We used the GPS just to make it easy but it's only a few miles from the RV park to the French Quarter. There was some construction going on on a few of the roads near the Quarter. See the barriers?
We parked in the parking lot near the Jax Brewery since the F250 is a big boy. The streets are pretty crowded and finding on street parking is pretty hard even for smaller cars so be prepared for the parking lot shock.
There were also quite a few buildings being renovated here and there. See the one on the left with the windows out?
You can learn a lot about the history of New Orleans if you just keep your eyes open. As you can see in this sign, it is very old.
A hundred years later, the Steamer "New Orleans" made it to the city by coming down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers which spurred further growth of the city.
So, how do you get around in the city these days? Well, if you are a resident, you might ride around on your three wheeler.
If you are a visitor, you might ride around in a pedicab.
You can also ride around in a mule drawn carriage. Or, like us, you can park your vehicle and walk around. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because there is a lot to see so you will do a lot of walking.
The first place we headed after arriving was to the French Market district.
We were headed to the building on the right with the green striped awning......
Ah, yes, you guessed it. We were on our way to Cafe du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets. The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It closes only on Christmas Day and on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans. The Original Cafe Du Monde is a traditional coffee shop. Its menu consists of dark roasted Coffee and Chicory, Beignets, White and Chocolate Milk, and fresh squeezed Orange Juice. The coffee is served Black or Au Lait. Au Lait means that it is mixed half and half with hot milk. Beignets are square French -style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar. In 1988 Iced Coffee was introduced to the cafe. Soft drinks also made their debut that year. The coffee is very strong so I recommend the cafe au lait which I can drink without sugar IF I have beignets. Otherwise, you will probably want sugar too. A visit here is one you won't want to miss as part of your New Orleans experience.
If you walk around the back side of the Cafe du Monde, you can see the beignets being made. The dough passes under a roller to flatten it and then a cutter cuts it into squares about 2" by 2". The man is lifting up the individual pieces and......
tossing them in the deep fat fryer right behind him without even looking!
You see art everywhere.
There are some newer buildings.
We walked up on the riverfront. There were several large ocean going vessels. There is a ferry that crosses the river along here.
And there is also a riverboat that you can take tours on. I think they even do dinner.
We found this New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park just behind the French Market and went over to take a look but it is closed on Mondays. Darn!
There are some benches in this area along with some more art and even free Internet.
I meant to go around to the other side of this little pocket park to see who this statue is but it's interesting because it's a woman leading the charge.
This is the Market Cafe. We ate there last year and the kids got their first taste of alligator--tastes like chicken according to them. They liked it better than their real chicken. I had a muffallato sandwich which was good but don't order a whole one because it is the size of a dinner plate. They cut it in quarters.
Then we made it to the actual French Market building.
where it was National Farmers Market week although we didn't see any demos going on and there is always music somewhere in the Quarter.
There are some fresh vegetables and other food items but you'll see more counters with food for sale and all kinds of tourist items for sale from sunglasses to crafts.
There are all kinds of shops and tourist haunts in the part of the Quarter.
You never know what you might see when you look in the door.
You can stop in this store and.....
get some Cafe du Monde coffee to brew at home and maybe some mix to make some beignets.
I enjoy looking at all of the buildings. Most of them are very old. Some are in good shape and some are not. Bourbon Street is colorful at night but a little seedy and dirty in the daylight. You just have to take it all in stride and enjoy it for what it is. As you drive around you will see plenty of houses and other buildings that look just about like they did after Katrina rolled through while next door is rebuilt.
This is the beautiful cathedral from the park in front of it. Be sure to take a look inside.
One of the things I like best about New Orleans are the wrought iron balconies and the plants and flowers on them. They hide a lot in some cases. Also, if you get a chance to peek into some of the apartment areas; most of them have interior courtyards like little parks.
Some of the buildings are very fresh and clean looking like this small hotel.
We had lunch at Coop's Place. I know, doesn't look like much but it is extremely popular with the locals. My DIL Helen found out about it from a local when she and Steve were here for a conference a year or two ago. A Decatur Street staple since 1983, Coop's Place is the place to go for a true taste of New Orleans at down home prices. Coop's was named after the owner's bulldog. Coop wasn't here when we had lunch but we got to meet him last year. The place is a bar, kind of a dive, but the food is GREAT. The kitchen is out back behind those doors, actually in another building. They have an outdoor cooker in the open area between buildings.
Sock Monkey tried to get in on Steve's Abita, a local beer.
Steve had the Coop's Taste Plate -- A cup of Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Cajun Fried Chicken, Red Beans & Rice with Sausage, and Rabbit & Sausage Jambalaya. I had a, okay, you can see above, I had the Coop's Burger. Both were delicious.
By the time we finished our early lunch, the inside which is not large was full and a line was beginning to form. Sometimes the line is half a block long so go early.
There is something to see wherever you look. Lots of artists booths. Some of the art is good and some is good in the eyes of the artist. I know, everyone is a critic.
You really need several days to see everything. Alas, we had only one day but we enjoyed it! Back to the RV park to relax, a walk for the doxies, some time in the pool to cool down, definitely the hot tub after it cools down. I thought it was humid in Florida but it was unbelievable here. They have had so much rain. It looked like a storm was coming in with lots of lightning and thunder so we got out of the hot tub but the storm blew on through without any rain and it sure felt better after.