Thursday, December 2, 2010

Autumn Weekend in New Orleans

My owner and her husband love to take friends who have never been to the Big Easy with them on The City of New Orleans, a train route made immortal in Arlo Guthrie's song, and act as tour guides for their favorite city. New Orleans is all about the food. MO likes to joke when people ask "What do you do in NOLA?" that they "Sit around at breakfast and talk about where to have lunch and sit around at lunch and talk about where to have dinner." Fortunately there are miles and miles of walking to be done while seeing the city  and shopping so it sort of works itself out.

 They caught the train early in the morning and had breakfast in the dining car. The French toast is always good, and they had fun teasing the woman who was serving them. People who enjoy their jobs make such a difference, don't they? Now MO had been battling a dreadful cold and wasn't feeling all that well. They arrived at the train station, much later than usual due to a freight train that had gone off the track and blocked their way through Mississippi.  They caught a cab to the hotel changed and began walking to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margarita-ville. MO was feeling worse by the minute. Very quiet. A sure sign something is not right to Mr. MO. She was sick and hungry and feeling depleted in every way.
 Dinner was delicious and food was just what she needed to rally for the walk back to the hotel. A handful of vitamins and cold medicine combined with a good night's sleep was just what she needed to feel much better the next day.

Breakfast at the hotel included one of those nifty "make your own" waffle set ups with a twist.
 A Fleur de lis impression excited My Owner to no end. (She is easily "impressed.") 
 Here is My Owner goofing around inside a German air raid shelter.
 Mr. MO had decided that one of the things they were going to do this day was go to the WWII Museum (formerly the D Day Museum) and he was keen that they see the movie. He had seen it on his last trip and thought it was great. MO was skeptical. Who can blame her? Have you ever seen a movie at a museum? They tend to be low budget, government-produced, borefests and MO was sure that their travel companions would rather be walking the city and taking in the sights. Mr. MO persuaded her however with the promise of a visit to the museum bar, The Stage Door Canteen. The fact that there was a BAR in the museum (When was the last time you heard of THAT?) made her think it might not be so bad.

They arrived at the museum and the women checked out the gift shop (I told you, remember?) the men listened intently to the volunteer WWII vets who were all too happy to share their harrowing stories of war and answer questions. Then it was off to the bar.

Mr. MO having a little vintage fun at the museum. 

 Okay, it was really cool. MO had a Scarlett O'Hara (a peach flavored [what else?] martini) and couldn't resist taking a picture of the menu to send to her blog partner, The Professor to let him know they had a drink by that name on the menu. Then it was off to the movie.

My Owner is more than happy to admit when she's wrong which is what she had to do. The movie was incredible! Perhaps Mr. MO should have mentioned beforehand that Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks had produced it! If you get a chance to visit the museum, don't miss it.

The rest of the day was spent walking, shopping, and of course eating.

You can't visit the French Quarter and not stop at Lafitte's Blackmith Shop, one of those buildings that make you think "if these walls could talk"...

The next day included a trip to Cafe du Monde, a must stop for first time visitors, but after that any of the other little coffee shops around town are just as good and all serve the signature beignets.

My Owner's favorite thing to do in this unique city however is just people watch. She can take up residence on a park bench and do this for hours...

Though Mr. and Mrs. Owner have been making this trip for over 25 years, they have never gotten a sleeper for the return trip, which is very boring after dark which comes early this time of year. They will not be making that mistake any more.

If there is one thing My Owner loves it's her privacy and peace and quiet. She fell in love with the fact that her return accommodations on this trip had...wonder of wonders...A DOOR! Dinner is included in the price of the sleeper so it doesn't turn out to any more expensive than coach. And the dinner was surprisingly good. Live and learn. My owner suspects this is what it's all about.

Happy travels!

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