Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Day and Night in the Big Easy

We stopped at Cafe du Monde for beignets (above); went to the Central Grocery Co. for mufuletta (below right), and finally at Pat O'Brien's for a hurricane.

DAYTIME: So Josh calls at 9 a.m. -- a.m.!! "Thought you said not to call before noon?" "Wake up if you want to see anything! This is New Orleans, darlin. You gonna miss it if you sleep!" Wake up Rach, let's go.
Really nice breakfast spread. Ok, so I was upset about the water (or lack thereof), but they fixed it, and they had a computer to borrow, and this beautiful breakfast spread. They even have CoffeeMate creamer in huge pump bottles -- two kinds! There were waffles -- make your own -- fruit, pastries, cake, rice mix with peppers and mushrooms, yogurt, jam, toast, bagels and cream cheese, cereal, juice, and of course, coffee. Two kinds of coffee, plus decaf! Amazing. Lots of time and effort, along with thoughtfulness went into this spread. We spent some time eating and relaxing -- in our jammies -- before we got ready to spend our last day and night in New Orleans.
We're pros at the trolley thing now, so after we freshen up, we go downstairs to get on it. Marco gives us money. Wait, let me repeat that: Marco gives us money. We didn't give him dollars for change. Nope. He just gave us quarters for the trolley. Enough for a round trip each. Wow. I'm really liking this place. Remember that -- and seriously -- Thank You, Jennifer. Parkview Guest House. Great place to stay (especially if you don't have thick hair).
We get on the trolley, make the trek to Canal Street. First stop: Harley Davidson. Voodoo Harley Davidson! Just a few stores down is one of our destination goals -- Cafe du Monde for beignets. But wait! Across the street is a very exciting destination: Central Grocery Co. So what to do first? Beignets or mufuletta? Time for an executive (that would be me) decision. Beignets first. No Rachel, not one order to share. One order each, please. They were still warm and had so much powdered sugar, I thought my tongue was going to spaz. Ok, deep breath. Get ready for a tastebud orgasm.
Mufuletta at Central Grocery Co.
Surrounded by Italy. Posters from Sicily. Men with NY accents and big noses. Flashback. Did I just go back to the homeland? Wow, this place is great!
Michael, did you know about this one?
By the time we left the deli, we were both stuffed. We knew it was time to go back to the B&B and freshen up. Get ready for our exciting night --
VAMPIRES AND HURRICANES: Back on the trolley to Canal Street, cross to Bourbon. Get ready for this one -- Pat O'Brien's: Home of the original Hurricane. Pat O'Brien's sells food, too, so there's a place designated just for drinking (you know, as in a bar?) and you have to be 21 to enter through the gate. You are supposed to be ready to show ID. The guy sees Rachel's ID, and then just waves me in. What? No, you did not just dis me! The other guy, the actual ID checker guy, sees the distress on my face, and asks to see my ID. He is my friend. Yes, he is my friend forever.
Rachel is a lightweight. And she drank her Hurricane fast. She's slightly tipsy -- and she wants another! (Don't worry, Anna, I didn't let her.) When you get a Hurricane at Patty O's (as the natives refer to it), you pay an extra $3 for the glass -- in case you want to keep it. They'll even wrap it for you. But if you don't want to keep it, you can get a refund. Personally, the Hurricane was okay. I'll take my Blue Moon with an orange slice. Though I did have a slight buzz as we left for vampire town...
We are how New Orleans is surviving these hard economic times. We the tourists. I recommend everyone go to New Orleans. Soon. But wait till the summer's over.
There are people all over the streets, trying to make money. They play drums (with and without real drums), other instruments, pose as statues, and even tell jokes. Yes, tell jokes. A man dressed as a pirate tries to make Rachel laugh (I think he has a crush on her). He wants her to laugh so she'll tip him. She comes back with a few of her own. Sorry, pirate dude, you lose. No tip for you. (I gave him a buck for his persistence.)
I wasn't really impressed with the vampire tour. I think I was really tired, my feet hurt, and it was dark out. If it had been light, I would've enjoyed it more as the tour guide was telling some great history and pointing out some great buildings. I wouldn't recommend the tour at night, especially if you're tired. But it was interesting.
The best part of the evening was the trolley ride back to the hotel. The night before when we were on the trolley, there were some frat boys who were slightly (!) drunk. One of them, who is my new best friend, guessed my age at 32. I love him. Anyway, they were on the trolley again, this time not quite so drunk. We waited a while for the trolley to come, and to overcome their impatience, I suggested we play a singing game. They weren't very good at it, and the trolley came soon enough, so no more game. But the singing continued ...
We engaged most of the fine folks in the trolley car in an original rendition of "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey. I looked up lyrics on my phone, and we had a regular ole sing along. There were other songs we attempted, but "Don't Stop Believin" was the most successful.
New Orleans is a place I will always remember.


  1. Ok, you have to blog the jokes that Rachel said back. And did she make the pirate laugh? And yes, she is a lush. You should ask her about the Elk's Lodge and USSR! I am amazed you got the whole car to sing. Wow!

  2. I am not a lush, I just enjoy alcohol...A LOT. I told the man my classic pirate joke... what is a pirate's favorite letter? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... That was my Ricky's favorite joke. :)