Sunday, November 6, 2011

N'Awlins With Kids

After last night's (Halloween's) late night fun, we had a leisurely start to the day before we packed up the families to head into New Orleans ("N'AW-lins") for the day. First a stop at the local waterway, then a walk through the French Quarter ("the CAW-duh") for some history, treats and local eats.

We drove the few blocks to the banks of the Mississippi (can we call levies banks?) and dipped our toes in, threw rocks and kept our eyes peeled for snakes. The channel was much wider here than I'd expected. (It's tough for my brain to translate Google Map scale to Real Life scale. Hence the 10,000-mile road trips.) Sure, cruise ships and barges travel up and down the river daily, but I thought the river, with all of its improvements and dredging had been entirely altered to something more akin to the Los Angeles River. Instead, we found an expansive stretch of muddy water that looked nearly as serene as a lake, but we were assured the current here is not something to fool with.

On to N'Awlins where we were first greeted by the steam horn from the Natchez (steam wheeler) as it pulled off the dock for its next tour. We all had a delicious lunch featuring local favorites at "Gumbo Pot" - Jambalaya, Gumbo, Crawfish Ettoufee and, for some of the younger set, spaghetti with meatballs, of course. E really enjoyed her Jambalaya, and Our Hostess and I enjoyed the bartender's Bloody Mary and Hurricane, respectively.

Then it was off for a walk through the French Market where we had our first pecan praline (OH! YUM!) and some "shoe sole pastry" - a large, thin, light pastry oval with cinnamon and sugar - a fun, crumbly treat to share on a walk through the Quarter.

Our Hostess did a great job of diverting the kids' attention so they entirely missed the XXX shop we passed off Bourbon Street, and we skipped Bourbon Street per the recommendation of everyone we met along our way. With kids - not so great. Grandma Lynn had advised we hit up Cafe du Monde for beignet, so, with such a late, filling lunch, we opted for a dinnertime snack of the sopapilla-like, powdered-sugar-encrusted treat and, for the grownup set, coffee at the outdoor cafe before climbing on a carriage for a sunset tour of the Quarter.

Note to Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Doug - On your next visit, you might want to check out the wild animal park of yesterday's post, of course you'll head to Cafe du Monde, and try Miss Odessa's treats in the French Market, and check out the Blacksmith's (with kids in tow, the candle-lit tavern wasn't a stop we could make, but it looked very enticing).

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