New Orleans – March 19, 2011 – French Quarter
We woke up to a beautiful day. We went and ate our breakfast, which is one of the best parts of B&B’s. One gets to interact with the other guests in a casual setting, usually seated at the same table. On this morning we met a couple from Spain, who were living in Chicago. Nice people, enjoying the USA. Finished up and headed out with John and Cec. Big day planned, lots to check out in the Quarter, then the House of Blues for Rafael Saadiq that evening.
We headed straight for the Bourbon Street area, a massive amount of people. The bars never close in the Quarter, literally. After exploring, we ended up in the Jackson Square area, a focal point of the area.
There are a large amount of street vendors etc in this part of town as well as entertainers.
This type of “Busker” entertainment is everywhere. We have seen in almost every place we go, and is an interesting way to earn. Busking is a fine art these days, the good ones are very good, then there are the ones who are not so good. At any rate, Lori and Cec enjoyed the show and we were off. We made it at least half a block before we decided to do a buggy ride through the Quarter. These are pulled by Mules only by civic law as they handle the heat better than horses, apparently. I will have to take their word on that.
The tour was interesting and informative. Cost was reasonable ($15 American per person) and lasted around 45 minutes. As a rule, we like to do these types of excursions in new places as you truly get a feel for the touristy stuff and quickly figure what and if you want to see something close up.
Once finished, we quickly realized it was time for lunch. Being in the Jackson Square area, there are huge amounts of restaurants. Another instance where we got lucky. We walked in at Muriel’s and they had an available table. WOW!! Service, unbelievable, decor awesome, food, spectacular. We could not have found a better place. Afterwards, I checked it out on Trip Adviser and it was rated at 6 of 893 restaurants in New Orleans. A well deserved rating. http://www.muriels.com/
We left the restaurant and carried on, hitting the waterfront and watching commerce flow on the Mississippi. BIG river. We continued our stroll along Decataur St. and headed for the B&B to prepare for the evening.
We departed and grabbed a cab to head to the House of Blues and supper in the area. http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/neworleans We ended up ditching the cab as there was a parade and one could not get from point a to point b unless one walked. According to the driver, the French Quarter continually has parades, making it very difficult to get around. So we walked. Ended up at a run of the mill pizza joint, ate then started over to the concert, when sure enough, a parade blocked our way.
This was, I think, a Shriner thing, lots of motorcycles, lots of dune buggies, and of course people throwing beads. Lori got some beads, which kind of rebounded off her head and appeared to be thrown from a passing dune buggy.
Finally, we made it to the concert, went inside and found a great spot to watch an absolutely spectacular band. Rafael Saadiq. Funny story, we booked this trip and were listening to music. A song came on by Rafael, and we both thought, I wonder if he is playing while we are there. A quick search and yes, he was playing. Needless to say, we jumped on that in a hurry.
In the video I took, I apologize for the sound quality in places. I suggest turning it down a bit. I-phones and bass guitars don’t mesh very well. Having said that, and it is not that bad, pay attention to the 2 backup singers. They went hard for 2 hours, definitely in great shape, and great singers as well.
After an excellent 2 hours (he was scheduled for 1), the band literally forced him off stage. He was having a blast. We left and started touring the Quarter at around midnight. We ran into a tradition in town known as Cafe du Monde. A huge coffee shop on Decataur St, open 24 hours and huge, and busy and outdoors. Had a Cafe au Lait and we shared some Beignets, a local delicacy, basically a doughnut type pastry smothered in icing sugar. http://www.cafedumonde.com/main.html
And that was then end of our day, wandered back through party central, it is crazy along Bourbon St and headed home. Big day on the next as we were going cruising, and Gord and Cheryl would be here now.