New Orleans

Jackson Square
We spent just over a week and a half visiting the New Orleans and the surrounding area.  The main reason we came was to go to the first weekend of the Jazz Fest.  It was a return visit for us.  We came with good friends in 1990.  A bit has changed since then.

Fortunately we have friends and family who call this wonderful area home.  We visited them, and made some new ones.  It is one of the reasons we now live this way.  Oh the things you will see, and the people you will meet!  Like Wade Norris who commented on AIROSMITH, "As campers, we want to be proud of our equipment, don't we?"

We stayed at the Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville, Louisiana.  The park is located on the North shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and sits alongside the Tchefuncte River.  It wasn't new to us as we stayed here in December 2010.  But the park has been updated since then.  Speaking with the Park Manager, they put in a new entry station and new bathhouses.  These were great upgrades to an already fantastic park.

Our campsite was under some very tall pine trees, with a few massive live oak trees covered in Spanish Moss thrown in.

There is a boardwalk through he swamp here, and the Otis House Museum.  We didn't get a chance to tour the museum so it gives us a reason to return.  As if there were not enough already!

Our first outing involved My Bride's cousin Martha, and her husband Will.  They live in nearby Covington, and motored their Boston Whaler out to the park to take us for a ride on the river.
A "Brief" of Brown Pelicans on Lake Pontchartrain

Dew Drop Jazz and Social Club

We followed that by dinner at a local wood fired oven pizza place.  We are fortunate that Will and Martha are wine, and whisky aficionados.  They also know their Jazz!

Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall

After dinner we were off to the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall, a 122 year old social and music venue.

We sipped wine, sat on lawn chairs while listening to Tim Laughlin play his clarinet like no other.

Tim Laughlin

The following night, a former work colleague and good friends hosted us for dinner.  Any chance you have to taste Jerry's BBQ ribs, and Sarita's brownies with ice cream should not me missed.

Saint Louis No. 1 Cemetery

We have decided that taking a city tour is a great way to learn about a new city.  We took several in New Orleans.  A full city tour, a walking tour of Saint Louis No. 1 Cemetery tour, and a Free Walking Tour of the French Quarter.  All were a great way to learn about one of the most unique cities in the USA.

The only way to visit the Saint Louis Cemeteries is by a commercial tour company.....or to be buried there.  We chose the former.

The vaults were primarily used as a social statement and used by custom, with a secondary benefit that your remains wouldn't keep popping up during a flood.  The vaults also provided for quick decomposition making it easier to make room for the next family member who has passed on.

Madame Laveau

Notable internees include Homer Plessy (Petitioner in Plessy v. Ferguson); Madame Marie Laveau, an alternative health care provider; and Bernard de Marigny, notable scoundrel.
Homer Plessy

Bernard de Marigny

Louis Armstrong Park

A short walk from the cemetery, is Louis Armstrong Park, and the original location of Congo Square. There are tributes here to many of the Jazz greats.

Louis Armstong Park

French Quarter

French Market
Walking the French Quarter takes you through Jackson Square, and into the St. Louis Cathedral.  You pass street artists and musicians which I find more interesting than many of the bars and clubs along Bourbon Street.  And a must stop along the way is the Cafe Du Monde, operating since 1862 and open 24/7, for a Cafe Au Lait and Beignets.

Saint Louis Cathedral

Jackson Square

Cafe Au Lait & Beignets

Jackson Square Music

Jackson Square

St CharlesStreet Car

Saint Louis Cathedral from the Ferry
A $2 ferry ride across the Mississippi River to Algiers gives you a different perspective of the city, and a possible glimpse of Dr Who and the Crown and Anchor.

Dr. Who??

Preservation Hall

At Preservation Hall, $15 will get you a ticket to the small venue where you can listen to some sweet sounds of history.  For us, it was the Joint Chiefs of Jazz!

We did take a morning to paddle up the Tchefuncte River from the campground, looking for turtles sunning on logs, and following a Heron as it fished among the illy pads.


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