Catch Up On Popular Posts

26 September, 2010

New Orleans Favorites: Part One

IMG_3303 I have just returned from a visit to one of my favorite places…New Orleans! The trip was in celebration of a special occasion that I will reveal in a few moments. If you have never been, you owe it to yourself to head on down to the Big Easy to spend a few days! I’ll bet you can guess why I love it so much….yes, it’s so very French Creole! It really feels like you have traveled to another country…another place and time! This is my third trip there and I certainly am not an expert, but I would like to share with you some of my favorite things to do in case you ever have a chance to go!


pageFirst and foremost, I think it is a good idea to stay in the French Quarter. If you do, you can ditch your car for the duration of your visit. You don’t have to stay in an expensive hotel. This was our first time at the Place d’Armes Hotel and I will go back (and they aren’t paying me to say that! lol) It is literally steps from Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter or Vieux Carré as some still call it. That’s our room on the second floor with the balcony overlooking the courtyard! You can hear the bells of St. Louis Cathedral as they ring their morning greeting at 7:30 am and as they say good evening at 6:00 pm….ahhhhh!


IMG_3297 Doesn’t this just look like a postcard? Here is Jackson Square with a view of the cathedral in the background…gorgeous! That’s Andrew Jackson on his horse…the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. (If you are old like me, a song starts up in your brain…♪♪ In 1814, we took a little trip...Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip ♪♪) lol  Be sure to head out early before all of the other tourists are out and about to really enjoy the atmosphere! And speaking of atmosphere…it is hot and humid there…very tropical, in fact…but in September, the rates have not gone up yet and I don’t honestly think waiting a week or two until October makes that much difference! I just told myself that the humidity was good for my skin! lol


IMG_3289 Cross the street at Jackson Square and head over to the Café du Monde, a French Quarter icon, for some wonderful beignets…French donuts…and café au lait made with their world famous chicory coffee! The menu is limited and the place is usually packed all day long. I love to sit in the outdoor section and people watch. Don’t be surprised if a street musician provides some music to munch by! Our guitarist played a wonderful selection of Beatles songs! Just a hint…don’t wear black unless you want to wear a powdered sugar badge all day long! lol


page1 We took the tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1 (there are several)…the oldest cemetery in New Orleans.  Of course, it came with its own resident black cat! Be sure to go with a guide because it’s not in the best part of town. Ours was very knowledgeable and interesting, so it was well worth the price. She told us that the French built the tombs above ground, not because of the high water table…although it’s a help in this city…but because the first tombs were based on the crypts at Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris! Interesting! Of course, many come here to see the tomb of the voodoo queen Marie Laveau…


IMG_3232 …but here’s the one I came to see! Do you know whose it is? Hint…it’s still unoccupied! Have you guessed? It’s the tomb of Nicolas Cage! lol Yes, he had this tomb built and a small section of the cemetery restored for himself! I am sure this is as close as I will ever get, although our guide said she saw him twice last week, as did our waiter at Arnaud’s! Too bad we were late!


748 Be sure to ride the historic streetcars that run through the oldest parts of the city! You can get an all day pass for $5 and see the sights outside of the French Quarter. A must-do is a ride on the St. Charles streetcars that run through the beautiful Garden District, where the English-speaking newcomers settled.


page1 We got off at the Washington Street stop and turned left, past gorgeous old Greek revival mansions and wonderful gingerbread shotgun houses (so named because you could shoot a gun straight through the whole house) and headed towards…


page2Commander’s Palace! They offer a less expensive menu during lunch hours, but be forewarned…no shorts! I had their version of tomato soup and grilled cheese…a fabulous crab and pepper jack cheese sandwich served with smoked tomato bisque…the best I’ve ever had! My traveling buddy and good friend Nan had the Caribbean shrimp salad served in a coconut shell. You cannot leave without having their world famous bread pudding soufflé with whiskey sauce…yummy!


IMG_3512 Want to connect with old New Orleans and  see the interiors of some wonderful old homes?  Start with the Beauregard-Keyes House! It was the temporary residence of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard in the 1860s and then, in the 1940s, the home of the novelist Frances Parkinson Keyes. Here is the stately 19th century mansion as it appears today and…


771px-BeauregardHouseChartresDown1900s …here it is the way it looked in the early 1900s. In fact, most of the French Quarter had fallen into ruin and was a low-rent district housing many of the Italian immigrants who had come to New Orleans seeking work. Only in the 1960s was it declared a National Historic Landmark to ensure that the wonderful old buildings would be preserved. Quite a transformation, isn’t it?


page1 A peek inside the home reveals rooms full of wonderful antiques, many of which were donated by both the Beauregard and Keyes families, including many personal items.


page2 Be sure to take a walk around the grounds to see the  lovely walled garden, visible from the street through a wrought iron gate, as well as a beautiful old courtyard with views from both the mansion and the servants’ quarters.


page If you have managed to walk enough to build up an appetite, how about dinner at Galatoire’s? (Please note that I have compressed several days into one. There is no way to eat this much food in one day! lol) Here you may not make reservations for the downstairs dining room and must line up on Bourbon Street to get in….but it’s so worth the wait! I had their wonderful shrimp rémoulade, followed by eggplant stuffed with crab and shrimp…heavenly! And you may have guessed by now that I was celebrating a special occasion…my 60th birthday!…with a candle atop their yummy crème caramel!


IMG_3281 Of course, in New Orleans, you must top off the evening at least once with a stop at a jazz/R&B club! We were fortunate enough to go to Snug Harbor to hear Charmaine Neville, niece of Aaron Neville and a real talent in her own right. What fun! The club is rightly named, since it is an intimate setting and several times during the evening, members of her family and her neighbors dropped in to join in the show!

I am making myself stop here and will continue next time with more about my trip to New Orleans! I hope you will join me as I continue to eat my way across the French Quarter in this city full of friendly people, fabulous music and wonderful sights! (Click here to continue my tour!)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my little tour!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday
Claudia at Dipity Road for Friday Finding Beauty
Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday
See you next time! A la prochaine!

70 comments:

  1. I love New Orleans! I have stayed at Place d'Armes and loved it! I agree, it is so easy to eat your way across it, and I seriously try every time I go!! Thanks for sharing !
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the tour of New Orleans's! Looks like you had a fabulous time! Happy Birthday, and what a memorable way to celebrate :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never been to New Orleans. It looks like you had a marvelous time and now I want to go, too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Deb I love traveling vicariously through YOU!! You are the best tour guide, That is so cool about Nicholas Cage grave site. I will have to show Doug that one!! Can't wait to see the next installment. I want some of that bread pudding YUM!! hugs Kathysue

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy Birthday!!!! What a fun birthday treat! May all your wishes come true.

    ReplyDelete
  6. First of all Happy 60th Birthday! Welcome to the club!! I love New Orleans and lived there for several years in the 70's. I am due for a trip back as it has been several years. Your photos made me very homesick. It is truly one of my favorite places I ever lived (and I've lived a lot of places). You did a great job of describing it's fabulous unique culture and as they say
    Laissez les bons temps rouler

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for the tour and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    New Orleans is on my list of places I want to visit. It's such a beautiful and historic city. La

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Debbie, looks like you had the best time. I havn't ever been there so I am loving the sight seeing tour you are taking us on. How fun. I can't wait to see the next installment. What a birthday present. Hugs, Marty

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so happy to see part I of your tour! I just adore New Orleans, this would have been such a fun trip. DH can't stand the place (?!!), but I think I could change his mind if we had more than 1 day there :) I hoped that you had taken a guided tour of the cemetery, I've heard it's much safer that way. Thanks for the virtual tour, I am looking forward to the next installment. Hugs, Kat

    ReplyDelete
  10. Debbie, I thought perhaps you were on your birthday trip to New Orleans. Happy Birthday, dear friend! It looks like you celebrated in style. Loved traveling along with you. I haven't been to New Orleans in over 20 years. It is a fun city! Thanks for sharing your special trip. ~ Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  11. You sold me Debbie! What a great tour guide you are and you showed us so many wonderful things!
    I actually lived in New Orleans for about 3 weeks when I was about a year and a half old. My Mom thought she wanted to try it since it sounded so romantic. Well she was young, pregnant with my brother and got homesick fast. My parents packed up and headed back up north.
    Too bad I can't remember any of it.
    And Happy Birthday too!
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy B-Day! It looks like you had a great trip, fun pics-thanks:@)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a wonderful trip!

    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Happy Birthday! What a trip, I love New Orleans, it full of so many things to do! I love the food, the antiques, the ride on the historic streetcars, the historical places and just walking around! Your tour and photographs were just fantastic, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I collected and read all the Frances Parkinson Keyes books when I was in high school and college. I just loved her. It was a thrill to see your pictures of New Orleans and especially her (and P.G.T.B's)house.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Everything looks so familiar, Debbie, cause we go there a lot. We are only a 3 hr drive away from there. You should have visited me! The cemetery tour is so interesting, isn't it? It's interesting how they move the bodies as other family members get buried.I love the French Quarter, I love the iron balconies but my favorite there is the food. Every restaurant that we have tried has excellent food. You took beautiful pictures!...Christine

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Debbie, I have been thinking of you as my birthday is now but a happy memory!

    Thanks for all the wonderful pictures and stories to go with them. I have never been to N.O. but my niece has a few times and loves it. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

    Love, Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  18. Debbie -- thanks for taking us along on your trip -- I've never been there, but it's on my list. It looks fabulous! I love the pictures of you too -- you're just a cute as a button! Happy 60th and may your birthday blessings be so abundant that they spill over for days and weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for the tour. I've never been to New Orleans, but it is definitely on my bucket list. I would be happy just to hear the wonderful music there. How cool that you got to see Charmaine Neville! Happy birthday, Debbie! --Delores

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have never been to New Orleans and boy! I am jealous. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Debbie, Happy, happy birthday! Sounds like you had a great time in New Orleans. Back in my corporate days I worked with the failing banks and restructuring their portfolio. I spent six months in New Orleans and stayed in the French Quarter. I gained so much weight from all the beignets and fabulous creole food. I loved my time there.
    Hugs, Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  22. Debbie, What a way to celebrate your birthday!! Laissez les bons temps rouler! Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, the food, the architecture, the gardens... the FOOD! What a wonderful city! Thanks for taking us along for the visit, Debbie and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. New Orleans is such a special place. And the food!!! OH MY!!!! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks so much for sharing, I
    have never been to New Orleans but it's on my list to visit. Can't wait to see more, and ohhhhh that food!! Sandy

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy belated Birthday. The houses in New Orleans all so elegant and beautiful. Thanks for sharing your special trip and take care.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What an amazing tour you gave us, Debbie! Loved seeing the homes... I've never been to the Big Easy before- it has such historic value. Happy belated B-day! Glad you celebrated the occasion in a place you truly enjoy.
    ~ Sue

    ReplyDelete
  28. New Orleans is my favorite city in the USA...I haven't been in 9 years...time for another trip down there. We stayed in the Wharehouse District which is within walking district of the French Quarters. I love the food and party atmosphere of NO, plus there is so much to see and do!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well, I just find your blog and come to find out your were in my town. Glad you had a good visit. To me, it's a better place to visit than to live.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy Birthday my Dear friend...thanks for the fun tour girl..wished I was there ha ha!! Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for sharing.... I need to go back...

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy Birthday, never enough time to see all of New Orleans. I have been so many times, but still haven't eaten at Commanders.... Need to go again.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love New Orleans. Thanks for the memories.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a wonderful post - a great reminder of my one trip to New Orleans. Congrats on your milestone birthday - I can tell you that it only gets better!!! Sally

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for the lovely comments and wonderful photo's of my city. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. Too bad you couldn't have come this week. We are experiencing our first "cool" weather and it's heavenly. As you know, our humiditu is a killer. Thanks again, and come back soon.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello Debbie!
    Thanks for this fantastic tour!it must have been so great!
    While i'm on your blog i'd like to wish you a very Happy Birthday!
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  37. You don't look 60! What a great way to celebrate! I've been a few times, but the last time was on our honeymoon...decades ago. We always say we want to go back and we just haven't done it. Your pictures bring back such memories...what a city, none like it!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the wonderful tour! The food looked scrumptious. I've been to New Orleans several times, but not since the hurricane. Looks like things are back in order. Wonderful!
    AND ... a very big Happy Birthday greeting to you!!
    Karen
    Ladybug Creek

    ReplyDelete
  39. Well 60 must be the new 40 cause girl you are looking great!! Happy Belated Birthday!!
    I absolutely love New Awlins!! Although I've only been there twice. Once for Mardi Gras many years ago...quelle nightmare!! But my second visit stole my heart. Back in the days of RMS a couple of people told me they assumed I lived there. What a fabulous compliment! If it can't be France..NO gives one a small taste dont'cha think? *winks* LOVE your tour! And thank you so much for sharing it with us! Vanna

    ReplyDelete
  40. Happy 60th Birthday! Your tour is making me so nostalgic, and the food is making me so hungry! I never thought I would go back after Katrina, but now -- you make me want to pack a bag.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

    Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy Birthday to you!! It looks like you had yourself a wonderful trip. The food looks heavenly.....

    I have never been, but I sure would love to add it to my list of places to visit.

    Thanks for sharing you vacation with us. Have a great week, Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  42. Debbie, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And what a wonderful way to celebrate! I love New Orleans and you have enlightened me on many places I want to see on my next trip!

    So glad you had fun and can't wait to see more!

    Lou Cinda :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Your photos are fantastic! It looks so fascinating. I have never been, but still hope to someday. Thanks for the tour!
    Cheers, Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for sharing your special moment with us. I love all the beautiful pictures. I do plan to visit there next summer. Doylene

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh so lovely. I was in the "South" this last week too. I enjoyed your photos and all the wonderful food. Now pass me a beignet and no one gets hurt!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Awesome photos and what a great trip! Thanks for sharing, New Orleans looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your images sure catch the beat of New Orleans. I haven't ever been there. Nice cyber tour.
    Joyce M

    ReplyDelete
  48. First I want to wish you a Happy 60th. Looks like you had a great trip to New Orleans. I was there for the first time a few months before the hurricane hit. The food is amazing. I sent you an email on Monday to come to my house in Oct as I am having a Halloween blog gal party. Check you email. Hope you can come.
    Joyce

    ReplyDelete
  49. Really enjoyed this post. You have a great time, don't you. Happy Birthday and many more. Hugs, Deb =^..^=x5

    ReplyDelete
  50. That was wonderful! I am drooling! I have never been to LA. Haven't been to very many places outside of NY! We can't travel.
    I remember that song, know it by heart!!!
    So glad you stopped by. My blog list disappeared and I have been gradually putting it back!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Debbie! Oh, how I love New Orleans! Been there so many times and I'm always ready to go again! I've been to so many of the places you've shown!! Glad you had such a wonderful time and Happy Birthday sweet one! You're the youngest looking 60 year old ever!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thankyou for a wonderful tour of New Orleans. It is good to meet you I am calling by from Italy on my first Wordless Wednesday blog hopping around the other entrants and enjoying exploring all these wonderful blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love New Orleans.. wonderful guide through the city. Happy 60th! That certainly is reason to go to the happy city. Thanks for dropping in and leaving such a nice comment.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Debbie, Thanks so much for visiting and your kind comments. I don't think I can ever get enough of looking at New Orleans. Had to go through and look at everything again. Waiting for more!!!
    Sandy

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you for the neat tour and Happy Birthday!! I went for my birthday in May! We really loved it. I gained about 10 lbs!! We have been ordering Cafe Du Monde coffee from Amazon...it's really reasonable and a great way to bring a little NOLA home with you!

    XO,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hello Debbie, what a wonderful post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and clicked on the Hotel you stayed in, absolutely devine. Great photography, Oh! makes me want to jump on a plane and fly across the pond and have a looksee for myself....happy birthday and so glad you had a great time. Teresa x

    ReplyDelete
  57. What beautiful pictures of a grand old city. You captured it all so wonderfully. We visited New Orleans for the first time last month, and I can't wait for the opportunity to return. The culinary side of New Orleans is worth the trip all by itself!

    Stopping over from Foodie Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Welcome to the 60's Debbie!
    What a fabulous way to celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm glad you had such a great birthday, Debbie! Happy Happy Belat3ed! :-)

    Galatoire's is my favorite NOLA restaurant, and I love their shrimp remoulade. YUM! And I love their trout almondine. Those are my two favorite dishes there. I see that you made it to Cafe diru Monde. Mr. Magpie drinks their coffee all the time. It's his favorite! I could just sit and eat the beignets until I went into a sugar coma. LOL! :-)

    Speaking of which, he is on the mend, and I am a happy camper about that. I hope to be blogging again in a week or so when I climb out from under a mountain of housework that is waiting for me!

    Thanks for these pics. Makes me homesick for the Deep South...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

    ReplyDelete
  60. We have wonderful memories of New Orleans but have only been there once. To give you a clue how long ago it was, we shook hands with Gerald Ford who was campaigning there! I do remember the humidity and many of the wonderful sights and restaurants you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  61. A belated Happy Birthday!! Sounds and looks like you had a great celebration! The food looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing your trip to New Orleans.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  62. What a wonderful trip you had! I have never been to New Orleans.. but would LOVE to eat beignets and see the inside of that gorgeous Cathedral!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi Debbie!

    Wow, what a wonderful tour you gave us! I want to visit New Orleans. But, until I do, I sure enjoyed seeing through your photos!

    ReplyDelete
  64. What a lovely tour yoiu've escorted us on. LOL, about Nicolas Cage. The food all looks devine :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  65. You sure did hit the best restaurants. After eating this food all my life, I can no longer tolerate it, but I know what a treat is for those who haven't been eating it all their lives. So glad you enjoyed yourself.

    BTW, I'm an animal rescuer and I think your fur babies are simply adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I love your site, I spent 7 days at Place D'Armes in may for my BD. I also spent my 60th bd there. I spent four days there last week. Love your photos. I am in Iowa as well.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Debbie, what a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! I have enjoyed several trips to N.O., and your photos have brought back some memories for me. I LOVE Galatories, and I can't think of better food for a birthday celebration. You look so cute in that picture - you sure don't look 60! Thank you for linking your trip and your birthday to Favorite Things Sat. laurie

    ReplyDelete
  68. ♫♫Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu
    Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuu
    Happy Birthday Dear Debbieeeee
    Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuu♫♫

    Sixt?? Get outta here - not a day over 40 :)

    Your tour of New Orleans looks terrific! and of course I am not very hungry - (it's 1 a.m., no treaties in the house, no take out and I live wayyyy in the country :( Cereal will have to do ;)

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  69. Ooo. I do SO want to stop by Commanders for lunch. I keep hearing good things about it!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie