Thursday, March 22, 2012

A New Orleans Vacation

We have returned from several days in New Orleans, a delightful vacation break! Today's photos are all from the French Quarter, which we visited a couple of times, riding the excellent street car system to various destinations from our hotel on a quiet, beautiful, tree-lined block in the architecturally rich Garden District. I think we enjoyed the best of both worlds by visiting the razz-ama-tazz in the daytime and staying in a quieter (though still urban) area. Historic mansions made exploring the Garden District fun, and Magazine Street, a few blocks from our hotel, is famous for antique shops, boutiques, and galleries as well as some lovely restaurants. We strolled down to the Lilette Restaurant there for an elegant, delicious French meal our last evening in town.
Our first afternoon, we hopped on the streetcar after settling into our room (a $3 day pass got us all the rides and transfers we wanted--a real bargain--and no parking headaches or expense), riding to a stop near Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. A mule-pulled carriage with a friendly, lively driver provided us with an orientation tour of the Quarter--a fun, relaxing way to get a feel for directions and to learn about the area. The photo of the building corner gives a flavor of the lovely places and beautiful balconies there. Then we stood in a verrrrry long and slow line for the famous beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde nearby--quite tasty, but once was enough for us. Besides, they are so filling that a serving of 3 beignets each around 5 PM left us too full for any dinner that evening!
Jackson Square's main attraction is the St. Louis Cathedral, seen in two photos, outside and in. Historically fascinating, the basilica remains an active force in the life of the city today. The final photo shows a jazz group performing across from Jackson Square. The stairs on which the listeners sat lead up to the promenade along the mighty Mississippi. In a future post, I show you photos from our paddle-wheel boat ride the next day.
Although I love to travel, this particular trip was more my husband's desire than mine. However, I kept an open mind and was rewarded with a much richer, more interesting experience than I had expected. Of course, there is amazing food and the well-known nightlife in New Orleans, but there is so much more--in historical neighborhoods, natural beauty, and southern charm. We both thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
Question of the day: If you have visited New Orleans, what were your impressions of the city?


  1. your photos make me want to visit New Orleans! i love its architecturally rich Garden District. :)

  2. N'Awlins is a city I've never had a desire to visit. The one thing that does attract me, however, is that gorgeous architecture. If I could spend all day every day seeing the architecture, finding antique stores and visiting the art district (I think I saw that New Orleans does have an art district, or an artists' colony somewhere close by), then it would definitely be my cup of tea. As long as it wasn't too hot or humid! LOL So glad you had a good time though, Mary!

  3. I'm with you, Cher; the Garden District was a real highlight for us. We are so glad we decided to stay in a hotel in that area. Friends who know our interests advised it, and I did quite a bit of research while planning the trip. It paid off.

    Sherry, I had felt the same way, but since Mark has so often accommodated my preferences for travel, wanted to do the same for one of his choices. And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Sometimes, limited expectations lead to great appreciation--I had not expected to like visiting New Orleans as much as I did.

  4. This was fun, Mary, glad to follow along on your trip

  5. Thank you kindly, Robin. I'll soon have a couple more posts with photos from our New Orleans trip. It's good to hear from you!