Once the four of us decided to take a vacation in New Orleans, Lousiana (NOLA), it didn’t take long for Susanne to find a VRBO on Algiers Point, just across the river from the French Quarter. The VRBO is in a quiet residential area with a wonderful breakfast spot around the corner called Toot de Suite Cafe.
The VRBO is run by Mark and Angela from Maison Touriste New Orleans. Mark and Angela also run TeachMe Tours of New Orleans. We booked two of their walking tours, the Cocktail History tour and the VooDoo Tour, which was lead by James. Both tours were historical, educational, and well worth the money.
To travel from Algiers Point to the French Quarter, we would walk four blocks to the Ferry Terminal, then take the five minute ferry ride across the Mississippi. If you are headed in the opposite direction, to Algiers Point for the day from the French Quarter, the first business you encounter is the Dry Dock Cafe, below left. A fine spot to begin your day for food or drink. While wandering the levee on Algiers Point you might run into Gene, as we did several times during our stay. The first time meeting Gene I took one exposure, in fact that’s the only exposure of Gene the whole vacation. The second time we bumped into Gene at the local convenience store, where he gave us some after dark advice. We never had any problems, but we did wander in a group, nowhere near the area Gene indicated.
Old Point Bar (below) was the best dive bar we encountered. Old Point Bar is a few blocks downstream from the Ferry Terminal on Algiers Point. This bar has plenty of character, and has nightly music.
Fritzel’s (below) claims to be the oldest operated jazz club in New Orleans. We didn’t catch any music at Fritzel’s, but we did view the history decorating the walls.
Antoine’s Restaurant (below), circa 1840, is the old world grand dame of fine French-Creole dining and birthplace of oysters Rockefeller. Antoine’s has 14 dining rooms of various sizes. The dining room below is called (you guessed it) the Escargot Room.
We had our first Sazerac Cocktail here at Antoine’s. The Sazerac Cocktail was invented by a nearby apothecary in 1838.
The Mighty Mississippi! This turn in the river where the Ferry crosses is 200′ deep with an 11 knot current. That’s intense. We watched one day as a tugboat with 12 barges seemed to lose its direction, then aggressively reverse engines to straighten the haul back downstream.
Street performers are plentiful in the French Quarter. Some how we became engaged with this street performer below, she appeared out of thin air. After a donation to the performer, I had my own 20 second street performance.
New Orleans is know for its music scene, much of it jazz related. The Spotted Cat is a small but well known jazz club. We listened to and danced to the klezmer like, Panorama Jazz Band. There were maybe 100 people standing and 6 folks dancing on what floor room was left. We were 3 of the 6 dancers. The Spotted Cat is a cool cat!
The VooDoo tour, by TeachMe Tours, is historical, taking you back to the slave trade and early New Orleans. You’ll learn fact from fiction about VooDoo, Marie Laveau, fortune telling, and zombies.
The weather was beautiful again for our swamp tour, warm enough to see plenty of alligators. The largest we spotted was 12′ long, just laying on a log, soaking up the sun. This tour was on Lake Martin, near Lafayette. The only disappointment here was the lack of birds. The weather has been so warm, many birds don’t migrate this far south any more. We spotted egrits and cormorants and that was about it, not very exciting on the birding front.
Our friends Mike and Susanne, taking a short break for a photo in front of this painterly wall in the French Quarter.
I couldn’t resist three Cafe Du Monde employees taking a break, facing away from the action of the Cafe and Jackson Square. I’m sure they’ve seen it all, so facing the wall provided some peace. That’s my guess, anyway.