Monday, July 4, 2011

Towns to Visit–New Orleans

So I wanted to write a few blogs of towns I have visited and enjoyed or places I would like to go visit.

This first one is kind of biased, due to the fact my father is from New Orleans; however, I have now been there twice without going with my parents and loved the town. The culture and history just has led to an overall great impression of New Orleans.

Yes, they have hurricanes down there. And no, not just the drink. I understand that the city is in a bowl and when it floods, well, we saw what happened in 2005. Here in St. Louis, we always refer to a serious flood as 1993. To the people of New Orleans, their 1993 was 2005 and then some. What they experienced in that town, I will never know. It is heartbreaking to relive that time every year near the end of August. I remember it like it was yesterday as I waited to hear from my dad about his family down there. It breaks my heart even more that four and a half years later, my wife, a buddy of mine and myself travel the lower ninth ward and STILL SEE DESTRUCTION. We did not take one picture of the destruction because it is not something you want to remember.

However, the town is coming back. Most of us have heard about New Orleans wining the Super Bowl back in February of 2010. Yes, I cheered them on as well as all of America did, minus Indianapolis. Companies are beginning to go back there and do their annual conferences there. I was apart of a company that we had our annual General Manager meeting down there. There is some sort of structure in the rebuilding process.

Things to do in New Orleans include the French Quarter (Bourbon Street), WWII Museum, plantation homes outside of New Orleans, Jackson Square, and food, food, and more food.

I was going through our pictures of our trips to New Orleans. WeLouisiana 005 went to the WWII Museum, mainly to see the bricks of my grandfathers who served. I found several pictures of food in our selection. Now my wife and I do love good food; however, when you take pictures of the food, now that is something special. When we flew into New Orleans, we got our rental car and before driving to my grandmother’s house, we went to Comeback Inn to get an Oyster Po’ Boy. I grew up on these when we went to New Orleans. After spending some time before my conference with family, we moved down to the Ritz Carlton in the French Quarter. Then the wife heard about the restaurant place near Jackson Square. She wandered that direction while I had opening meetings and tried their specialty, a beignet.  She had to take a picture of that too. Good thing she did, they did not last that long. Louisiana 018Normally, you enjoy the beignets with coffee. Now that the wife drinks coffee, we will make sure she enjoys these properly next time we are there. Beignets are similar to a doughnut, just not as heavy as one. They are coated with powdered sugar once they come out of the fryer. Of course, we did find some of the mix in a box down in New Orleans and have tried it several times at home. Still not the same as going down there and enjoying one down there.

Other food recommendations when you go down there: any étoufée combination (shrimp, crawfish, etc), Gumbo, and of course, oysters. If I must recommend a restaurant for Oysters is called the Acme Oyster House. There is a line to get into the restaurant when it opens daily and is worth the wait. The wife did not want to get raw oysters, but you can get the chargrilled oysters, which were awesome!!

I know a lot of things you can do at home or find at a local restaurant, at least you think you can. You have to visit the city to get the full effect of everything. Take a trip on the trolley on Canal Street. Go take a stroll through the French Quarter and see all the old shops and many, many daiquiri huts. Jackson Square is another great spot, highlighted by Jackson Square. Then, after stopping by Café Du Monde, go down to the French Market and see all the great deals you can get on souvenirs of the great town.

This is a great town with a lot of history behind it. Go experience New Orleans and you will see why it holds a special place to so many people from that town, or those who still reside to bring it back!

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1 comment:

  1. It's a city unlike any other American city. A professor friend of mine called it "the northern rim of the Caribbean culture," and I think he was right.