During the latter part of our visit to New Orleans, we slowed our pace down significantly. We wandered the French Quarter, took the St. Charles Avenue streetcar through the Garden District, met more RVers, dodged tornadoes, and continued to shovel food in our faces at an alarming rate. So yeah. We slowed down. Sort of. Not really.
We spent several hours on different days strolling through the French Quarter, checking out the architecture, taking in the talents of the various buskers, looking for signs of Mardi Gras (which is February 28 this year), and people watching.
Here are a couple photos from our meanderings….
The French Quarter by Day
And by Night….
The first signs of Mardi Gras…
Jackson Square is the epicenter of activity in the French Quarter, especially on the weekends. The park is surrounded on all sides by various artists and performers displaying their talents to the tourists and residents wandering around.
There are painters….
All types of musicians….
And this guy: “Saint Vader”….. dancing along to George Michael’s “Freedom” and “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang.
Yeah. I don’t know either….
In the slightly more acrobatic category, was “Dragonmaster Showcase,” a group of street performers who I later learned auditioned for America’s Got Talent a couple years ago. We happened upon their show just as it was about to start. Apparently, they are in their late 40’s and have been performing together for thirty years. Which is insane. Especially when you watch a 49 year old do stuff like this:
Kevin even managed to get this awesome photo of one of them jumping over eight people before landing in a somersault on the pavement.
Speaking of thirty years, as if on cue, this guy rode by, realized there was a large audience watching, came back, and started showing off….
The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar
New Orleans is home to the nation’s oldest continuously operating streetcar system. While there are several lines currently operating, the St. Charles Avenue Line is the oldest, and travels through some of the most interesting neighborhoods. On a beautiful warm day, it’s nice to just hop on and ride the line out to the end.
After leaving the French Quarter, the street car runs through the Garden District which is home to some pretty snazzy houses….
…and then through the neighborhoods in and around Tulane and Loyola. We headed to a little neighborhood restaurant near the end of the line for dinner and drinks, and then took the streetcar back to the French Quarter.
Speaking of dinner, I think we can all agree that no one wants to listen to me describe all the delicious food we ate over the course of our time in New Orleans. But I think we can also all agree that if I’m going to take pictures of every meal I eat, someone is gonna have to look at said pictures. And that someone is you.
Oh, and by the way, if Kevin’s cardiologist is reading this, “Hi Dr. F. We’re REALLY sorry about this, but could you do us a favor and just close your eyes and scroll down 5 clicks. K?? You’re the best! Thanks!!”
Ok, so now, without further ado, it’s New Orleans Food Porn Collage Time!!!!
More RVer Friends
When not disappointing cardiologists and dodging middle aged men dressed as Darth Vader, we met up with another RV family: Jeff, Anna, and their son Owen, from Big Big Trip. We spent a couple hours over drinks and munchies comparing notes and trading stories of our inauspicious beginnings in the RV world. I thought my injury was pretty bad, but they easily bested me with tales of explosive doggie diarrhea, flat tires, ticks, and renegade water faucets that turned on while they were driving down the road (they have a travel trailer, so they didn’t know water was flooding their house as they were driving)….. Talking to others who also went through rough starts continues to be seriously therapeutic. More importantly, they, like us, are now having a great time.
Mother Nature Reminds Us, Once Again, Who’s In Charge
In the midst of all this fun, we spent a somewhat nerve-wracking morning hunkered down in Barney while tornadoes were touching down just a couple miles away. Oddly enough, we’d purchased a NOAA emergency weather alert radio after all the severe weather in Grayton Beach, but we hadn’t set it up yet because New Orleans didn’t seem like the kind of place we would have to worry about tornadoes. How wrong we were.
Luckily, we were aware of the impending storms because I had checked my normal weather app the night before. However, we were expecting thunderstorms, not tornadoes. Turns out, we weren’t alone in that belief. When things got really bad, we started getting push notifications on our iPhones through the Emergency Broadcasting System. I’ve never been crazy about our phones tracking us, but it was comforting to know that when REALLY bad stuff was happening nearby, our phones would provide vital information. In the meantime, we pulled up our regular weather radar to track the storms. Here’s what my phone looked like that morning:
Needless to say, after that experience, we promptly set up our NOAA radio and have made updating it as we move from place to place a high priority.
Two Down, One to Go….
I’ve got one more post coming regarding our time in the Big Easy. In real time, we’ve now made our way into Texas and are enjoying a lovely beach-side campsite on the Gulf. We’ll be in the Lone Star State for eight whole weeks – which, from what we’ve heard, is about how long it takes to drive from one side of Houston to the other.
Where we stayed: French Quarter RV Park