We dropped our car off at the car rental outlet, and walked to Roosevelt Hotel to see the Christmas decorations. We had heard the hotel was a Christmas wonderland and we weren't disappointed.
The only problem was that the halls were filled with people and it was impossible to get photos without some photo-bombing the shot. (I'm sure they thought the same about us!)
On our way back to our hotel we stopped in at Cafe Beignet for a snack since we had not yet had lunch, more beignets!!
Later we went out for dinner at the Oceana Grill, a local restaurant just two doors down from our hotel. Afterwards, we said we were glad we hadn't found it first or we would never have tried to eat anywhere else!
We shared an appetizer of crab cakes. I'd never tried them before, because well, I'm a little hesitant to eat shellfish. Not because of an allergy but because I imagine those little beady eyes of crawfish, crabs, and lobsters...they creep me out even if they aren't part of the meal. After a bite or two, I realized how tasty crab meat is, more like a strong tasting version of tuna, and I forgot all about my fears.
I did stick with chicken though for my entree. This is blackened chicken po-boy. Mostly definitely a good choice, with lots of chicken and nice bit of heat to it.
It had been a long day, so after a short walk on Bourbon Street, (we are nothing if not consistent) it was time to head back to the hotel for the night.
Wednesday December 19 was our last full day in New Orleans. It was also shopping day!!! We had spotted various shops we wanted to attend to, a visit to the French Market, a final visit to Cafe du Monde and little more sight-seeing within the French Quarter...and one last meal at Oceana Grill.
Our walk took us past Jackson Square (originally called Place d'Armes), and for the first time the gates were open, so we took a walk about. There were a couple of groups meeting for a tour in the center of the park, and it was raining so we didn't stop very long.
Directly across the street from the park is the St. Louis Cathedral. The first day we were there, a market was set up in the street. Vendors were selling their artwork, and musicians were busking.
|Nightmare before Christmas (perhaps?)
We made a stop at a nearby toy store, where I found a book for Eli "A Pirate's 12 days of Christmas). K and J picked up a few things for her niece and nephew as well. Then it was off the French Market. Within the market are various selling food, clothing, jewellery, bags, Christmas ornaments, hand carved items, and the like. We wandered up and down the aisles, and we each picked up a few t-shirts. I bought one for Eli, and one for myself which I wore for my travel day the following day.
Next up...Cafe du Monde. This picture says it all! I needed multiple napkins to keep the mounds of icing sugar off my t-shirt, jacket and jeans. These didn't quite do the trick but I need keep most of it off.
It seems most of our lunches comprised of beignets. You would think with all that sugar I would have gained a bazillion pounds but we did enough walking I did not. Unfortunately my right foot did act up on me and I wasn't able to walk as far as I would have liked. Between blisters and excruciating cramping in the ball of my foot, I was a bit of drag I'm sure.
We stopped at a couple of other stores to pick up postcards and a few other items (including beignet mix!). Then it was back to the hotel to start packing up our purchases and ensure the carry-on only had what was allowed to be carried. A bit of a rest and then it was time for dinner.
We chose to have our last dinner at the Ocean Grill again. That night I chose red beans and rice with andouille sausage for my final meal in New Orleans. It was served differently than the bowl I'd had at Mulates, but was soooo good. It was fitting end to our trip and was followed by one final walk on Bourbon Street.
I really enjoyed our time in New Orleans. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big city person but perhaps it was the neighbourhood of the French Quarter and the proximity to nearby restaurants and shops, along with the history of the area that really drew me in. I would definitely return for another visit, probably in the spring when the weather was warmer. Regardless of the weather it was truly a memorable visit.
The following was a travel day for all of us. Checking in at the airport was quick and easy, but our flights were delayed. I was heading back to Regina, while K and J were off to Fort Lauderdale for a Christmas/New Year's cruise. Their flights were more problematic as there was storm bearing on the east coast but other than a delay all went well. My flight to Toronto landed an hour late, but I had a layover of 5 hours so wasn't concerned. Going through Customs was the easiest I've ever seen it, and I was at my original gate with more than 3.5 hours to spare. Boring! Except my flight was further delayed, and my gate was changed twice. By 1 a.m. I was tucked up in my bed at home with two very happy cats.
Thanks for joining me as I've re-lived my trip. It's always fun to look back and bring back the memories as I look at the photos and share the stories. Perhaps on my cruise I'll do a better job of taking down notes.