Over the next few days I( will posting about our trip to New Orleans - a sort of day by day play by play. I am writing all of this up to include in our trip scrapbook (which is almost done - thank goodness!), and figured I should be sharing it along here as well since I should have done a whole lot more writing before I left!
So lets get started with arriving in N'Awlins
Wednesday night, we arrived in New Orleans by plane, made it to our car rental and then hotel with a few hours to kill before crashing for the night.
We had decided earlier to head to Cafe du Monde since it it open 24 hours a day. After unloading in the hotel, we hopped back into the rental car, looked up Cafe Du monde in the Tom Tom - as a point of interest, not an address - and promptly got lost.
I'm positive that n'awlins has a deal with the makers of Tom Tom. If you are in N'awlins and say you want coffee --- you will be directed directly to alcohol on Bourbon Street instead.
So though we really never had any intention of walking Bourbon Street, much less at night, that's exactly where we found ourselves our first night in the Big Easy.
Parking in New Orleans is almost unheard of, it's very difficult to find a place, but we finally did on Iberville and decided to start hoofing it around the French Quarter. We didn't have our maps with us, only our currently unreliable Tom Tom, so we noted where the car was and took off on our own. I was trying to navigate from memory and we realized after we got back to our hotel that we had made it within a couple of blocks of Cafe du Monde, but I had seen something bright and shiny and turned the other way. The bright and shiny we saw was actually the entrance to Louis Armstrong Park on the exact opposite side of the quarter. But it was a beautiful night and just being out and about in the quarter was a rush.
Though I never felt threatened by any of the actual residents, there were a few times some of the tourists we came acorss made me a bit uncomfortable. Even though New Orleans has a pretty high crime rate, the drunks were far scarier to me than any of the "natives".
We made it back to our car, and on our way back to the hotel decided we needed some food. Oddly enough, our first night, we had a difficult time finding a place to eat, instead of trying to find something in the French Quarter, we decided to opt for something closer to out hotel. Problem was as we got closer to our hotel, just about everything was closed or closing. We actually ended up at a Chinese food restaurant!
It wasn't quite what we would considered a "normal" Chinese restaurant though.
We ordered a few different appetizers to share for our dinner. These included California Sushi rolls, egg rolls --- with alligator meat, and what they called "J-pops". These were incredible! HUGE jalapeno peppers halved, and stuffed with a crab meat/cream cheese mixture. They were drizzled with 2 different kinds of sauces, and both were just to die for. Would sure love to find a place closer that served those!
The egg rolls were smaller than what we were used to - probably about 1/3 the size of egg rolls served near us, and though they were good, I wouldn't say the alligator had any real distinctive flavor, but they were pretty good.
Back at our hotel, we got things planned out for the next morning - our first full day in New Orleans. Since we had the cemetery tour scheduled for Friday already, we didn't plan on heading back to the French Quarter 'til then. Thursday would be all about the Garden District and Uptown.