When planning this drive to CO, I hadn’t initially planned to go to New Orleans, primarily because it was so far out of the way.
But, I also didn’t want to drive in a straight line to meet our son, and wanted to make more of a trip out of it, visiting friends and family along the way, and new places, too.
The day I previewed my route with Duncan, my husband, he asked if I could be in NOLA for the weekend, explaining that he’d like to rendezvous with me there.
So, this was a wonderful surprise! And we quickly set about getting a hotel reservation. Duncan had recently read an engaging review of New Orleans and of The Old No.77, a boutique hotel and former chandlery in NOLA’s Warehouse Arts District. We secured the hotel reservation there and also a flight reservation for Duncan.
I’d be in NOLA to pick him up Friday, early afternoon.
Friday, April 26, 2019
I awoke before the alarm went off at the LA Welcome Center and went straight to the ladies’ loo to brush teeth and wash up.
I folded up my bedding and picked up I-10 bound for New Orleans a little after 6:00 AM. I was accompanied by a host of morning commuters, too!
Within 30 mins I was on the twin-span bridge, driving over Lake Pontchartrain.
Once I saw the city, I knew I was going to be OK!
I found the hotel and drove around the Warehouse District and the French Quarter to get my bearings and maybe some breakfast. I landed in Daisy Duke’s for breakfast, a spirited 24/7, just as they were changing shifts. After breakfast, I walked around the neighborhood.
Photos in the album visually document, more or less, my time in NOLA:
Friday morning I took my time exploring the area around the hotel, eventually grabbing a quick lunch at Lucy’s before driving to the airport to pick up Duncan.
We got settled in our room then had a celebratory drink in the hotel bar.
Afterward, we headed for dinner at a restaurant down the street, then, in the opposite direction, to explore music in the French Quarter. We finally wound up at The Spotted Cat, thoroughly enjoying the stylings of New Orleans’ Washboard Chaz Blues Trio and the club’s vibe. The streets were lively all around and we walked about some more before taking a pedicab back to the hotel, where we had a Sazerac at the Compère Lapin bar. I found it a bit of a rough drink…not at all smooth.
The morning of Saturday, April 27 was bright and clear. I woke up feeling well rested, apparently ready for an early walk to Cafe du Monde for coffee and beignets. We were seated by 8:10 AM, noting our good fortune almost immediately thereafter, for there was now, incredibly, a queue running the length of the restaurant and extending to the plaza next to it. Even at that hour a New Orleans brass jazz ensemble was in full swing on the sidewalk.
We crossed to St. Ann Street to explore Jackson Square Park and the Cathedral of St. Louis IX of France.
From there we walked the length of St. Ann Street to Louis Armstrong Park. We decided not to take the official cemetery tour, happy to meander the streets, eventually walking along the Mississippi River Promenade and back to our hotel neighborhood.
At about 1:00 PM we went for a satisfying (and light) lunch at Pêche, as my good friend David had recommended we try. Afterward, we turned up one of the streets in the Warehouse Arts District, where we noted a number of galleries. We chose to go into Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, based on the art we could see from peering into the gallery’s window. The main show was Kat Flyn, and there was other artist work there, too. Powerful stuff. Before going back to the hotel we had a pour-over coffee at this quiet place, and talked about the art we had just seen.
Once back at the hotel, I took a power nap, showered and dressed for our night out, and met up with Duncan, downstairs in the hotel bar.
We walked up Tchopitoulas to St. Ann Street again. A good friend had recommended that we order a Sazerac at Muriel’s in Jackson Square. It did not disappoint! Not at all like the rough drink I had had last night. This one was quite smooth.
My friend Leslie had recommended Green Goddess Restaurant, which was lovely al fresco vegetarian/vegan dining and a short walk from Muriel’s.
Sunday morning was another gorgeous day. We had a recommendation from one of the hotel bellmen to go to Mena’s Palace for breakfast, a local favorite. Black tables and chairs, tin ceilings, exposed brick walls. It was delightful and delicious.
Back to the hotel and we enjoyed a Bloody Mary garnished with bread & butter pickled green beans! (That proved the inspiration we needed to do our own pickling of green beans from the CSA and share with our neighbors at home over the summer.)
I drove Duncan to the airport a little later on and I stayed another night. Then, I checked out Monday morning and began the long drive to Georgetown, Texas.
Image credit: Mary Ann Stewart, 2019