It is hard to fit in everything that makes New Orleans, New Orleans when you have such a short amount of time (and money). Today – we really tried to do our best to have the unique New Orleans experience.
We started with a tour of Cemetery #3. The rows of mausoleums are endless. The cemetery has everything from the very old to the very new and there are areas that are pristine and others that are in great disrepair. It would have been nice to have a guided tour of the place because I had so many questions, “Are the plots without buildings people waiting to have funds to build or did they not pay their bill and it was torn down”, “What is the symbolism of everything”, “Why are there so many urns and why do people keep bringing them here when they should see that most will end up empty and broken?” “Who designs these little mausoleums” and on and on and on…
Our RV park hostess tipped us off to a parking lot that was only $5 for the day. It was right next to the French Market. Back in the day this was a true fruit and vegetable market. Now it is a giant trinket bazaar of everything New Orleans. This is the place to go if you want souvenirs, they quality seemed pretty good and the prices could not be beat. It was also mush easier to browse than all the little shops off the proper roads.
We hoped to have lunch by the American Jazz Legends Park, unfortunately the park did not meet our expectations. We envisioned a large park (like a block) lined with eateries and then street performers in the background. It turned out to be a tiny courtyard with one shop to eat and a small band. We ended up eating at a restaurant recommended by the RV park host. This time they were not quite on target. The prices were reasonable but I wanted authentic Creole seafood goodness. This place served food that I could have made myself. Perhaps we should have splurged on Emeril Legasse’s place.
We toured the French quarter and walked down Bourbon street. This may not have been the wisest choice with the children. In addition to the many drinking establishments there were some clubs that certain men find entertaining with lots of advertising picture in their windows. We just told Brody not to look. We did enjoy the many street performers that were along the way – so we were very successful in experiencing the sounds of New Orleans.
We toured a small Pharmacy Museum. We were overwhelmed by the rows and rows and rows of old apothecary mixtures lining the walls. It had a small exhibit on voodoo – so that was a little New Orlean-ish. The children were fascinated by the leeches.
Our final stop of the day was a tour of Mardi Gras World, thanks to my parents. In addition to touring the warehouse and watching the artisans, the kids got to dress up and try some King Cake (nobody found the hidden baby). Poor Brody had to, again, avert his tender eyes away from the anatomically correct mermaid props that seemed to be around every corner. I know, it’s art.