Monday, December 23, 2013

New Orleans: Day 1

It has been a while since I've done a vacation post, but I just went on a short trip to New Orleans, Louisiana for Christmas with my husband and his parents, and I wanted to share some photos and stories.

On our first night, which was technically December 22, we ate at Commander's Palace, a lovely restaurant where we had seafood and tasty wine.  Dave got the gumbo also, which he says was fantastic.

The first actual day, mostly we shopped.  Dave found his favorite shop right away:

OK, it isn't his favorite for the guns, it's his favorite because they had cool coins, too.  However, he did like the swords, and we both thought that the dueling kits were really neat.  Each kit contained two matching pistols and other assorted sundries that you might need in a duel.  I guess.

This building was one of the loveliest in the Quarter, and if you look closely at the sign in the lower left, you'll see something pretty funny:

Yes, it says "haunted."  Incidentally, the other side says "not haunted."  And Dave pointed out that there was a different phone number for each one.

We also stopped by my mother-in-law's favorite praline shop, Aunt Sally's, where they were making fresh praline snacks before our eyes:

They are a little sugary for me, but the shop smelled heavenly.  

We also stopped at an amazing little yarn shop called The Quarter Stitch.  I bought some Noro yarn for a cowl for Deb, which hopefully will remind her of this trip.  Deb bought a skein of sparkly rainbow yarn for me, and it is so pretty that I don't even know what to make with it yet.

We also saw strange sights in the windows of voodoo shops, like this little doll at left.  In such a shop, Deb bought Dave and I some worry stones, which are flat, smooth stones that you can rub in your pocket.

In the afternoon, to escape the cold we first visited Mother's Restaurant for some baked ham, vegetables (with ham, of course) and red beans and rice (again, with ham).  God, I feel for the vegetarians in this town.  (Are there any?)

After lunch, we went to a 3-D showing of "The Hobbit" part 2, which was enjoyable but somehow stretched.  Dave and I, in a reference to Bilbo's line in "Fellowship of the Ring," said that Peter Jackson's attempt to stretch "The Hobbit" into a trilogy makes the movies feel " butter scraped over too much bread."

And on our way back from the movie, we visited a hot sauce bar, which was one of the coolest things we did on the trip.  There were about three dozen hot sauces, and Dave and I went around trying them all.  Only when we hit the "Black Mamba" sauce did our mouths feel in too much pain to continue.

For dinner on the second night, we went to Arnaud's, which is one of the more famous / old restaurants in the Quarter.  I don't know if they were having an off night or what, but the drinks were extremely slow, the food was not impressive at all (except for the asparagus and Brie soup, which the guys ordered and loved), and the whole experience was just not what I expected - especially after the wonderful service at Commander's Palace.  Oh well.  First world problems, I guess.

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