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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The French Quarter, New Orleans

New Orleans is proving to be just how it is portrayed in movies and books: hot, humid, fascinating-- I move slow and must have a cold drink in hand at all times. I cannot imagine how anyone survived the summers down here before the invention of air conditioning. I love the weather. I have always adored hot and humid. I accept my fate and move slow, with icy drink in hand. It is not so easy for children. My girls are having difficulty adjusting to the heat, little Pip especially. She gets scarlet after about fifteen minutes outside and we must carry her to reach our destination. We have learned very quickly that we must rise early and attempt our site seeing adventures before noon. At noon we must retreat to the hotel or the air conditioned mall beside the hotel (we are at The Westin on Canal Street which is beside a very upscale mall) until about six p.m.  Our hotel is in The French Quarter so we can walk everywhere (kids willing).
 It is fascinating to explore the historical streets. The New Oreleanians are very chatty and friendly--I quite enjoy the banter with strangers. The edge of the French Quarter has a housing project on its street. It is right beside New Orleans most famous and oldest Grave yard. We were going to attempt it yesterday afternoon but the girls were far too overheated to walk there. Peter took the little ones back to the hotel and the Mist and I continued exploring the historical landmarks throughout the Quarter--stopping for iced tea and ice cream for Mist at every chance. We learned that all government buildings (museums included) are closed on Mondays :(  --and that one can purchase a pickle in a pouch to go!--this we found a little disgusting for some reason: a bag of brine with a pickle inside. One can see a little of the effects of hurricane Katrina if one looks very closely at the buildings for water damage but other than that, the French Quarter seems to be in full splendor.
I am not thrilled with the Southern diet. It is so heavy and sweet. Everything has a sauce and drinks like syrup. I order a dish I assume is sauceless but somehow they have found a sauce or two to pour all over it! Below are a few photos of our fist day out. I am saving the Voo-Doo museum and ghostly history for another blog though. Bourbon Street after seven proved too risque for my crew. It was like walking around the Red Light district in Amsterdam for me, thus I do it with curious eyes and mind. My crew was frightened by its seediness so we exited early--loved the live jazz streaming from the bars we passed by!
-posted during a wee hot afternoon break, between sight seeing expeditions.
Peter practicing his New Orleans shuffle.
Hotel Moneleone--The original proprietor Antonio Moneleone was from Sicily. It is said to haunted by up to 12 ghosts. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner were guests.
The girls and I exploring Royal Street.
Pip's feeling the heat!
New Orleans Police Station--originally the Bank of Louisiana.
Royal Street.
New Orleans Court House. Edward White--judge represented in statue (thanks to Tabs for remembering his name).
Peter, Mist and Pip
This man sang in the street all day long! His voice was low and powerful. Amazing Grace boomed throughout the streets as we explored this area of French Quarter. 

Named after two sisters: Berth and Emma Camors, who ran a notions shop at this location--now a restaurant.The sisters were aristocratic and their shop clothed many society women in New Orleans.
Peter on Saint Peter's Street.
The French Quarter
Tabs, Peter and Pip with The Saint Louis Cathedral's rectory behind them. Includes a monument of 30 French who all died on one ship of yellow-fever in 1857.
A Charming French Quarter Street of homes. The French Quarter has existed since before the civil war. New Orleans celebrates its 200th birthday this year.
Pip has had it with the heat.
Saint Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square. The oldest cathedral (1794)  in the USA that is still in use. 
Jackson Square. The court yard is modeled after decorative sun patterns of King Louis XIV of France.
Corn Stalk  Fence Hotel --love the name. The fence has corn stalks on the top of it.
The Riverwalk along the Mississippi River.
Mississippi paddle wheeler behind us.
On the Riverwalk. It had to be 115 F.
Mist with the Mississippi and the Creole Queen behind her.
Mist surveying the Mississippi from our hotel lobby--The Westin.
Snowballs, a New Orleans tradition, save the day!
Enjoying those snowballs in the hotel lobby!
Pete and Tabs hot foot'n it down Bourbon Street.
Not sure which way to turn...
Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street on  a Monday evening. The girls found the street creepy. We headed for a less 'adult' street.

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Anonymous Sandra said...

Your pictures are wonderful. Really makes me want to go to New Orleans. Wonder if the pickles in brine are to compensate for all the salt lost in sweating...not you of course Melissa, but most people.
I did see a map of the places in the USA that have broken temperature records and New O was among them Don't know if I could stand the humidity. I'm with Pip I'm afraid.

That being said, it looks like a fascinating place.

I think the high here today is 17. But ...it is supposed to start warming up tomorrow and next week will be in the 30's.

Our cherry crop is almost ripe. We have a good crop except that the birds have been terrible this year. I'm sure half the cherries have been eaten by them. They are not afraid of us and we practically have to pick them out of the trees.

the river has dropped at least 2 feet since Sat. but has risen again about 4 or 5 inches but we are in no danger of flooding.

Catherine, Saskia and Henry left for paris this morning. Hope their trip goes well.

I have actually read a lot of novels about New O so many of the places you have mentioned seem familiar to me. Did you ever read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". It was set there.

Hope you are not finding the heat too stressful and I'll be looking forward to your next blog.

love Mom

July 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Mix Hart said...

Mom, I didn't read the book (garden of good and evil), but saw the movie. Learning how to deal with the heat--carry a glass of ice cubes with me on walks to dole out to the Pip! Lightening storm tonight. We're on the 26th floor with a sweeping view of the Mississippi. Very exciting for the girls!
Love QMJ

July 3, 2012 at 6:41 PM  

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