~1~ On my own. Last week we left our boys in the care of i Nonni while Joe and I headed for New Orleans for four nights, five days. And each morning after Joe headed off to a Chemical Engineering class (shudders), I grabbed my Coach messenger bag, a water bottle, and a city map to head off on my own.
~2~ Follow the music. It's everywhere, on every square and street corner, outside store fronts, and inside restaurants. One day I had to make a late morning phone call (an interview with a priest which had been scheduled weeks earlier). I just figured I'd find a quiet park bench somewhere and make the call. Well. I couldn't find a quiet place anywhere, and when I finally made the call there was a jazz band playing in the background. When I apologized to the priest, he laughed and asked if I had been to Cafe` Du Monde yet.
~3~ Cafe` Du Monde. Beignets. Every morning I headed to this little piece of heaven and ordered a cafe` au lait and a beignet (and you don't just get one beignet, you get three). And I won't mention that on the last day I went back in the afternoon and ... well, I'm not telling.
~4~ Bourbon Street. Okay. It's only one street in all of New Orleans, and I just hope visitors/tourists don't judge the entire city on those few blocks. When Joe and I got into New Orleans we decided to stroll down this iconic street figuring that, since it was Sunday, things would be tame. Uhm, no. Good grief.
**No photo ... this is a family blog.**
~5~ Second Line. Not sure what this is? Well, we had no idea until we witnessed one. It was a wedding parade, complete with a dancing bride (holding a white parasol), a brass band, and the entire wedding party following behind. Very New Orleans.
~6~ Meeting people. Maybe it was because I was by myself, but everyone I met (tourists, shop keepers, waiters) wanted to talk. And not just talk, but have an entire conversation. It was wonderful! One day I took a guided walking tour of the Garden District and met a young British woman who was
|In St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, the day Pope Benedict retired.|
~7~ Preservation Hall. This was by far the highlight of my week. For $15 and the willingness to stand in line for an hour just to be able to get in the door, Joe and I were treated to an hour of pure jazz. In a small, crowded room with brick walls and low ceilings, and without the aid of microphones and amplifiers, six jazz musicians showed us what jazz was meant to be: an experience. It was intimate, it was pure soul, and I totally got it.
~8~ P.S. And what about my resolve to pack light? See photo. Packed into that teeny duffle bag: outifts for four nights and five days, two pairs of shoes, workout clothes, laptop ... I did well, no?
*Now, go visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for some more Quick Takes fun.
She has a book coming out!