Originally we were going to spend equal time between Atlanta and New Orleans, but due to some installs, we ended up spending more time in Atlanta, leaving a very short window of time for our New Orleans leg.
We arrived late afternoon Wednesday after about a 480 mile drive. Nothing eventful (thankfully) on our trip, but did discover that Shakey’s Pizza is still in business. We didn’t stop, but saw a couple of billboards and then looked them up online. Turns out they have about 50 or so stores in the US, mainly in California and one in Auburn. For those of you who don’t remember Shakey’s Pizza, they used to have player pianos in their restaurants and from what I remember, pretty darn good pizza. After a little research (aka Wikipedia), found out that Shakey’s was the first franchised pizza parlor and Shakey, the original owner, personally played dixieland jazz piano to entertain patrons and the original store was known more for music than pizza. At one time there were over 500 Shakey’s in the US, but throughout the years, that number has drastically dwindled. However, if you’ve ever in the Philippines, there’s over 150 Shakey’s restaurants there!!
Yep….slow blog day.
Thursday and Friday were occupied with work for both of us, so that really left only Saturday for a field trip and of course….we headed to the big easy!! We had dinner plans, so had to be back at the campground by 4:00 or so, so we headed in pretty early, arriving in New Orleans about 8:30 am.
Me to Greg: “What do you want to do in New Orleans?”
Greg: “I want beignets.”
Me: “Anything else?”
Me: “Alrighty; beignets it is!”
So, our first stop, Café Du Monde. Greg had done his research, and that’s where you go for beignets. That’s where everyone goes for beignets. The line was super long, but Greg had read if the line for the café is too long, they have a takeout window in the back. Score! Or not! That line was just as long, so we put our beignets on hold until later.
We proceeded to a little café for breakfast and people watching. Heck, within two blocks of parking the car, Greg had tripped on a woman sleeping, we passed an inebriated guy drinking out of the notorious brown paper bag stumbling down the street, and then passed a guy sitting on the street wearing a neon bra cheering on casual runners/joggers like they were crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. So there’s no shortage of people watching in New Orleans!! Did I mention it was only 8:30 am?
After breakfast we strolled through the Farmer’s Market and did some exploring, but it was really hot so we took refuge…..at Pat O’Briens. Turns out, it’s not so crowded at 10:30 or so in the morning. After a Hurricane (or two) we left Pat O’Briens and it was like someone had flipped a switch. Streets were bustling, music playing and New Orleans was coming alive!! It was about 11:30 a.m.!
New Orleans sleeping...and forgot to take a pic of it bustling!
We then headed to Lafitte Blacksmith Shop Bar, reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States. After our Wick’s Tavern experience, we didn’t have too high of hopes, but it exceeded our (low) expectations. We had some sort of purple concoction and then walked through the Creole Tomato Festival. Any reason to have a festival!!
Picture #2, B&W challenge:
As usual, Greg is making friends at the festival. He also has this thing about sort of licking things. He started it awhile back with an Utz pretzel girl and it has just spiraled out of control. Rest assusred, there is not tongue contact.
After a quick stroll through the festival, we went back to Café Du Monde to check beignets off the bucket list. And yep, both lines were still long, but this time we waited. And after the wait….honestly, not sure what the fuss is about. Beignets taste just like a funnel cake made into a square'ish pastry. But, check! Off the bucket list.
And who knew there was a Boondocking Saint?
After that, we called it a day and decided to head back to the campground….but not before paying the $45 for parking! Robbery!!
There is a lot more to do in New Orleans, but we just ran out of time which means we’ll have to make another stop at some point.
Back at the campground, we had dinner with Sue and her neighbor. Greg installed solar on Sue’s coach and she was nice enough to cook us a nice dinner. Chatted with her for a while and then called it a night.
Off to Texas for the next six weeks. And yes, it's going to be hot!!