Day 55 - Houston, TX to New Orleans, LA

If there was ever a whirlwind 'just get a flavor' of New Orleans visit, this was it!  Austin to New Orleans is a haul on a good day, and we hit a few traffic snarls on our way.  Still, we got there by mid-afternoon and were able to get checked into our place and hit the town. 

A little aside on our hotel - it was our first fairly negative stay.  We booked a place right in the French Quarter to get as much flavor as we could, paid up for a balcony with a view and...the place was being completely renovated.  All torn up, no balcony rooms available, workers everywhere including starting their work at 8:00 am.  I don't begrudge a hotel for upgrading, but they took our reservation for a room that they had to know wasn't going to be available and didn't mention any renovations when making the reservation.  Boo.  They gave us an adjustment on the rate and were friendly about it, but in the end it wasn't the money, it was the quality of stay.  Overall just a tiny hiccup, a true first world problem and actually amazing that we haven't had more issues to this point.  But still, pfft.

We walked Bourbon Street early in hopes of showing the girls the deal without getting them too much, um, adult exposure.  Pretty successful and just a few semi-awkward boobie-related novelties in the windows and gift shops.  After that stroll, we went up and down some of the more family friendly parts of the French Quarter - lots of cute shops.  One highlight for me was a little hole-in-the-wall photography store, A Gallery for Fine Photography. Walked in, first couple of pictures were pretty meh, walked around the corner to the second room and WOW!  Holy moly, filled with countless originals from some of the pioneers of photography.  If it's your deal, then go there.  It's the real thing.   

By the time we were done walking the French Quarter, it was dinner time.  We chose Nola, one of Emeril's joints.  Great stuff, classy place.  We skipped dessert, however, so we could head down to Cafe du Monde for some beignets and coffee.  Who knew deep fried chunks of dough covered in powdered sugar could be so magical.  

As we strolled back towards out hotel, we had to cross Bourbon Street again, and of course it was getting later.  We passed by one establishment where you could see a young man dancing for the patrons in that establishment.  MK declared that as soon as she sees a man dancing in his underwear, she knows it's time to go back to the hotel.  That's my girl.  I hope that philosophy sticks with her through college and beyond.

We're taking a sharp left turn and another long day due north tomorrow.  Less than a week left before we're home.

- Jim

Bourbon Street, NOLA.

Dinner time!

Cafe du Monde.

French Quarter.