Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Orleans

We enjoyed a hot southern breakfast at the Castle at Dunleith, the property across the road. Our rate included a tour of the old home but we opted to forgo the tour as it didn't start until 10am. We travelled into Baton Rouge. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is Louisiana's capital. What was meant to be just a quick stop ended up taking a little bit more time as we discovered that on the first Sunday of the month entry to museums is free! Jonah had already spied the USS Kidd sitting by the banks of the Mississippi. The museum and memorial held a most impressive collection of model ships. When we finally got on the destroyer, Jonah had to sit and shoot out of every gun turret...especially after he discovered that it actually swiveled and the guns moved up and down.

Dunleith Caslte, another beautiful antebellum home

The amazing collection of model ships at Baton Rouge

Finally...Jonah was running to get on the destroyer

Elliot worked out that one side swiveled the whole unit while the other side moved the guns up and down. Malcolm and I would be a bad pair during real combat...

Shooting out of each gun became a little tiresome after a while...but not for Jonah

Our home for the next 3 nights was New Orleans. It is in the oldest neighbourhood in the "Crescent City", the French Quarter. We couldn't refuse the deal at Inn on St Peter, where we received the 3rd night's accommodation for free in a two bedroom suite. Unfortunately the car had to be parked a few blocks away where their garage was, but the hotel provided a free pedicab to take the driver back to the hotel. We lugged our suitcases up the long flight of stairs into our suite and enjoyed our balcony looking onto the streets below.

The balcony outside our room

Our view down the street

New Orleans was established by the French in 1718. The architecture though reflects a mixture of Spanish, French, Creole and American influences, the end result being quite charming. We loved looking at the eclectic shops and the gorgeous buildings as we headed toward the centre of the French Quarter, Jackson Square.There were musicians and entertainers everywhere. We sat in front of St Louis Cathedral enjoying the live music and street scene before walking towards our dinner destination. Port of Call was recommended to us by the pedicab cyclist as being the place to get the best burgers in America. That was a big call but we couldn't resist seeing if it was true. We arrived that just before 5pm but the place (yes it was small) was already full. We had to wait for about 20 minutes to get a table. The burgers were good but I would hesitate to say that they were the best. What I loved was that the freshly ground beef was not dripped in oil. The burger tasted like a freshly made home cooked burger.

Let's go explore! 
Jackson Square

St Louis Cathedral

Enjoying the music outside the Cathedral

Street musicians everywhere. Pick your favourite type!

Beautiful architecture everywhere you look

Two special shops down Pirate's Aleey

The first got Malcolm his absinthe

The second is the bookshop which specialises in rare editions and works by William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams

Best burgers in America we were told...

Mushroom cheeseburger

With big storms all over the north east of America, the temperature had already started to drop. We walked back to the hotel as quickly as we could in the drizzle. As I type, Malcolm had just slipped out to get some beignets from Cafe du Monde. Will report on that tomorrow...

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