Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Road Trip Day 1: New Orleans (June 3, a guest post by Miriam)

We left at 7:30 on the morning of Saturday, June 3. It was very hectic that morning, making sandwiches, filling up water bottles, and making sure everything we needed was in the car. Almost all of us were up before 6. The drive to our hotel was about 7 hours. We crossed over 4 states: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. We read three “Who was” books, about the Mississippi River, Hurricane Katrina, and Louis Armstrong. We were also assigned to read other books for the rest of the trip, most of them relating to what we were seeing that day, because being in the car for hours on a screen can be miserable sometimes.

On the way into New Orleans, we crossed over Lake Pontchartrain on a bridge that was 5 miles long. We were all surprised at how a lot of the damage from Hurricane Katrina was still there, not fixed. There were a ton of abandoned shops and restaurants, some of them still had the X-codes from Hurricane Katrina [Mom's edit: and blue tarps on roofs, held down by 2x4s that I assume were nailed to the roofs; I can only hope these were only from Hurricane Ida (2021) and not Hurricane Katrina (2005)].

We arrived at our hotel around 2:30, and took everything out of the cars (even the zipper thing on the top of the van, because New Orleans is.. kind of sketchy). We cooled off inside for a while, getting everything unpacked, and then we were on our way downtown. I wore a bandana that I made, and like Smee-me at the beach, I promptly was nicknamed Heidi, (from the movie “Heidi of the Alps” I think) by Grandpa.

A good shot of Miriam's bandana

Finding parking was horrible. New Orleans is much easier on foot, because everyone is on foot, but if you are in a car, then you move slower than the speed of a person, and what would have been a 5, maybe 10 minute walk, turned into almost 15 minutes of driving. But the view was pretty nice.

The places we really wanted to see were the St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde, and Congo Square. We also decided it would be fun to walk down Bourbon Street, which was… fun? (ish, in the words of Alexander: “That was not fun. Not for my body, but for my memories I guess it was fun”).

Phoebe entering Bourbon Street
Walking down Bourbon Street was fine (if loud) at 3:00 in the afternoon. It was less fine (and much, much louder) at 8:00 at night!

It was very loud, smelled bad, but we also saw some interesting things like people riding around on Segway's with snakes on their shoulders, and a wedding party coming from St. Louis Cathedral, and a marching band.

The parade going by

St. Louis Cathedral was a short walk from Bourbon Street, and it was so cold on the inside. After we were done walking around in the Cathedral, we went back into the oven, and walked across the street to Jackson Square.

St. Louis Cathedral

Andrew with Andrew Jackson (who he is named after, along with Thomas Jefferson...I mean, Thomas Jefferson isn't named after Andrew Jackson, but Andrew is named after both Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson)

It was really quiet there, there were only a few other people, and it was starting to cool down a little bit. We took some pictures by the statue of Andrew Jackson, and crossed the street to Cafe du Monde, and had 3 bags of powdered sugar with a side of Beignets (as it was Benjamin's Birthday) on the Mississippi Riverfront. He got some Mardi Gras beads from a street performer as well, so he didn't get nothing for his birthday.

I love this picture of Benjamin (looking very 11)

[Mom edit: We really did get powdered sugar everywhere, but those beignets were so tasty! We weren't the only ones to walk to the riverfront to eat; the stairs were covered with powdered sugar.]

A little out of order, but here we are standing in line at Cafe du Monde

And here we are having obtained our beignets

And here we are admiring the Mississippi River while eating our beignets

When the sun started thinking about setting, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel and to Congo Square. It was a straight shot to Congo Square from Cafe du Monde, but there were still plenty of interesting things to see.

Pictures of houses on the way to Congo Square

When we got there,
it was almost completely empty. We took some pictures by the statue of Louis Armstrong, and started walking back to the car. We walked down Bourbon street, in the evening which was definitely... an experience.

[Mom's edit: Grandpa was really confused about why New Orleans would have an entire garden dedicated to Lance Armstrong. He realized his mistake when we entered the garden and he saw statues of...Louis Armstrong.

Then he made another mistake by telling us his mistake. So we joked about Lance Armstrong. And then Neil Armstrong as well. I'm sure Louis Armstrong would have been laughing right along with us!

Grandpa's confusion was particularly funny, though, because earlier in the day as we were driving through Montgomery, Alabama, I had the following conversation with Rachel and Andrew...

Rachel: Zelda Road. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald. 
Andrew: Right, because they have a connection here. 
Rachel: Yeah. They owned that house where that guy lived…
Andrew: Robert E. Lee. No! It was…who...?
Me: First Whitehouse of the Confederacy. 
Rachel: Oh, yeah. 
Me: David Jefferson. 
Them: 😂 
Rachel: You mean Jefferson Davis!
Me: Close enough. 
Rachel: It’s okay, Mom. You’re Canadian. You’re excused. 
Me: Oh, come on! My guess was closer than any of YOURS were and you both laugh at me. Sheesh! So I couldn't remember Jefferson Davis's name and Grandpa couldn't land on Louis Armstrong in his mind and we all had some good laughs about it. Sometimes things are hard to access from the dusty corners of our cluttered minds. End Mom's edit.]

Here we all are making strong arms for Louis Armstrong

When we got back to the hotel, we microwaved some macaroni and cheese (which I definitely want to eat and see again) and watched the Princess and the Frog, because it was set in New Orleans. [Mom's edit: Miriam is lying. She does not want to eat microwavable mac'n'cheese ever again. And the little kids have cancelled PB'n'J forever. But we saved so much money by not eating out!]

[Mom's edit: I'm not sure where to fit in these pictures, but here are some more pictures of the French Quarter... Miriam has some lovely shots on her phone, I think, so perhaps I'll convince her to add some more.]

No comments:

Post a Comment