By Saturday morning, the rain had stopped. I wiped down the patio furniture and started a load of towels in the laundry, since we’d used all of them cleaning up from the downpour. I discovered a monster blister on my foot, too, which explained a lot of my walking distress the previous day.
We had breakfast, then walked down to the French Market RTA stop to get on the trolley. The trolleys that run on the riverfront seem to be in no damn hurry at all; we sat there forever before leaving.
We took the trolley to the end of the line (near the cruise port and convention center) and headed up Julia Street to find our lunch destination, Cafe Carmo. We ordered at the counter, and went outside to get a table on the sidewalk. Matt got a cocktail, and I had my coconut water delivered directly in the coconut. Awesome.
We had an order of gougeres that were amazing, and I had an open-face fake-meat ‘sandwich’ on plantains with salad. Matt had a yellowfish tuna sandwich. Everything they had there was excellent. There was a lady hanging out at the next table with her adorable English bulldog, and the dog kept trying to get to Matt for food. It was really cute.
After lunch, we walked over to the World War II Museum. (No, I don’t exactly know why New Orleans has a WWII museum – it used to be the D-Day Museum, but they do.)
The place is really large, with three or four big buildings across the street from one another. Only one of them appeared to be fully in use, though. It’s the one with most of the D-Day exhibits. It was really well-done, and appropriate for someone like me with a short attention span. I just wish they’d have had more on the atomic bomb (it was one long wall in a corner, with a couple videos), but that’s mostly because it’s one of the eras I’m nerdiest about.
We saw the exhibits in the main building, then crossed the street. There’s a big, definitely fancy restaurant in there, and a giant hangerish building sponsored by Boeing that didn’t seem to have much set up yet. The entire building in the photo above is still under construction, too.
Regardless of the construction, I liked the museum a lot, and it’s not the kind of thing I expected to find there. Plus Bally got to go in a tank!
We stopped at the cafe for a drink (and to sit down), and then decided to walk back toward the French Quarter. Why we didn’t take the bus, I’m not positive. It’s how we are.
If we’d have taken the bus, we couldn’t have experienced this amazing New Orleans wisdom, though:
We figured we had some time to kill before Steve and Colleen arrived, so we were on our way to another cocktail bar. Colleen texted that they’d landed as we reached Canal Street, so we changed our plans and decided to head back to the house right away. I looked up the bus schedule again on Google Maps, and we went to the stop to wait. While we were standing there for 10 minutes or so, it started raining again. Not quite the downpour from the previous night, but still a lot. Watching the people without umbrellas was pretty amusing.
The bus took us to Franklin, and we only had a few-block walk from there. We cleaned up and took up positions on the front stoop to wait for our friends from Seattle to arrive. It was a pretty entertaining game, asking “Is that them?” with every passing car… the passers-by were very interesting, to say the least. They finally showed up, and we went inside to hang out.
A little while later, we made our obligatory daily trip to Hank’s with Steve, where they noticed someone had spray-painted “All Hanx are Bastards” on the wall. The guy behind the counter every time we went in definitely wasn’t the friendliest, but he wasn’t exactly a bastard. We got more coffee, more milk, and all the flavors of Zapps they had to offer. Including Voodoo Zapps, which were obviously the most exciting.
We sat around on the patio for a while, then decided to walk to dinner. Our destination was 13, the place that had been unable to deliver the previous day. We walked over to Frenchmen Street, which was already in full-on party mode, and stopped at the front door because of a sign stating that no one under 18 was allowed on the premises because they had gambling machines. That meant not even Steve and Colleen’s daughter, who was riding in a stroller.
We decided on Marigny Brasserie instead, because Matt and I had had lunch there before and it was good. (Plus if I’d eaten there before, that meant there was vegetarian food.) We went in to ask about a table, and the surliest hostess ever told us it’d be about 20 minutes. That was fine, so we put our names down and grabbed chairs in the bar by the stage.
A band was setting up, and everything seemed normal until one of the guys playing pulled out the largest musical instrument I’d ever seen. He explained it was a kora from Mali. The main problem was that when he played it, it looked like he was humping a calabash the whole time. Colleen and I couldn’t look at it without laughing.
We sat there watching the band for a long time, and Colleen finally gave up and went to ask about our table. Surprise! It was ready for us. (I don’t know if they didn’t bother looking for people on the list, or what. We were just happy to be able to eat since it was after 9pm and we were all hungry.) Our server brought drinks, and the appetizers came out pretty quickly. They didn’t have a vegetarian appetizer, so I waited.
As far as we could tell, there was one server in the entire place, which was totally full at that point. She was trying to be friendly, but mostly looked harried and acted like everyone asking for things was imposing. Everyone sat with empty classes for a long time, until we managed to flag the server to ask for them. My entree was godawful, but I ate it anyway because we had waited so long (and it was the only vegetarian thing on the menu). They apologized and offered to buy me dessert (I don’t eat sugar) or a drink (I wasn’t drinking). When the check arrived, THEY HADN’T REMOVED THE ENTREE.
So, basically, this was the one place in New Orleans I’d recommend avoiding completely. We should’ve checked the reviews, because they’re also terrible.
Anyway, after dinner we walked back to the house and hung out in the hot tub, so that was awesome.