We finally made it to New Orleans! The last time we tried, there was a major storm cell going through and we decided to bypass New Orleans all together. Well… the weather caught up with us yet again! As soon as we rolled into New Orleans, there were tornadoes touching down, weather warnings, and even sirens at times. All is well but it was not a warm welcome.
Our first day in the area was mainly a low-key day at the state park where we got setup, listened for tornado sirens and figured out what we were going to do in the city the next day. A shout out to Roy for a very comprehensive list of things to do! Not a huge shock, but there’s a lot of food, culture, and nightlife.
Since we only had a day in the city, we wanted to get up and get out early. We made it into the city by 8:30AM. Can you guess what’s going on in New Orleans at 8:30 in the morning? Not much. The only thing happening in the city at that time are deliveries, setting up your stand at the French Market, hosing down sidewalks from the debauchery the night before, and tourists devouring beignets from Cafe Du Monde. You can’t go wrong with coffee and beignets to start your morning! Even though we wanted to gorge on beignets for breakfast, we needed to use some semblance of self control to not order more and stuff ourselves for the day.
After our sugar filled breakfast, we needed to walk about the city and do some exploring. New Orleans is definitely a walking city but watch out where you walk, especially in the early morning… oh, and wear shoes… close toed shoes. Almost all the establishments were out hosing down their sidewalks with a mixture of Pine-sol and bleach. We can only assume that they needed to hose off the leftover booze, vomit, and other things that we don’t want to imagine from the night before. Brings a picture to mind, huh?!? During our walk about, there were quite a few businesses and apartments prepping for Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras. The city finally started to liven up around 11AM; live music, open businesses and people out and about.
Before grabbing some lunch, we headed over to The Presbytère: State museum with Hurricane Katrina & Mardi Gras exhibits in a former courthouse built in 1813. We found the Hurricane Katrina exhibits and information to be well worth the time and the Mardi Gras stuff was an added bonus. The exhibits are very powerful and help visitors relive the events and emotions of those impacted. When you move upstairs to the Mardi Gras exhibits, you are confronted with an uplifted spirit complete with elaborate costumes, jewelry and Shea’s favorite… doors to the restrooms that are actually porta potty toilet doors.
We took everyone’s advice and stopped off for some po’ boys for lunch. Unbenounced to us, NOLA po’ boys are ginormous footlong sandwiches filled with shrimp, lettuce, mayo, tomatoes, and other goodness. I (Shea) had no issues polishing off the monstrous sandwich! There are plenty of options for food and things to do in the city, but we recommend waiting until after 11am to find what suits you best. After lunch, we walked around quite a bit more before deciding that we saw enough. We swung by Cafe Du Monde once more and got two more orders of beignets. We may or may not have demolished both bags within a few hours of making it back to Little Red – so much for keeping them as a breakfast option for the next day. Since we had a schedule to keep, we packed up and headed towards Houston to meet up with the Dodds first thing the next morning. We are slowly making our way to the RV Entrepreneur Summit later this month with a few stops along the way. More about our adventures in Texas to come!