After a small delay while getting a tire fixed, we finally made it into New Orleans. After checking into the hotel (and awkwardly handing the valet the keys to a car covered in dirt from driving the dirt roads around Rodney earlier that day) we then walked into the French Quarter for dinner. I've only been to New Orleans once before, but that was way back in the olden days when I was still in college. So it was nice to make another visit to New Orleans, which is really one of the most historic and unique cities in the country. Of course the food there is amazing, and we started our visit with some amazing muffulettas from the famous Napoleon House.
To burn off all the calories from dinner, we continued walking to Jackson Square. The square is the heart of the French Quarter, and it surrounded by historic buildings like the St. Louis Cathedral.
Here's a view of the Cathedral, with a statue of Andrew Jackson in the foreground. The statue was erected in 1856 and was built to honor Jackson having helped save the city from British attack during the War of 1812.
From there we joined the crowds at Café Du Monde and ordered some of the famous beignets. It’s amazing to me the history of everything in this city. Café Du Monde has been around since 1862.
We headed back out to Jackson Square, which was busy with tourists, people playing jazz, people selling art or offering to read your fortune (we were tempted to have Jonah’s fortune read). Since we were travelling with a toddler, we needed to start heading back to the hotel to put him to bed. But I stopped to get a few pictures as it was starting to get dark. Sorry for all the Cathedral pictures, it is a very photogenic building!
I had wanted to get some pictures of the cathedral early in the morning, when there would be some nice light in the sky and there wouldn’t be too many people around. So I woke up before dawn and headed back to Jackson Square and set up the camera and tripod on the boardwalk that overlooks the Square and the Mississippi River. But for it being so early, it was surprisingly busy. Lots of people were out and about, including people who obviously never stopped partying the night before. As I was taking pictures, two different people came up on the boardwalk looking for shoes they had lost there the night before.
The first cathedral here was built in 1718. The current cathedral dates back to 1850, when the building was expanded and rebuilt, and it is the oldest cathedral in the country. It was warm and humid that morning, and the camera immediately fogged up when I took it out of the camera bag.
Later that day, we made another visit to Jackson Square. The lush grass there is a perfect spot to let a toddler run loose, especially one who has been strapped in a stroller for a few hours. He ran all over the Square, dodging tour groups taking pictures of the Cathedral.
Early the next morning, I snuck out of the hotel room and went to take a few more pictures. I got in the car and drove across the river, eventually ending up right below the twin bridges of the Crescent City Connection. The bridges were built in 1958 and 1988, and make for a good frame of the river and the New Orleans skyline.
The bridges are both tied for being the fifth-longest cantilever bridges in the world and the last bridges the Mississippi River goes under before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. These were taken on a cloudy morning, and it was fairly quiet there (except for the constant hum of traffic on the bridges). The only other people out there were two people fishing and one guy that was riding a bike.
Later that day I visited the Ogden Museum of Southern Art which occupies a spot in the CBD. The museum had a good amount of photography inside, which is always nice to see (and if they see this, please check out my website!!!). This is one of the views out the window, which includes a view of the Crescent City Connection bridges.
We were pleasantly surprised for how kid-friendly New Orleans was, considering the party reputation the city has. There were lots of parks we could take Jonah to, but he seemed to enjoy the music and people-watching while we pushed him around in the stroller through the French Quarter. I think he also enjoyed all the food in New Orleans – he sampled muffaletas, beignets, po-boys and fried alligator (he wasn't a fan). The only thing he missed out was drinking a Hurricane on Bourbon Street.
On our last night we went back into the French Quarter and walked along Bourbon Street and then headed back towards Jackson Square. Here is one last shot of Jackson Square, looking towards The Cabildo, which was built in 1799 and was the home of the Spanish government in New Orleans. The building was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in 1803, and is now a museum of Louisiana history.
The next day we left New Orleans, but then headed east along the coast to finish out our vacation in Pensacola. Stay tuned for some beach pictures soon!