The reason we came to New Orleans!

Trip Start Dec 25, 2012
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Trip End Jan 28, 2013


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Where I stayed
What I did
Jacksons Square
The Swamp, Jackson Square, Mardi Gras Factory

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Orleans… the land of jazz music, Po-Boys, beignets, gumbo, jambalaya, oysters, shrimp, crawfish etoufee, The Swamps and Mardi Gras. All the reasons we are here in New Orleans, much more so for the jazz.

All the hype about Bourbon Street was a little bit of a disappointment as we felt that it was not a great representation of New Orleans.  We might just as well have been in James Street, North Bridge!!  Nevertheless, we thought we would queue up to see what the fuss was all about for grilled oysters, which were tasty, but our preference is still a la natural. A la natural oysters (the meat) were half the size of Patrick's palm -  delicious, plump, and juicy and went down very well  before our main meal and all for a mere cost of $1.00 an oyster!!   Each night we managed 18 between us! 

Of course, if you come to New Orleans, you have to go to the swamps.  Which we did…. And it was bitterly cold on the jet boat.  Attempts at finding an alligator in its natural habitat proved to be difficult, so we had to be content with holding a 4 year old alligator  hatched in a small environment, which stunted its growth, and the huge albino alligator kept in a pond!

New Orleans would not be New Orleans without Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).  Several hours were spent pretending being the court jesters, going around the Mardi Gras factory, where they make the floats and watching how they are made from scratch.  Groups of people (the krewe) who want to be part of the Mardi Gras donate thousands of dollars towards building the floats.  They get to go around on them during Mardi Gras, throwing fancy beads to the crowds and having a whole heap of fun. What a life!  Mardi Gras is the last day of the Carnivale season, and it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. 

Mmmm… we soon learnt that Bourbon Street was not the place to go if we wanted to listen to jazz, so our nights were spent in Frenchman Street listening to Jazz at the clubs.  

Visiting the Garden District was something that was not to be missed either, as this was where the huge mansions during the slavery days could be found.  We took a right turn of the main street and Patrick kept saying "Yeah Anne, no wonder they call this the Garden District"  Of course, it was the wrong turn… we should have turned left to see those beautiful mansions.  Incredible that on one side of the street, the homes were broken down, derelict and clearly a poor neighbourhood and the other side of the street displayed incredibly huge beautiful mansions.

What is the saying??? At every corner there is an Irish Pub… New Orleans was no different and with one just 2 minutes away from our hotel, each night ended up in the Irish Pub with a hot mulled wine in our hands to help us have a good sleep!!!   :)
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