We made a trip this weekend to New Orleans. I don’t think we had been there since 1998. We did drive through on our way from Houston to Sarasota back in 2007. I remember it was a sad drive along I-10 through the city. Blue tarps everywhere, broken up homes, a rebuilt house here with a fence around it, an abandoned house there with a broken/partially missing fence. Who shopping centers where abandoned. I don’t know if this was a result of the storm or maybe they had closed before. Needless to say they are still shut down and boarded up.
On the bright side, it looks like a lot of people got new homes. There were sections of newly built homes surrounded by the damaged ones. The new ones looked great and I’m happy for those people after what they went through.
There are “Katrina Trolly Tours” in the city but we didn’t take one. In all the shops we stopped in, there were Katrina books and the unwrapped ones were fairly tattered from guests looking through them.
There were sections of town, several different blocks, where the buildings were boarded up on the downstairs floor, broken on the top. You see this in many cities but it made me wonder if they were Katrina victims or just victims of inner-city decay.
I’m not a fan of large cities but our trip to NOLA was fun. We walked forever. We started out near the French Quarter Market, parked the car and walked around. First stop: Central Grocery for muffalettas.
We walked on to Aunt Sally’s for pralines. Cafe DuMonde was way too crowded and we’ve eaten there a ton of times so we passed it by and just made it back to the car before a heavy downpour. We drove around for a little bit and went to check in at the Marriott (thank you Priceline.com). When the rain let up we walked to Riverwalk, then took the trolley to Jackson Square, then back to Riverwalk and to the hotel; all between raindrops.
We made the trip to celebrate Gary’s birthday and to check out the food scene, since we hadn’t been there for a while. We grazed all weekend…roasted oysters, gumbo, pralines, etc We watched musicians at Jackson Square and looked at art hung on the fence posts. We stopped in a few stores, not many, because we didn’t come to shop and we weren’t into the voodoo stuff they sold anyway. We have lots of art from New Orleans from former trips.
We stopped at the Southern Food Museum at Riverwalk. My husband is all about Southern Food; I guess the whole family is. It was a great museum to visit and I recommend you visiting. The displays on food, old and new machines to whip up good eatin’s, and archived donations were well done and enjoyable especially for the boys. After all, they are the heirs to the Dixiedining.com dynasty. Travis likes to eat, try new foods, make food and Austin likes to film what everyone is doing.
Sunday was another grazing festival. We took the street car to Camellia Grill for breakfast, drove to Brocatos for spumoni, and Parkway Bakery for poboys. Thank God I don’t eat much. If I did I probably wouldn’t have fit in the car after this trip.
Next time we go back to New Orleans, we’ll check out the Audubon Zoo. The kids have never been.
Check out Gary’s blog: www.dixiedining.wordpress.com for his version of our weekend.