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Trip Report New Orleans revisited

We had a great 4 day visit in New Orleans.
Afternoon arrival and a freakish cab ride to the hotel ( where DO these cab drivers get their licenses???) we dropped our gear and hit the streets.
First stop- window shopping on Royal Street. I had forgotten how much I love dawdling along Royal and seeing the art works in the windows. Love the antiques, too. Some of the old estate items are just incredible! You would not believe the corkscrews we saw in one shop...silver capped horn from the 1800's...wow.
Then to Bourbon St. ( before dark so not too grungy yet) to give our 20-somethings a chance to see what all the fuss is about. We ate at Remolaude's ( I think that's spelled right) which is an annex to Arnaud's. Its one of the better lit restaurants along the way ( I like being able to see what is on my plate ;) ) and was not very crowded at 6:30. The menu is somewhat limited, but includes all the requisite New Orleans items like ettouffe and jambalaya and po'boys. We all had plenty to eat...a round of appetizers to share, 4 entrees and a round of bar drinks with coffee after ran us just under $125. Stopped in at the Jazz Musicians Memorial Park and had beignets at Cafe Beignet ( not nearly as good as Cafe DuMonde) and heard the band.
More walking around then off to the hotel for us old folks and the kids went out on their own.
Next day we went up to the original Camellia Grill on Carrollton via street car. The line is under repair so we had to walk the last 8 blocks or so ( bus transfer was an option, but it was a nice day) and it was great to be able to really see the lovely old homes at close view. Some of the old beauties are in rough shape and could really use some love, but most are still looking good and its captivting to consider all they have withstood over their lifetimes. * A WARNING- the sidewalks are in TERRIBLE shape so be sure to wear good, sturdy shoes if you plan to undertake a stroll along St. Charles!!! It would be very easy to turn an ankle or stumble as the heaving and loss of pavers has made for a horrid walking surface. Wonderful breakfasts all around- pecan pancakes and chili-cheese omelets for our crew; just like I remembered them. Service was a little off, but we were fortunate to be seated right away and enjoyed the experience.
Streetcar back to the FQ and then enjoyed a walk down to Jackson Square to hear the musicians and do some more window shopping. I was excited to see the kite shop is still there as its always been a favorite stop for us. Many more psychics than I recall in the past...probably 8-10 are set up in from of the cathedral- and many fewer of the portrait artists.
We also made sure the kids got to Pat O'Briens- an icon every 20-something should experience, don't you thnk? Then we had drinks and snacks on the balcony at The Embers Steakhouse which was very enjoyable.
We did attend the Oyster Fest on SAturday, and I must say I was sorely disappointed in that. I was under the impression that there would be much more in the music and art vendor departments. Plenty of food for any tastes- mostly seafood of course, but there were a couple of burger vendors and such.
All-in-all New Orleans is much the same as my last visit 12 years ago. It remains a vibrant and interesting city with all the energy I recall. I was wondering what it would be like after experiencing the catastrophe of Katrina, but the spirit lives on, just as I'd hoped. Some things really do not ever change, and I think that New Orleans is a great example of that.

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