For us, it was a 7+ hour drive to New Orleans. We made a few stops on the way there, and let me just say, I don't intend to do much exploring of Louisiana in the future. We got to the hotel at around 1 AM. Long drive, lots of traffic. It was time to pass out. We woke up around 8 to get a start on the day. After breakfast, we visited the concierge and got some tours planned for the day. We decided to do a bus tour because I still have my pneumatic boot from my foot surgery and walking is difficult. We also decided to do a dinner cruise on a steamboat.
Since we had some time to kill before the bus tour, we located a little cafe that's famous for it's beignets. A beignet, from what I understand is kinda like a square donut pastry with powdered sugar on top. We splurged and got some. I mean, it was a vacation after all.
The bus tour was a really good idea. We got to see all sorts of different parts of the city and got some "insider" tips from the driver. He was informative and amusing. The tour brought us through the areas of the city that were completely destroyed. In the pictures below, the green house has a circle with letters around it. The TFW means Total Flood Water. The number at the top is the date, and I think the numbers on the sides have to do with deaths. After seeing all the damage and then seeing the levy with water at sea level on one side and houses several feet below sea level on the other, I don't understand why people live in those areas and don't have floating houses.
We also toured the lavish areas of town. The picture of the white house below is Anne Rice's house.
After the tour, we went and got a small lunch at the restaurant attached to the hotel. We walked down to the river and waited for our steamboat to board for our dinner cruise. It was a beautiful evening. It wasn't too hot and there was an awesome breeze off of the river. The views were awesome.
When we got back, we took a taxi to the east side of town to visit the Creole Creamery which is home to some crazy and awesome flavors. I would recommend a trip out there. It's a good place, but I would take the trolley. If you're in that area at night, you might find yourself waiting several hours for a taxi. The trolley goes straight downtown and isn't heavily influenced by traffic. If you find yourself in a pneumatic boot... I'm sorry. Don't depend on taxis. Since it took so long to get back, we didn't really have a chance to do anything downtown.
The next day, we took our time and checked out late. The sleep was welcome after the tiring day of driving and walking around. I really wanted to cross the Pontchartrain bridge, which is one of the longest bridges in the world and is 24 miles across. It was exciting. You'd think it would be boring, but there are actually quite a few hills for boats to pass under.
On the other side of the bridge is Mandeville. We found a little breakfast/lunch place called The Broken Egg. It's in a super quiet and lovely area. It's an awesome location for a bed and breakfast. If I were to look for a little tropical paradise in the US that doesn't require a beach, I would pick this place. I wouldn't go to do touristy things, I would go to just relax and enjoy the weather and the plants and the quiet.
The drive back home was uneventful, and I got pretty bored. Poor TC. We did get to cross the Atchafalaya Basin bridge, which is another of the longest bridges in the world. That was pretty cool to see.
So, that pretty much sums up our adventure. Check out the pictures on my New Orleans picture page.