Last day in New Orleans. We started with a brunch at Josephine Estelle and a walk around the CBD/Downtown District, the Warehouse District, down Canal Street, through the French Quarter again and then to Herbsaint for an early dinner before we left for the airport.
The highlight of this meal was one with Fideo noodles, a toasted pasta dish with creamy mustard sauce with tomatoes. We’ve never had it before. Sounds like it wouldn’t be good but it was.
After the 5-hour flight, we got home in Seattle at 10:30pm. The kids were asleep, we let Megan go home and we went right to bed.
It was a great 72 hours. I was impressed with New Orleans when I was in my mid-20s and even moreso this time. It’s fun just walking around the city and experiencing how unique the place is and how friendly the people are. The food, which is wonderful everywhere, the culture and the history make it so special. It was hard to leave, I could have stayed another night. We can’t wait come back with the kids, but maybe we should wait until they’re 21+.
Everyone else went out again for brunch at Atchafalaya, which I’m told was amazing and had a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Yum.
But I’m not in New Orleans during football season on a Sunday often, so I wanted to watch a Saints game at a sports bar with locals. If I was smart and had planned ahead, I would have gone to Manning’s Sports Bar & Grill, named for famous Saints QB, Archie Manning, and father of Peyton and Eli, but there were 42+ people waiting ahead of me to get in. So I went alone to The American Sports Saloon. The place was full but a big family of Saints fans let me sit at their table. As a thanks, I bought them a “bucket of beer” (cans of Miller Lite in a bucket of ice, sadly) and nachos. The Saints beat the Buccaneers. After the game, I got a coffee and spent 3 hours walking around the French Quarter by myself enjoying the unique character of the city. Bourbon Street seemed to be cleaned up since my first visit but too touristy and still a little seedy.
Gay met up with me later and we walked home. We had made a reservation at Maison de la Luz for the night, so we packed up and left to check-in there. We had drinks in the hotel bar and then had a late 9:30pm and another great dinner by ourselves at Peche. The group of friends was a lot of fun, but I don’t get many opportunities to have dinner alone with my wife so I needed that.
11pm was too early, so we then met up with everyone else at The Elysian Bar again!
We slept in until 11am. Well, I did, Gay got up and went running. Most of everyone else went to brunch at Cane & Table (like Cain & Abel, get it?). Gay and I got ready, drank coffee and finally left by 1pm to go to the same place, who had just left, and had our own delicious brunch.
The weather was clear but chilly, similar to Seattle’s, about 50°F, thanks to a cold snap that hit the Midwest this week. Apparently, it’s normally 20°F warmer.
We walked around the French Quarter and then to Louis Armstrong Park, where a Gumbo festival was going on with a jazz concert, of course. We stayed there for a while and then walked across town to The Elysian Bar, a very stately bar for cocktails.
After a brief rest at our houses, we all went to Cochon and had a fantastic dinner.
We went back to the French Quarter and hung out on Frenchmen Street in Jazz clubs, got one of every hot dog (except the vegan one) from Dat Dog and we all ate them on the street outside the jazz clubs. Another 4am night for almost everyone.
No one is quite sure how it happened that Matt cut his eye right on his eyebrow. Gay always thinks stitches are necessary and convinced him to go to the emergency room. At 1:30am. Gay, Cathy and I got an Uber and we were off to the hospital. I had the brilliant idea to bring some beers along knowing we’d be waiting a while in a boring hospital.
I didn’t get through the metal detector because of the beer cans, the security guard opened my bag and told me that beer cans have to go around the metal detector. Duh! I walked through and the guard put the beer back in my bag. Southern hospitality! New Orleans’ casualness with public alcohol would soon be apparent to us all.
While in the operating room with Matt waiting for the doctor I passed out beers to the others but thought better of having my own until just before the doctor came in 30 minutes later. He kicked us out and outside the room I dropped my just-opened can and beer spilled all over the floor. Now what do I do?! Immediately someone yelled down the hall “Don’t worry, I’ll call it urine and have it cleaned up!” More southern hospitality!
New Orleans people are so friendly. The doctor knew we were out-of-towners and asked where we were from. I asked him how he got to New Orleans and he matter-of-factly explained “I met a girl online from New Orleans so I moved here, she turned out to be a man, then I met a real girl, got her pregnant and now I’m stuck.” It was an interesting night. We got home at 4:30am and everyone was asleep.
Gay and I left the kids at home and left for New Orleans this morning. Gay’s friends from college organized the trip and I’m tagging along. Jon & Megan are watching the house and Barley. Hudson is spending the night at Bowie’s for his birthday party, which worked out well, Eva is spending tonight at Fiona’s and Havana is staying home. We’ll see how Jon & Megan handle 4 kids!
I was in New Orleans only once before in 1994 or 1995, can’t remember, on a business trip and really liked the place. But I’m wondering if it surpassed my low expectations or if I really do like it and I’m about to find out.
We landed in New Orleans at 5pm. Nice new airport. Cathy, Deina and Jeff, who I met for the first time, were on our flight and we Uber’d to our Airbnb house in the 7th Ward. Everyone else from New York (Eric & Sandi and Cindy), Jasper from Saratoga, and Matt from Arizona, who I also met for the first time, were already there having snacks and drinks.
Eric, Sandi, Matt, Cindy and I went out looking for groceries, got some jerk chicken from a street vendor, found a market where we ran into everyone from the other house: Jason & Nancy (I haven’t seen them since … 2002?!), Peter and Justin. We took our groceries back to our house.
We woke up at 9:45am — when kids aren’t around and there’s no alarm it’s easy to sleep in. We stopped in North Bend, went into Twede’s Cafe, another Twin Peaks site, and then next door to North Bend Bakery for doughnuts and coffee to-go.
We drove straight to Havana’s ultimate frisbee game to pick her up, then to Leona’s to get Eva. Hudson came over from Tobin’s as we got home.
Eva’s friends Fiona and Cheetah and Hudson’s friend Tobin had Thai for dinner with us and then we had my traditional German Chocolate birthday cake.
Presents from the kids: beer socks from Eva, a Death & Co. cocktail book and a photographic essay book about the history of the Maker’s Mark Distillery from Hudson and a new leak-proof cocktail shaker from Havana. There’s a theme there.