On our last full day in New Orleans, Hubby and I still had some things to tick off our “must see” list, so we arranged to meet up with Sis and BIL later and we headed off down Esplanade Avenue, the street our hotel was situated on.
Esplanade Avenue has a grass boulevard running down the middle of it, lined with large oak trees, and plenty of attractive homes and townhouses intermingled amongst shops and cafes.
As is common in the French Quarter, almost all the homes were adorned with wrought-iron lattice-work and lots of gorgeous greenery.
I really liked how even the little alleys between the homes were alive with plants.
While in New Orleans, we never once felt unsafe, nor did we witness any type of violence, but the seamy underside to the city was attested to by this church monument on Esplanade. There’s an entire wall covered with hundreds of names, of mostly young people who have died as the result of violence. A very sobering tribute.
The morning skies were overcast and as we walked, it lightly drizzled off and on, but not seriously enough to concern us. The beautiful hibiscus blossoms didn’t seem to mind the moisture either.
When we reached Hwy 10, we turned back and took a side street, with the intention of eventually weaving our way to Jackson Square. We saw lots of cute little Creole cottages. These ones were on Treme Street.
Quite by accident we happened across the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
And that led us to Louis Armstrong Park
With so much on our day’s agenda, we didn’t take the time to explore all the attractions of the park. What we did see, we found very interesting.
Charles Buddy Bolden – “The First King of Jazz”
Allison Big Chief Tootie Montana
We were told by a fellow sitting on a bench that the pond in Louis Armstrong Park used to hold goldfish, but during Katrina, perch were washed in with the flood waters. The perch made quick work of the goldfish, and with no way to escape, they now live in the pond. I don’t know if that’s a true story or not, but there were definitely plenty of perch in that pond.
I readily confess to having the worst sense of direction and despite all the walking we did, I never managed get the French Quarter straight in my mind. After a couple of hours of strolling up this street and down that one, and wandering through a couple of parks, this day I became completely twisted around. And unfortunately I’d left the map in the hotel room.
Our eventual destination was Jackson Square. I thought we should go in a general left and forward direction. Hubby assured me we should go forward but to the right. In agreement to go forward, upon leaving Louis Armstrong Park, we proceeded down St Ann Street.
We spotted this festive little house while on St Ann Street
The sky grew increasingly darker and a few raindrops began to fall. With the spires of St Louis Cathedral nowhere in sight, the only thing I knew for certain was if we didn’t arrive soon, we were going to get wet. Very wet. With the raindrops getting bigger and more plentiful, we quickly veered off to the right, seeking whatever shelter we could find. Lo and behold, there was Jackson Square and we were standing right beside the cathedral.
At that exact moment, the skies opened, and the rain absolutely pelted down. How convenient to arrive at our destination just in time to avoid the deluge. We barely got a drop on us. Hubby wanted to take credit (technically we did turn right) but he did acknowledge, with a smile, it was more of a fortunate piece of happenstance.
This boat, on exhibit beside the cathedral, had been used to rescue many people during Katrina.
While waiting out the rain, I took in the awesome beauty of the St. Louis Cathedral.
During the torrent, Jackson Square was absolutely deserted.
It took about half an hour for the rain to end and as soon as we deemed it safe to venture out, we headed over to the popular Café du Monde on Decatur Street for their famous Café au lait and beignets.
Sis and BIL met us there. They hadn’t been as fortunate as us and got drenched in the downpour, so had returned to the hotel to change, but were none the worse for wear.
While neither Hubby nor BIL were all that crazy about the Café au lait, Sis and I quite enjoyed them. Comparing these beignets to the ones we’d sprinkled ourselves a previous day, we’d unknowingly gone real light with the powered sugar. Truthfully, I could’ve done with a lot less sugar, and wow, a ton of it must get wasted. But whatever, they certainly were yummy.
Our afternoon was spent taking a City Tour and because I want to do justice to all we saw and learned, I’ll share that experience with you next weekend.