I've been absent from the scene for a little bit, but lately I have been reading the blogs of some other writers and have become inspired again. So to catch you up on what's been going on since last we met...
Remember Our List - It's the list made up by the hubs and me and it includes anything we can think of that we want to do, places we want to go, things we want to try. We crossed a major one off the list earlier this year:
New Orleans Jazz
We did this trip up right, and even made it about more than just New Orleans. We started the week by flying into San Antonio, where we rented a car and booked a room at the Westin Riverwalk. The Westin was perfect for us, because while on the Riverwalk itself, it is far enough away from the most touristy areas to be accessible, yet quiet. We were able to see all of the Riverwalk, visit the Alamo, and even venture downtown to take in parts of San Antonio's Fiesta Days (we just got lucky!). We stayed for just a couple of days, then headed off to explore the Gulf Coast by way of South Padre Island, Corpus Christie and Galveston.
We experienced our first shrimp po-boys at a little diner in old town Baton Rouge, then made our way to NOLA, where we returned the car to the New Orleans airport. We took a cab into the city because, seriously, who needs to pay outrageous parking fees for a rental car to just sit! We splurged on our hotel in New Orleans and stayed right on the Mississippi River at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Easy walking distance to the river, downtown and the French Quarter allowed us to:
- Have cafe au lait and beignets at Café Du Monde:
Worth the wait in line to experience this outdoor wonder of deep fried sugary deliciousness!
- Then on to Jackson Square and a first glimpse at the incredibly rich history in this area.
- Bourbon Street is everything that you've heard, and then some.
That being said, I was so impressed by the number of shopkeepers I saw out hosing down the sidewalks and sweeping up to keep the area looking nice. And just one block in either direction and you are surrounded by some of the finest galleries, eateries and really amazing architecture.
Did I mention that I tried my first oyster??? Barbecued at Drago's, those little suckers are shucked right in front of you, placed on the grill and doused with parmesan garlic butter while the flames shoot up. When they are served, they are still bubbling, and are accompanied with a small loaf of crusty bread for soaking up all that goodness. Now don't get me wrong...like you, I thought "Ewwwwww, oysters!" But oh good Lord those things were amazing! They even warned me NOT to try a raw oyster any time soon. I've experienced the best, and any other oyster will just be a step down.
I could write a whole blog post about the New Orleans food - from gumbo to jambalaya, it seems like we just ate our way around the city. Yum, yum, yum... made the whole trip worthwhile.
But the icing on the cake, our real purpose for the visit, was the music to be found everywhere you looked, in bars and on street corners.
- New Orleans Jazz!
Watching these performers all over the city made my heart sing and inspired me to return home and attempt to learn to play my saxophone! But that's a post for another day...