New Orleans, LA travel series: Bourbon Street and the morning after

New Orleans, LA, USA

The first leg of the long drive to Alachua, Florida ended at Gretna, Louisiana.  The bed at the hotel was such a welcome sight after spending most of the day behind the wheel and trying to stay as alert as possible.  It wasn’t the greatest hotel to stay in but it was decent and the staff were friendly and helpful.

After an hour of laying flat on bed, we decided that it was time to go out and look for dinner.  The mall next door was still open hence we headed there and walked around looking for food.  The food court didn’t look so promising to us that night.  Or, maybe we were just too tired from traveling that our appetite became picky.   We found Cafe du Monde and had some of its famous beignet but we needed something more filling and heavier.

Beignet and coffee

Bourbon Street has always been a famous part of New Orleans.  It is the most visited and one of the oldest street in North America.  It is rich in its historical development and what happens in Bourbon Street can sometimes be interesting!  I had been there but it has been a while and I don’t exactly recall the best way or the best places in Bourbon Street to visit.  The lady at the front desk of the hotel gave us tips and helped us get a taxi.  She made sure that we know where to get off and not be overcharged with the taxi ride.  The taxi driver himself was very helpful in giving tips on the current state of Bourbon Street, what to avoid, where not to go in Bourbon Street, and other alternative places to visit aside from Bourbon Street.  I was wondering why he was giving us alternative places to visit aside from Bourbon Street.

Trolley car at Canal Street

Bourbon Street starts when it crosses Canal street.  It is a busy street corner where people just hang out or hang out before entering the 13 blocks of Bourbon Street.  Tonight was no exception.  We got off the taxi and started walking into Bourbon Street.  Excited at first but gradually becoming disappointed to find most of Bourbon Street dug up and teeming with construction crew and machinery.    They were rebuilding Bourbon Street!  There was no way to avoid the narrow passages and the fenced-off area.

Olde NOLA Cookery saved us from starvation that night.  All the adjacent restaurants were fully booked and had a waiting time of around forty five minutes.  We walked by Olde NOLA Cookery, asked the host if he had a table for two, and was immediately seated to a window table for two! How lucky can we be!  We had our sumptuous dinner, went back to the hotel, and had a restful night of sleep in preparation for the next day’s leg of our long drive.

Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral

We couldn’t just leave New Orleans without exploring some other parts of the city.  An early morning check out at the hotel brought us to Cafe du Monde at Jackson Square.  It is open twenty four hours and we were hoping to be there at sunrise – before the breakfast rush happens and the place becomes too crowded.

Catching my sleep

Standing across the street from Jackson Square, we witnessed the city wake up.  Morning joggers, early commuters, the horse-drawn carriages, artists and painters setting up at the square, and the stragglers from last night’s revelry were all there.  The shops were opening up its doors and windows.  Cleaning crew were still hurrying to finish their task to prepare the city for another day.

Playing for the crowd

We entered our next destination to our navigator and followed the route out of the city.  New Orleans certainly has a life of its own and lives by a character of its own.

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