Recently for work I traveled to the Southern part of the United States, mostly Mississippi It was a neat experience, so many little things that are done so differently!
I was in a conference most of the days but the last day I had a free afternoon and decided to drive the 90 miles to New Orleans to see the home of my paternal ancestors!
This was my rented mode of transportation,a Fiat 500! It was fun to buzz around the narrow streets in this! I felt like Nancy Drew, zooming around, stopping for pictures or a snack and zooming around some more!
My first stop was actually to a graveyard that was over 100 years old. I was able to locate my ancestors there and that was very powerful. Then I headed to the French Quarter and was able to see some attractions in a very short amount of time. Here are some tips!
Park on the edge of the French Market. It is less crowded. Also, the parking Meter stations take debit and credit cards! No worries about running back to put in more change, you can set the number of hours and the charge/debit the amount.
If possible, go on off hours or days. I was there on a Tuesday afternoon and while there was people it was not crazy crowded.
I walked through the market on the way to my first stop. The Market has all kinds of things for sale, locally made jewelry and soap, Mardi Gras masks and beads, the usual tourist trap shirts, etc as well as all kinds of food. They even had these:
No. I was not brave enough to try one!
First stop: Central Grocery for a Muffuletta. A muffuletta is a sandwich with olive salad, salami, mortadella, etc. The line was not to bad when I arrived but have your payment ready. Also, a half is about $8.00 but it is VERY large. A whole looked like a small pizza. All of them are cut in halves so easy to share! I took mine to go. There are no fountain drinks and limited bar seating so be aware of this. The Olive salad which makes the sandwich famous was sold in jars on the counter. They even had some all boxed up and able to be shipped or safely put in checked luggage.
Second Stop: The famous Cafe Du Monde! It is open 24 hours a day except Christmas and Hurricanes. Here is a tip! They have a little to go window on the side! I learned this from Yelp.com and it worked! No line, I got three beignets and an Iced Cafe Au Lait To-Go so quickly! Three delicious beignets were under three dollars.
Beware where you open the bag, powdered sugar exploded all over me! There is a urban legend that they blow powdered sugar on first time visitors and tell them to make a wish. Maybe that was why my bag showered me:)
I took all of these delicious goodies up the street to Jackson Square and sat on a bench eating and looking up at the St. Louis Cathedral. You could hear the siren of the barges on the river in the background and random notes of Jazz from street musicians.
There was horse drawn carriages for tours and snowball stands(snowcones is what I am used to them being called out West) It was awesome!
As I was leaving I poked into some stores and was able to get some “chicory” coffee as well as a book called “Goodnight New Orleans” for my littlest. I loved that they had books about Mardi Gras, Southern Food Specialties as well as famous Jazz Musicians, etc, for kids.
I also took many pictures. So much color and history. I fell in love with this yellow building.
On the way out:
Everything has a bit of history. While I did not see everything, I made lasting memories, spent under $20.00 and only a few hours!