We wanted to make the most of Adam’s week off so I booked a night in New Orleans. For us, New Orleans is only a couple of hours away, which is quite cool. A trip to New Orleans also means that we get to be in three States in the space of 2 hours; Alabama, Missisippi and Louisiana.
I had read quite a lot about the French Quarter and quite fancied staying over somewhere near this area. The architecture in the guide books was lush and it looked like a quaint little village rather than a large city! I managed to find a guest house, right on Bourbon St, which seemed to be the main street running through the French Quarter. We arrived, parked up and were amazed by the building straight away. Vintage tiled floors, a grand staircase and delicate wrought iron external fixings. Lafitte Guest House was easy to get to and even easier to check in. Our room wasn’t ready straight away as we had arrived quite early. The man at the desk recommended that we tried a place a few doors down for the best Po-Boys in town.
‘A Po-Boy….. What is that?’ I hear you ask! We didn’t know either until we went into the little diner! They are just like a big fresh submarine sandwich really. We sat down and waited for our sandwiches to be delivered. I was amazed by the room as the walls and ceilings were just covered in posters advertising gigs and bands, mainly jazz and blues.
Bourbon Street was very interesting and amusing. The buildings were gorgeous; cladded wood, ornate iron and huge solid doors…just what I imagine a small French town to be like. The residents had taken advantage of their balconies and had a range of items overflowing.
The street was beautiful but as we entered the main hustle and bustle of the street, I couldn’t help but feel like this was the ‘party’ street. Reps lined the streets dressed in colourful outfits, all trying to get you into their bar. It was 2pm and that wasn’t something that we fancied that early! We did however, find Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo! I was immediately drawn in as I am a big fan of American Horror Story….the last one contained Marie Laveau. I didn’t quite realise how much of an influence she had on the city. The shop was dark, small and incense infused. Photographs were not allowed within the shop due to the Alter where people could place an offering to the Voodoo Queen. It was believed that every photograph taken was very disrespectful and removed part of the spirit contained within the Alter. Very strange. Very interesting.
We headed off Bourbon Street and took a long route round to Jackson Square. We knew we had arrived when we could hear the sound of jazz music bellowing down the street. The square is surrounded by shops, artists, musicians and palm readers. I had the original intention of having my palm read but the 20 or so palm readers lined up in a row put me off slightly.
After scouring various websites for a place to eat something traditional, we ended up making the decision to just have a wander around. As we looked at the street menu for Chartres House, we could hear a lot of chanting. We looked down the street to see quite a large demonstration heading our way. From what I could gather, they were demonstrating about the recent gun crime in New Orleans and the surrounding States. I was glad that we shuffled inside the restaurant because even though it was a ‘non-violent’ demonstration, it was intimidating to see 100 people chanting through the streets and stopping the traffic. I would not have liked to be in one of the cars that they had stopped!
Adam ordered red beans & rice, which also came with chicken tenders and sausage. I ordered blackened redfish and jambalaya. Both meals were tasty and we were glad that we had experienced some traditional Cajun style food.
On our next visit to NOLA, we think we would like to check out another district in the area and possible take part in one of the cemetery tours! See you soon New Orleans!