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New Orleans Day 4- Boxing Day

Photography Credits AlexisFam Photography, unless otherwise indicated.

A quick weather check today showed that rain and fog was on the way.

Not wanting to let anything get in the way of sightseeing, we left the inn early and went on to take a walk along Decatur Street again. I simply love walking in the morning- seeing the market vendors start about their day and arranging their wares for sale, shops opening up for business and the smell of fresh coffee is just plain bliss.

We started our day by having breakfast at the Market Cafe on Decatur Street.

This is poached eggs in Creole sauce. Absolutely delicious and the biscuit is totally to die for!

I had a shrimp omelette with grits. Never thought grits could taste so good!

After that hearty breakfast we took off to walk in town.

On the way I saw that Central Grocery Co. was open and the legendary Muffalettas were on display. This is how they look like:

We had planned to take at least one carriage ride whilst in town, and I was still debating whether or not to take one that day given that the weather had been quite awful since we started our journey. A kind gentleman waved to us and asked if we would like to join his tour, as he was loading his carriage up and would be leaving soon.

Turns out that we were in for a historical treat. Howie, our tour guide is a retired history professor and now takes tourists on carriage tours, assisted by his mule, Scarlett O’Hara. They share a very close bond and we couldn’t help but look in awe at how Scarlett obeys the traffic lights (and also mischievously slows down whenever she thinks Howie is not looking). “Beat the light, beat the light Scarlett” Howie growled when we were a few seconds from the lights turning red, sending all of us into peals of laughter.

Some interesting facts:

-Under the law mules must be used instead of horses

-Mules carry a lot more water than camels, and are resilient to the heat compared to horses

The tour lasted an hour and we cobbled through the well trodden paths in the French Quarter. The tour also included a guided tour of St Louis Cemetery No. 1. Amongst the interesting facts we found out from Howie during the tour were:

-Louisiana was named after King Louis XIII of France and his wife, Anne of Austria;

-The origins of Jazz and Storyville;

-Early versions of jazz music were played in brothels to provide entertainment for clients;

– Mardi Gras masks were invented so that people of different classes could go to each other’s balls, unnoticed

-Slaves in New Orleans had rights not to be shackled and abused, they had Sundays off and also, most importantly, the right to buy their freedom.

St Louis Cemetery, also known as city of the dead is worth visiting with a tour. Try and avoid visiting the cemetery on your own as the neighbourhood can be a bit rough in that area.

Amongst the famous people buried there, include the renowned Voodoo Queen- Marie Leveau. Her tomb is marked with signs for good luck and also offerings.

The highlight for me was obviously an empty plot purchased by Nicholas Cage:

We really enjoyed our tour with Howie and it felt like we were having a history lesson with a difference. I would have paid a lot more attention to my history lessons if they were imparted on a horse carriage! :)

The heavens poured upon us once the tour ended and we took refuge in the serene surrounds of St Louis Cathedral. I had wanted to enter the cathedral since the day I landed but due to the festivities the cathedral was closed. As my sister said third time’s a charm and we managed to go in and admire the¬†spendlour¬†and grandeur of the interior of the cathedral.

St Louis Cathedral is one of the few cathedrals with a fusion of French and Spanish influenced architecture.

A sense of calm engulfed me as I entered.

Lit a candle- I always do, whenever I am in a new city.

We had to take refuge momentarily on the streets when the rain got a tad too heavy- I was beginning to feel a bit worried that the wet days would potentially ruin our trip. Oh well guess I was getting ahead of myself as today was the last day the heavens opened. We had glorious sunshine for the remainder of our trip.

We walked to St. Peters street to check out whether the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was playing tonight. Turns out there was a match (that explains people shouting “Who Dat” on the streets and wearing All Saints jerseys) and therefore the band would take a break that night. Oh well- might as well grab a bite then whilst we are at it.

We went for lunch at the Gumbo Shop, and this was what we had:

An alcohol free strawberry daiquiri

A chicken andouille gumbo

Seafood Okra Gumbo

I have to say, it is Day 4 and I have yet to have a lousy meal in New Orleans. Either I am not that much of a food snob, or food is just good by default in this city.

Tip: There are two Gumbo shops which look pretty similar along St Peter’s Street. One is just next to Pat O’Briens (the creators of the Hurricane drink) and one is another shoplot away. Both are good but my preference is probably the one near Pat O’Briens.

The skies cleared a little and we carried on walking around town, after lunch.

We also tried the pecan pralines, a local sweet treat.

I could about manage half a slice before the sugar rush hit my head- clearly not for the faint hearted!

As it was quite wet the whole day we ended up walking in the Riverwalk Marketplace along the river. There was a lot of fog on the Mississippi and this added to the eerieness in the atmosphere.

Finally hunger pangs hit and we went to K Paul’s Louisiana for dinner.

K Pauls Louisiana kitchen is owned by renowned celebrity chef, Paul Prudhomme.

As luck would have it we were one of the earlier ones in line so when the doors opened for dinner service we didn’t have to wait too long for a table.

The interior was very warm and welcoming:

This was what we had:

From the bakery- an array of mouthwatering bread which included: Jalapeno bread, bread with molasses, regular bread and corn bread. Yums!

Deep fried frogs legs with onion rings. I thought Mulates served better frogs legs

I had the Eggplant Pirogue with Seafood Atchafalaya, this was very good!

This is deep fried veal with seafood atchafalaya, the veal was exceptional!

And to finish off we both shared a dessert- bread pudding with hard sauce:

Verdict: Great tasting bread, disappointing frogs legs, exceptional mains and also lovely dessert. Might come back but we will see.

And having had enough of the rain, we cabbed it back to Marigny and called it a night.


The BEST holidays

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