As I previously mentioned I lived in Lousiana for a while when I was a kid. It was my dad’s home state so between living there and visiting over the years, I have spent some time in Lousiana.  But always in the northern part, mostly around Shreveport. For years I have wanted to make the trek to New Orleans. I got close once. In early 2006, a few months after Hurricane Katrina, Matt and I hauled a FEMA trailer to southern Mississippi and attempted to go on to New Orleans after the drop off. We were strongly advised not to. The city was still chaotic and devastated and the National Guard still had patrols. 

Today we made it to New Orleans. 

We left this morning from my cousin’s house in Jackson, Mississippi for the approximately 3 hour drive into the Big Easy. Not too long into the trip you begin to notice how low lying the land is becoming. The last 30 to 40 miles into New Orleans is basically on a bridge. Over swamps and the massive Lake Ponchartrain. 

  Notice the sunglasses were on the dash and not on. It rained off and on most of the day. But the temperature was wonderful. Mid 60’s. 
We made it to the French Quarter by early afternoon. It took us a while to find a parking space. Parking is very limited and we were driving a four door truck with a long bed. Not exactly compact parking space friendly. We eventually squeezed into a space (and I mean squeezed….we were just this shy of having to pull a Duke boy maneuver to get out of the truck) near the French Market. Parking fees were very reasonable. $8 for three hours. 

  Our very first photo in the French Quarter! And no we didn’t pick up a stray, that’s Mia, my cousin’s daughter. 
  I found the famous Cafe du Monde & got in line for chicory coffee and beignets. 
  The beignets were honestly the best things ever. I have had beignets before but nothing like this. If you’re wondering “what are beignets?” I’ll explain. They are a French doughnut and I think the best way to describe them is if an elephant ear and a funnel cake had a baby it would be a beignet. 
  The chicory coffee was kind of bitter but it was a great pairing with the sweet beignet. Gotta love Matt’s classy shirt. Jake tried coffee for the first time ever today and declared it “the worst thing” he’s ever tasted. 
  Some of the beautiful buildings in the quarter. 

There were several street performers. From tarot card readings to magic tricks to impromptu jazz sessions, you never knew what you were going to encounter. 

Click here to see our video from today
  Jake and Mia in Jackson Square.
  The crowd that gathered to watch a magician street performer. The kids kept wanting to watch but after he failed at the same trick three times we decided to move on. 
  Site of first school in the state of Lousiana…if you’re cool enough to be into that kind of thing. #publiceducationrocks
  Mia and I couldn’t resist these Mardi Gras masks.  After I took the picture Mia told me “When we came to New Orleans we didn’t have to take this many pictures.  We could just remember.”

  We ate a late lunch/early dinner at the French Market. Absolutely wonderful food and huge portions. We all had po boys. 

  But first we had fried green tomatoes covered in bell pepper and crawfish sauce. Absolute perfection. 
New Orleans has a lot of people apparently living on the street. Sadly, we’ve been to many cities where this is the case but New Orleans has, by far, the most colorful eccletic group. Very interesting. 

Click here to view our video from today
All in all, we had a great day. New Orleans is definitely a place worth a visit. Put it on your bucket list. 

P.S.  I found this photo kinda funny but understandable. Public restrooms are few and far between in the French Quarter and most places have big signs stating they have no public restrooms. So apparently these people came prepared this time