By chance, we happened to have coincided our visit to New Orleans with the Saints' (NO football team) game against the Minnesota Vikings – this was a BIG deal, the winner would make it to the Superbowl.
We took the ferry across the river into the city and walked around for the day, taking in the amazing sights and sounds. There are TWO National Historical Park visitor centers in the city. We went to one of Jean Lafitte’s sites and watched a show about the Mississippi River, its many feeder rivers and the interesting way it joins the Gulf – a crisp line is extremely obvious as the muddy, brown river water flows into the clear, blue waters of the Gulf. We learned about life in the area through the ages. The kids made a small paper pirogue – a flat-bottomed, shallow boat, used to get through the shallow waters of the area. As with other Parks, lots of great information about the area and also, a number of listening stations playing examples of jazz.
We wandered around the city, stopping frequently to admire the street performers, some of them were amazing, playing great music. Of course, the streets were also filled with black and gold wearing football fans, shouting “Who Dat?”, apparently a much-used slogan of the city and very much in use for the football! The atmosphere was awesome, we could barely move along Bourbon Street, it was so packed. People were throwing out beads and trinkets from the balconies up above, there was very much a ‘pre-mardi gras’ feel about the place. We really enjoyed the chaos!
We had a yummy lunch at Jonny’s and sampled a famous po’boy sandwich. I found out the history of these by chatting with a local later in the week (we love to chat with people, met some great folks on this journey and learned so much from them). She explained that they’re traditionally made with the very crispy French bread, which we love, and that this was the cheapest thing around and eaten by the poor – hence poor-boy: po’boy.
A trip into the city is not complete without eating beignets – French doughnuts – from Café Du Monde. This Café is on the edge of the old French Market and is open 24/7/365. The only things on the menu are beignets and drinks; it is open to the outside and the floor is covered with icing/powdered sugar. We ordered beignets and coffee, managing successfully to divide the adults and kids, so it seemed as though the Godwin and Valentine adults had a very civilized few minutes, enjoying afternoon tea, New Orleans style!
Back at the campground, we felt obliged to watch the game, given where we were. As you can imagine, this was such a terrible hardship for Jake – very tongue in cheek, he would watch every game if he could. It was a really good game that went into overtime: sudden death, the Saints scored the first points so were successful in their bid for the Superbowl. Immediately, fireworks started going off in the distance, we were in a city of very happy fans!
States visited: 49!
visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800
Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)