louisiana · Uncategorized

Garden (District) Party!

Originally published on 23 November 2015.

Happy Saturday from New Orleans! Turns out I had no trouble getting up that morning, thanks to being a wonderful hour behind the East Coast! I’ve never been a strong sleeper, especially not in a strange bed, so I was up before the sun and had plenty of time to enjoy a morning walk to Café du Monde to meet the boys by 7:00. I left around 6:15 or so and gave my Love a call because he was already up himself.

I arrived at the café a bit before 7:00, and while I was still on the phone with Steve, who walked by but Amanda and Bill! They were so in love and unaware of their surroundings that they didn’t even see me! I was not about to bust in on their breakfast date, but it sure was cute to see them!

Stan and the boys arrived a few minutes later, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to attack the day! I know some women go to New Orleans to pick up men, but though that was not at all my intent, there I was with four handsome gents! We did in fact take a picture:

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Stan had said that if I made it there to meet them at 7:00, he’d buy me a beignet, and he did indeed make good on that promise—and a coffee, too! I had fun hanging with the boys for a while, and I even persuaded them to pick me up for church in the morning. On their way out, I had the pleasure of introducing them to my friends, who hadn’t even noticed we were there until I walked up! Again, I did not intend to be a third wheel on their date, but in true gentleman style, Bill insisted I sit with them for a while. I really do have the greatest friends!

Back to the B&B! It’s a nice walk in the day time. Breakfast was buffet style, served in the lovely parlor. The Parisian Courtyard Inn B&B is truly lovely—antiques everywhere; ornate, Victorian décor; lace tablecloths and doilies galore. Now sure, the beignets were good, but I knew for myself that I’d be needing some protein to get me through until lunch, so yes, I had another breakfast. After walking three miles round-trip, I figured I’d earned it!

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Now to the Garden District! There was a free tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and the Garden District starting at 10:30 that I wanted to take advantage of, but Tracey and Amanda were moving a bit slow that morning. And why not? They were on vacation! So I decided to set out and take advantage of the rest of the morning.

The tour was great! I didn’t know I needed to sign up in advance, so when I got there, the guide, Kat, had to put me on standby. And fortunately for me, one person didn’t show. There was actually a party of four ahead of me, but since there was only one no-show, Kat had to tell them they were outta luck, but I was in luck! Hooray!

We meandered through the cemetery for about half an hour and saw many wonderful crypts! Turns out they’re like mini crematoriums. It gets so hot inside the above-ground graves that the bodily remains turn to ashes and get pushed back when a new body is ready to go in—no less than a year and a day from the time the last person was put in.

Then we set out for the larger portion of the tour through the Garden District, which is apparently where all the celebrities live! I’m not particularly interested in where famous people live, but I was along for the ride! New Orleans just surpassed NYC and LA as the #1 filming city—movies, TV shows, music videos, etc.—which is pretty cool. I had no idea! What I also didn’t know was that the Garden District only suffered some wind damage from hurricane Katrina in 2005, no standing water or anything else like that.

We saw Sandra Bullock’s house, John Goodman’s house, the Benjamin Button house, and the biggest house in town—11,000 square feet! We also stopped by a couple of Anne Rice’s homes and the house Mark Twain visited often when he was in town. But my favorite house, of course, was none of those, but it was the oldest in the area—dating back to 1730! And it’s been in the same family for six generations now.

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Kat and I exchanged cards—tour guides must stick together, you know—and if she makes it up to DC, she’ll have her own personal tour guide! She also gave me directions to the restaurant where I’d be meeting Amanda and Tracey for lunch, and a suggestion on a good café in the area called City Perks. I got another crazy mid-day coffee (iced mocha to be precise) and headed toward Charcoal’s Gourmet Burgers on Magazine Street.

Amanda and Tracey met me there with a delightful surprise… a street car day pass! I got the elk burger, and both the girls got the antelope burger. It was great! Trying new meats is fun for me!

After lunch we took an unofficial tour of the Garden District, including celebrity houses! I couldn’t remember everything, of course, but we hit some of the highlights! Next stop: my B&B, which the girls loved! I’ll admit it, most B&Bs are kinda girly.

We were starting to get pretty pooped at that point (at least I was!), but I still needed to get some Christmas gifts from downtown, so we walked in to town (the street car was way behind schedule, so walking was the best option for us) and found a great candy store! The girls got me a sweet potato praline—yum! And oh so Southern!

Just as we hugged goodbye and parted ways to go to our respective lodgings, I turned around, and who was there but Stan’s dad and one of his brothers! I gave them both a hug because that’s what good Southern folk do, you know. Too funny to run into them at random like that!

So then it was time to make my way back to the B&B, but not before a quick stop at Starbucks for a mug to add to our collection! Much to my dismay, however, the first Starbucks where I stopped was out. And the barista told me there is a SHORTAGE of New Orleans Starbucks mugs! So I tried a couple more Starbuckses that were nearby, but they were closed. I’d just have to try again tomorrow!

This is what I dreamt about that night…

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Goodnight to all. Stop back by soon and hear about our last full day in New Orleans! It involves a larger than life dessert and a duck washing, so get ready!

 

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