Sunday, August 9, 2015

Girls Trip to New Orleans with Megan, August 2015

Megan has been wanting to go to New Orleans for quite some time.  There is something darkly alluring about the city that is fascinating,   Its Cities of the Dead (as they call their cemeteries in New Orleans), its connection to VooDoo, and of course, its partying spirit.  So, a trip to New Orleans was planned.  Originally this trip was going to include Tom, too, but when I was awarded a trip to Hawaii through my job, Tom had only enough vacation time to choose one.  He chose Hawaii, so New Orleans became a mother/daughter trip.  Since she is going off to Eugene in September to attend the University of Oregon, I know that I will cherish this one on one time that I will get to spend with her in a city that she finds so fascinating.

This is the story of our adventures in this unique and intriguing city.

We're here!!!
We flew out of Portland at midnight on Saturday, August 1, with a layover in Houston.  We arrived in New Orleans around 8:30 am, collected our luggage and headed off to the car rental building.  While we were in the middle of taking care of the business required to rent a car, an alarm went off in the building and a voice announced that we were to evacuate the building because and "incident" had been reported.  Well, that was kind of freaky, because nothing was said about exactly where we were supposed to go once we were outside of the building and the person helping us at the Avis counter just picked up her purse and walked away, without giving us any kind of direction at all.  Megan and I went outside of the building hoping to find some kind of guidance as to where to go but there was none.  In fact, most of the other people that were in the building, stayed in the building as if nothing was happening at all.  Turns out it was a false alarm, but what if it hadn't been?? Weird.

So we got our car, a cute little Chevy Sonic, Google mapped our directions to the World Mark and headed into town.  Check in time at the World Mark wasn't until 4 pm and we arrived at around 10:30am, so we had quite a bit of time to kill before we could get into our room.  We left our bags we the bell hop and had the valet park the car.  We were hoping to receive a call fairly soon telling us that our room was ready early, but in the meantime, we decided to use public transportation and go to the French Quarter.  Unfortunately, many of the trolley cars were not running because of all the construction projects on the streets of the city.  Believe it or not, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, there is still of reconstruction taking place.  Under normal circumstances, the trolley cars have a stop right in front of our resort, but not at this time.  So we hopped on a bus for part of the trip, then transferred to a trolley car, then transferred again to another bus before arriving in the French Quarter.  

Just a couple of notes I want to insert here.  It is now around 11am and we have not slept since we got up Saturday morning, so we have both been up approximately 28 hours.  It is 93 degrees here with about 50% humidity.  It is HOT!!!!  Nevertheless we are going exploring.

Our first thought was to get beignets at Cafe Du Monde, because one HAS to do that at least once while in New Orleans, but the line was monstrous.  Worse than anything I have seen at VooDoo donuts in Portland, so we decided to skip out on that for now and come back and revisit on another day,  Instead we just start wandering around the French Quarter.  We were both pretty hungry by now so we start looking for somewhere else that we can have breakfast since Cafe Du Monde was a bust.  We end up at a place called John's PoBoys, where we each ordered up a breakfast sandwich of egg and cheese on an English muffin along with some chocolate milk.  Our stomachs were full, but neither one of us thought much of the food.  We will definitely NOT be going back there while we are here.  We walked around the Quarter for hours, wandering in and out of various shops, stopping to listen to some street musicians.  By now I have begun to get a bit of a headache, the heat is getting to both of us and we are both pretty tired.  We decide to go ahead and get back to the resort and hang out in the air conditioned lobby until our room is ready.  Once we arrive back at the resort, we are told that our room is still not ready (it is still only about 2pm and official check in isn't until 4pm), so Meg pulls a deck of cards out of her camera bag and we play a couple of games of Speed, but I am having a very difficult time keeping my eyes open at this point and my head is pounding.  We move into the garden room where there are some comfortable couches and a TV and I lay down and am nearly asleep, when one of the staff members comes to tell us that our room is ready. Finally!!   At this point, not only does my head hurt, but I feel sick to my stomach, too.  We get our luggage up to the room and I tell Megan that I have to lay down for a while and try to sleep of this headache.  While I sleep, Megan goes down to the pool for a while.  I wake up around 9pm and Meg comes and tells me that she is starving.  In our welcome packet we were given upon check-in, there was a list of nearby restaurants.  We look it over and decide to give Cheesecake Bistro a try.

 The menu looks good and it's only a block or so away.  We walk down there and have a delicious meal along with getting a couple of pieces of cheesecake for dessert.  Back to the room and tuck into bed for a good night's sleep.  The plan for tomorrow is a swamp boat tour and a "haunted history" tour of the French Quarter.

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