Farewell to the Big Easy

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It was a busy week this time around, we had Presidents day and this weekend to go and explore some more of downtown New Orleans. For Presidents day, we started off going to a historical tour of the French Quarter. We walked around the city and learned about the establishment, the history, and the modern changes that have happened since the city was founded. It was fun to hear about the history in addition to seeing the fun architecture.

After the tour, we headed over to Natchez Riverboat. Katie wanted to go on a steam boat during this trip, and this was the perfect chance. The Natchez steamboat is one of the few remaining boats still in operation today. The ride on the boat went up and down the Mississippi and took a total of three hours. We ate lunch on board and enjoyed the views from the boat. It was a step back in time.

Our final stop before heading home was to go and grab a bite at Cafe Du Monde. We sat down, had an order of beignets and hot chocolate and then called it a night. Our hair got a little wind blown from the steamboat ride.

On Saturday we headed back to New Orleans to see the famous cemeteries, a Mardi Gras parade, and take a tour of the historical Garden District. We stopped at one of the more modern cemeteries on our way to the garden district and saw many of the extravagant above ground tombs. Many of these tombs are used over and over again and can have as many as 20-30 family remains. Here are a few of the pictures we took at the cemetery.

Next on our stop we headed over to the Garden District. We had a tour that took us around many of the famous homes in the area. They are several celebrities that live there, and a rich heritage of architecture. Many of the homes look like they would make great haunted houses, and we had a fun time seeing them.

Our last stop on our trip was to see one of the many Mardi Gras parades that are happening. The parade we saw was put on by the Krewe of Sparta. It had a total of 14 floats and the beads were flying from them. For only seeing one parade, we ended up with around 40 bead necklaces. Where as other parades throw candy, these parades throw beads. It was fun to see the celebrations of Mardi Gras.

Thats it for Louisiana. Next week we are off to Lake Sinclair near the middle of Georgia. We are both looking forward to a relaxing month and seeing Atlanta and Savannah.

Into the Bayou

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This weekend had a lot packed into it. We started off Saturday morning by going to Airboat Tours from Arthur Matherne. The tour was about an hour and a half long and we got to see a lot of Louisiana's bayou water life. We saw quite a few alligators, birds, and various other animals. It was fun to go on an airboat ride and see parts of Louisiana we never would have seen otherwise.

After the airboat ride, we headed down to New Orleans to see the French quarter. We first went to Cafe Beignet and got a po-boy and some beignets for lunch. After that, we walked around in the quarter, went to Jackson Square, and the French market. It was fun to see the performing artists on the street and the New Orleans architecture. The quarter was very busy, but it felt like much of the rest of New Orleans was still recovering slowly from the hurricane damage. For dinner we ate at Tujagues. The building was over a 150 years old, but unfortunately the dinner wasn't as good as we had hoped. Here are some pictures from the trip down there.

To Louisiana and back again

For the start of this week, Aaron had a meeting in Virginia we had to go to. We got there Monday morning and then came back to Louisiana late Friday night. I was fun to see a little bit of Virginia, but didn't get to to do a ton because Aaron was working most of the time. When we got back though, we went to go see a little bit of Baton Rouge and the Rosedown plantation. Baton Rouge seemed like a nice city. Between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, I think I like the feel of Baton Rouge much better. We went and looked around the LSU campus and the state capital. We also ate at Coyote Blues Mexican restaurant for a late lunch. Coyote Blues was fun in that they gave you chips and three different salsas to dip to munch on while you waited for your food. It was a fun experience.

The Rosedown plantation was the only plantation that I saw that was run and preserved by the state. Most of the furniture was original or from the time period of when the home was built. Since this home wasn't near the Mississippi, the original trees leading up to the home were still in place and had a very neat look. This plantation was the last one we saw on our trip down here. It was neat to see the differences between the three plantations we saw and each of their unique styles from the different time periods they were built.