At 11:30 pm we left a city of cold gray drear and at 8:00 am entered one of warm colorful excitement. Even at an early hour New Orleans was bustling with people from around the country—each of whom was buzzing with the energy of “party mode”.
After changing our clothing and refreshing our faces in the hotel bathroom, Kelsey and I set foot onto the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter and went off to explore. Clad in colorful apparel, cowboy boots and glittery make-up, we were ready to begin the story of our 3-day adventure.
On our way to sampling some New Orleans cuisine, we took in the beauty of the St. Louis Cathedral and witnessed the lively activity surrounding it. Horses waited to provide a carriage ride, artists vividly displayed their artwork, and jugglers enthusiastically performed their talents. Next to a juggling street performer we found a local café and ate a hearty meal.
Once the coffee kicked in, we once again pulled out the map and continued our wandering through the new city.
Our first day’s adventure included:
The French Market where we tried on intricately-made masks.
We took in in the quaint pastel-painted homes. It is entitled the French Quarter for a reason. I felt as if I had been transported back to Europe.
We wove through the streets exploring and found some treasures in our journeying.
Our tummys once again rumbled (or at least mine did), so we made the quest to find some freshly-made beignets. The square, powder-sugared doughnuts were made as we chatted with the bartender. He told us of his adventures of travel, exploration, and meeting new people. Hmm doesn’t that sound good? Yes, it was an inspiration.
Beignets and beer in hand, Kelsey and I resumed our walk, headed toward the Mississippi River for a picnic on the waterfront.
The park began to fill up, and we joined in with the commotion. The "krewe" Zulu enlivened the area with DJ's, live music, and dancing.
Before a NIGHT OF MAYHEM, we ate some local Po' Boys in our hotel room.
Once we had our fill of the local sandwich, our night began by watching the incredible parades cruise through the streets.
Our festive night also included:
Swimming through the current of people on Bourbon St.
Spinning with the popular drink: The HURRICANE
Dancing with my African American sisters on stage
Seeing my West Coast brother from another mother--my Prince Joseph (unfortunately, I have no photo to show for it, but it was a highlight of the trip!).
The evening ended with a neck-full of beads (and all accumulated with class, of course ;) )
Cheers to a first day in New Orleans!
Due to the length of this post, I will continue the story of Fat Tuesday in one to follow...