Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 1 - Shock And Awe

While we flew towards New Orleans, Angie admitted to me a small amount of trepidation around our trip. She shared that she was somewhat concerned about security in the city since Katrina, and that perhaps the city had not recovered enough for us to be safe during our weekend. The airport losing complete power upon our arrival did nothing to allay her fears.

However, upon our arrival to our hotel, I think she started getting more comfortable. The hotel we beautiful and was well located on the corners of Canal and Bourbon Streets in the French Quarter.

We had no real plans for our weekend, so we thought we would just walk and get some ideas. We started down Bourbon Street. The bars, restaurants, and small shops were expected and enjoyed...the sex shops, sex clubs and strip bars were somewhat of a surprise. I felt like I was walking through Amsterdam, and that was unfortunate...I'm not a huge fan of the sleaze.

Along the way, Angie and I ordered our first Hurricane - a cacophony of Light Rum, Dark Rum, Grenadine, Orange and Cranberry Juice. Basically, Hawaiian Punch and Jet Fuel. Yummy.

We continued to walk the Quarter and enjoyed some quiet time at the St. Louis Cathedral, where we proceeded to make fun of a street magician who made my disappearing napkin trick look polished. When he dropped his fake thumb, we were rolling.

We continued up the Quarter. Angie immensely enjoyed the architecture and I immensely enjoyed another Hurricane.

We ended up on Decatur, which is the end of the French Quarter along the Mississippi River. Angie saw the Flea Market / French Market and knew what she wanted to do before we went home. Me, I saw some restaurants and new what I wanted to do right away. We ended up at the French Market Restaurant and Bar. We had a GREAT meal of boiled shrimp, raw oysters, jambalaya, shrimp etouffee, red beans and rice, filet mignon, and....Hurricanes.

After dinner, we continued to walk around the French Quarter, and ended up at Harrah's Casino. If I was expecting a well run casino in the Las Vegas tradition, and I was, I was apt to be disappointed. There were only a couple of blackjack tables open and no available seats (although there were tons of other blackjack tables with dealers, but they were all standing around waiting for cards?!?!?). We played roulette for a little while, lost $45 and decided that our NOLA casino experience was satiated.

We walked back to the hotel, Hurricane and cigar in hand, and called it a night.

All in all, a great start to our long weekend holiday.

Tomorrow - Tour Day.


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