Sunday, 15 March 2015

New Orleans & Caribbean 2015 - Part II

After lunch, we decided to go for a stroll on Frenchmen St. There are several interesting-looking music venues on Frenchmen, and next time we are in NOLA, we plan to stay on the side of the French Quarter closer to, so we can do a more in-depth exploration.

We found this lovely looking courtyard venue called Rare Form at the bottom of Frenchmen. It had apparently only been open a few weeks. It boasted live music (although we were there far too early for that) and a fountain with goldfish.

After our refreshing beverage stop, we checked out the Mint, which has a historical display, some jazz history exhibits, and a couple of photography exhibits. It is free to enter and look around.

We decided to do a splurge dinner this evening, so we headed over to Muriel's on Jackson Square. The food here is excellent, and not exorbitantly priced for what you get. The service is also quietly impressive. We really enjoyed this.

Afterwards, it was time for our ghost tour. This had been touted to us as something of a haunted pub crawl, in that it started at a bar, took a break at a bar in the middle, and finished at a bar. It was not quite as advertised. The bar we met at was closed for a private party. There was no bar in the middle. We did, however, finish at a bar.

The chandelier in the haunted bordello
We did go into a reputedly haunted bordello, with a chandelier which flickered madly when the guide spoke. We then went around the French Quarter to several of the traditional ghost tour venues, including the LaLaurie mansion and the Ursuline Convent.

The haunted bar courtyard

We finished at a rather pleasant "haunted bar" which seemed to have taken the opportunity to turn its place on the ghost tour as a money-making opportunity. It even had shooters themed to its ghost story on the menu. It had a nice atmosphere, but there are cheaper drinks to be had in the Quarter.

Your Humble Narrator in Jackson Square
The next day was Thursday, when my parents joined us. They were staying at the Roosevelt Hilton. There room was very luxurious. The bathroom was almost the same size as the bedroom.

Once they were settled, we had lunch at the lounge in their hotel, and then set off for a leisurely stroll to the bottom of Jackson Square, where we planned to grab a carriage tour. The tour was fun, and allowed my parents to relax and sight-see before we headed for dinner at El Gato Negro (our second meal there this trip. Did I also mention our multiple visits to our favourite New Orleans restaurant: Pierre Maspero's?).

Big Shot - Our Carriage's Noble Steed

Ceviche at El Gato Negro - Perfection

The next day, we took a stroll to Riverwalk, and stopped at Time Out. They have cool go cups. We talked our waiter out of moving to Canada. Not because we wouldn't want him here, but because I really don't think people from warmer climates should be subjected to ours.

We wandered around the mall for a little while, but didn't really do any shopping. We did get a view of the cruise terminal, where we would be the next day. After that, we headed over to Bourbon to see what mischief we could get into.

Yes, we shamelessly begged for beads with the rest of the crowds, but we didn't flash anyone. Actually, we didn't see anyone doing that. Maybe that's just a television thing.

A vist was paid by one of the marching bands which would appear in Hermes(?) later that night. Apparently, they were deployed to collect the marshals, who had been drinking in the Quarter all day. At least that's what we heard.

And, with this festively decorated balcony, I will leave you. We will continue with the parades next, and our cruise to the Caribbean on the Serenade of the Seas.