Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 4: French Quarter and Jumbalaya

Day 4, Wednesday: New Orleans, LA
No Driving

Our Hotel, Country Inn & Suites By Carlson New Orleans French Quarter, was lovely. We paid a good price on Expedia and it had a small outdoor pool in a courtyard, beautiful (though small) rooms, a great lobby and an excellent complimentary breakfast - scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast burritos and so much more! You can see how cute it is below.


We woke up and enjoyed a leisure breakfast and time to lay about in the room until our New Orleans friend, Amber, came to meet us at 10:30. We were so excited to see her - we met her over a year ago at our friend Candace's wedding - she stayed with us for a few days and we just loved her. She is so sweet. She drove in from her hometown an hour away to show us New Orleans and catch up with us. We started the river walk from our hotel deeper into the French Quarter and to Cafe du Monde for treats. It was lovely. We chatted the whole way.




I LOVE the JAX sign. 


A beautiful catholic church in the heart of New Orleans - looks like a fairy tale.
Though up close it's got homeless people and tarot card readers everywhere.



The famous Cafe du Monde - recommended by EVERYONE


Amber, me and Paul


Me and Amber - love this girl!


We had such great talks with Amber - what a treat to be able to pick up where we left off May 2011 and dig deep into wonderful conversation. We talked together, laughed together and prayed together. It was wonderful, wonderful time. We only wish she lived closer!

And we got to try Beignets - also highly recommended. Fried dough with icing sugar. Oh my word. And Iced Coffees. It was a perfect answer to a sweaty, hot day. 





All gone!


Then it started to rain.
Torrential rain, like only happens in the south. 
Look outside the windows below!


Then we wondered outside (complete with newly purchased ponchos).
The rain continued.


So we wandered into some local shops and found so many types of hot sauce.
Paul was in heaven.


We found many fun things to play with.


Then we wandered in the rain down to the French Market - there was so much to see everywhere.





And so much to buy!


Everywhere you looked there were more gorgeous things to take pictures of.
The architecture in the area was phenomenal.
Picturesque at every turn.








We headed back to the hotel to dry off, then take a dip in the pool, have a nap and get some rest from wandering the streets for a few hours. We wanted to be in top shape for a night out - dinner in the French Quarter and a stroll down Bourbon Street. The rest was appreciated as this is a walking town. 

We picked the Gumbo Shop for dinner. We both got mixed plates and got to try all the New Orleans best: Shrimp Creole, Jumbalya, Gumbo and Shrimp Etouffee. Wow. So good. The Shrimp Etouffee was my favorite - I would eat that again in a heart beat. 



Then we strolled up and down the French Quarter, ending up at Bourbon Street - which was at once fascinating and horrifying. 





Bourbon Street






We saw this store.
It was ridiculous.
So much pink.


We finally headed back to our hotel around 9 to rest and go to sleep early since we needed to be up at 6am to head to Austin, TX to see Paul's mom. But as we were trying to sleep we noticed crazy bright light outside our bedroom window - we peered out to see them filming a movie. When we called the front desk to enquire about it it turns out it's a Denzel Washington movie, called Two Guns or something like that. Because of the filming we kept getting interrupted by security knocking on doors asking different things like, to close the curtains without leaving a crack or to turn off lights, etc. It was interesting - and we found it fun, not annoying. And I managed to sleep through most of it, despite the security guy having to come in at one time to fiddle with the phones. 


All in all we enjoyed New Orleans - it's beautiful, even in the rain. We wouldn't walk down Bourbon Street again - far too much nudity at every level. But the entire day was fun and we enjoyed the entire experience - and best of all we got to see the lovely Miss Amber. All in all it was a perfect trip. 

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