Although it may sound odd, there is a new campground, or resort as this one is called, just a few blocks north of the French Quarter. It is definitely an urban campground and is enclosed by a wall and security gate. It is also way more expensive than any place we’ve stayed, but the amenities are very nice and the location can’t be beat.
As for the crowds, we may be here for Mardi Gras, but we are only staying for two nights. We’re getting out of town before the height of the celebration begins on Friday and ends on Fat Tuesday.
We ventured into the French Quarter this afternoon and hit some of the must-see sights that every tourist has to check off. I always enjoy gazing at the stunning architecture wherever I am. We walked by Jackson Square and saw the St. Louis Cathedral and the artists who sell their work along the perimeter of the square.
|Around the Square|
|Afternoon Fog Over St. Louis Cathedral|
We had café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde, where we were entertained by a small jazz band playing on the sidewalk. Tim turned out to be a pro at eating beignets. These French doughnuts are covered with powdered sugar, and if you so much as breathe heavily, let alone sneeze, you will be wearing that white confection. Dressing in black while eating beignets is not advisable.
|Beignets and Cafe au Lait|
|A Little Jazz to Entertain Us|
We may have been two of the few tourists who sought out the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. This has to be one of the most unique parks in the country. The park does not preserve or interpret a place or a thing, but an art form. The park presents a regular concert series at the Old U.S. Mint Performance Hall, and the rangers are often the ones performing. How cool is that! We missed today’s concert, but hope to catch the one tomorrow afternoon.
Beignets were not the only signature dish we sampled. We also had po-boys for a late lunch. This classic New Orleans sandwich features a long, submarine-style roll piled high with assorted meats or seafood. Mine had fried oysters, and Tim’s had sausage.
Decorations for Mardi Gras were everywhere we looked, and more than a few tourists were wearing costumes, funny hats and beads. We happened upon a “parade” of horse-drawn carriages, accompanied by a police escort. The people on board seemed to be having a grand time, and they were throwing beads and hats at the onlookers, as is the Mardi Gras custom. I just wasn’t fast enough to catch anything.
|Even the French Market Is Wearing a Mask|
|An Impromptu Parade|
|Who Is That Silver Man?|
We had every intention of continuing our Mardi Gras adventure and culinary tour this evening. We had received a recommendation for a restaurant serving authentic New Orleans specialties, and we knew where to go to watch one of the parades. Alas, we never made it back out after returning to the campground to rest up for the evening. Doesn’t that sound just like us? Even when we are in a city where we can walk to fabulous restaurants or entertainment, we still stay in at night! We did have an excuse, however, as it started raining heavily while we were resting. Even thunderstorms were on their way. Even a great dinner or a parade didn’t seem to be worth getting soaked for. Maybe tomorrow, although the weather forecast isn’t much better.