We got back from our trip to New Orleans the day before yesterday and oh, what a lovely trip we had! I really liked New Orleans. I certainly went expecting to like it, but the city surprised me with its graceful loveliness and charm. We stayed in a hotel just outside the French Quarter (more in downtown) and we walked and walked and walked to everything through our whole trip, exploring and eating and having fun. There is a lot of contrast in the part of the city where we spent our time, streets full of quiet old brick buildings dripping with elaborate wrought iron existing next to streets dominated by frat-boy neon-lit establishments which would sell you a beer-bottle-shaped plastic container that looked to hold about a liter of something noxious. All in all, it was a more appealing city than I was expecting, however, full of beauty and grace.
I am glad that we did so much walking because, oh, how we ate. We had beignets and muffulettas and etouffee and jambalaya and po'boys and gosh, I can't remember what else. Both Grace and Violet were huge fans of the beignets and we went back again our last day, despite the HUGE mess they made. Cafe Du Monde puts, seriously, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar on each order and it turns out that 4-year-olds cannot quite deal with that without covering their entire fronts with white powder. Oh well, what can you do?
We went to the Louisiana Children's Museum one day (we got in FOR FREE because they are a partner museum with the children's museum here in Dallas where we are members) and had a lot of fun there. It was in an old warehouse district with a bunch of the warehouses turned into different museums and art galleries and lofts. We also went to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, which was quite wonderful with sting rays you could touch and glowing fantastical jellyfish and fish galore swimming around in giant glass tanks. And we rode the ferry that goes from Canal Street to St. Algiers and Gretna (also FREE-- hooray!); boats are always fun.
In a conversation with my mom after our return, I learned that one set of my grandparents spent their honeymoon in New Orleans, which made me immediately wish that I could somehow experience New Orleans circa 1950 or so. Sure, we had a lovely time and it was beautiful, but wouldn't it have been even MORE fun with men who wear hats and fetching shoes and really full skirts?