for tours.  We did, however, mark one for a tour: The Houmas House.

The Houmas House, described during its antebellum heyday as "The Sugar Palace.", is the "Crown Jewel" of the New Orleans area plantations.  Click here for a short history of this beautiful house.  The video shows only some of the awesome restoration that the current owner has made on this place.  If anyone wants to take a plantation tour, skip everything else, drive yourself to the Houmas House and take the tour.  Well worth the price and time.

Our last sightseeing day was back at the French Quarter.  We started early to miss the rush hour and had breakfast at the Cafe Du Monde.  This place should be on everyone's visit list.  Located in the market next to the river, it serves their famous Beignets (pronounced ben-YAYs) and coffee making it a perfect breakfast for walking around a city.

We finished up what we wanted to see in the Quarter and made it back to the Boys by noon.  The rest of the day was spent preparing to depart for Spring Branch, Texas, near San Antonio, the next morning.   Spring Barnch is where my brother lives and we planned to spend a few days with him and his growing family before heading on further west.

Our next visit to New Orleans will have more time devoted for seeing and doing what we missed.  At least another week, possibly more.  For now, though, we are happy to have seen and done what we had the time for.  It exhausted us, though, and we are looking forward to some down time.  Not sure when that will be though.

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