Saturday, May 28, 2011
We started off the day driving down to the RiverFront for our ride on the steamboat Natchez. We had lunch on the boat and road up and down the mississippi River for two hours. It was a great time and the breeze was really relaxing and appreciated!
We were able to see some things from a "different" point of view, including the lower 9th ward and some of the destruction still quite visable from the river. Even though the river was above it's normal level, it was just so difficult to imagine what it must have been like when 80% of the city was underwater.
After our trip on the steamboat, we headed over to the free shuttle to Mardi Gras world and went on that tour. WOW! The tour guide explained that none of the props used on the Mardi Gras floats gets thrown away. They are repainted or redecorated in other ways and eventually reused. Mardi Gras World does 80% of the props for the parades, and the warehouse we toured was just one of twenty. The props were just incredible, and it really made me want to be able to see a Mardi Gras parade in the flesh someday instead of just watching one on the internet. Just don't know if I can handle that many people in one location at a time!
After Mardi Gras world, we made it back to our car, then back to the hotel and took a taxi out for our dinner at Arnaud's at the corner of Bienville and Bourbon Streets. I had Oysters Kathryn with wild mushrooms and gazpacho soup, while Mike had Black drum fish Mitchell and Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce.
We hadn't been there long when we were approached by a waiter who had heard about a search for a specific coffee we were on. Mike's sister had sent us a text message requesting we bring back some "Wake the Fuck up" coffee and said it was on St Phillip street. It wasn't. This waiter was able to give us a better idea of where we could find it though, in a store on Decatur street, NEAR St. Phillip street -- that had a bunch of cajun spices and an alligator in the store. Once you've been to New Orleans, you realize that describes about one half of the actual stores. We made our way to Decatur street (Mike with a hand grenade) and did indeed find the elusive coffee at a store called Jazz Funeral. After stopping for daiquiris, we made it further down to decatur, finally to a cab and back to the hotel for the night.