Friday morning, we got up at 10 and walked over to Canal Street, then down toward the river.
It was windy and overcast, but still warm outside. We walked along the river past the aquarium, then to Jackson Park before making the obligatory stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee.
Bally may have ended up with some powdered sugar on him!
We walked down Decatur, checking out the sights and shops along the way, noting things we wanted to return to. Our plan was to go over to Cafe Negril in Marigny for lunch, but when we got there, it was closed. So we found Marigny Brasserie instead, and were quite happy with that indeed. We sat at the bar and had an awesome lunch.
That sign was on the corner outside the restaurant. It’s particularly close to me, quite literally.
We wandered back toward Decatur, and stopped into the French Market to shop. Everyone we talked to there was pretty much the friendliest person ever. I love New Orleans for that!
As we were about the leave the French Market, the skies opened up. There was an epic downpour that sent people running for cover, and the wind was amazing. We stood there under the awning trying to decide where to wait out the storm, and, really, the answer was obvious: Margaritaville. It’s a silly tradition we’re incapable of resisting. We ran around the corner and bellied up to the bar.
The storm lasted a couple of hours, and we were happy to sit there and drink and talk to other people about Jazzfest. We were very glad to not be there, because the park had to have been a giant puddle by that point. Jazzfest people are hardy, though, because the same thing had happened the previous year as well.
Once the rain died down a little, Matt and I went over to catch the trolley to the Riverwalk Marketplace. We rode a stop too far, and ended up walking what seemed a very long way to get there. We’d already walked a few miles that day!
Our destination at the Marketplace? The Museum of the American Cocktail, which is located inside the American Food and Beverage Museum.
Matt was in heaven, of course. Both museums were great, and so were the shops!!
After touring the museums fully, we cut through Harrah’s and headed down to the Quarter in search of dinner. We wanted something Cajun, but of course it’s tricky to find that plus vegetarian options.
We ended up at Arnaud’s Remoulade, and I was very happy to just sit down and relax for a while. Also, watching the crowds in the French Quarter establishments is always highly entertaining.
We decided to go back to the hotel, drop off our stuff, and take advantage of the rooftop pool before going out for the night. It was dark when we got up there, and there was only one couple out on the pool deck, not even swimming. They hung around for a bit, then left. Another couple came in and lingered for a while, clearly also wanting the pool to themselves. I guess we got lucky! We swam for an hour or so, then went back to the room and changed for more New Orleans adventure.
Back in the Quarter, we stopped in at Arnaud’s French 75 for their famous cocktail. We were thrilled to have the same bartender who was featured in the article where we’d first learned of the place, and he was fantastic.
We were planning to go to a reggae show at Cafe Negril, so we decided to head that direction. It was a long walk, so of course we had to stop in at one of the thousand-or-so Mango Mango shops for a to-go drink. We got to Cafe Negril shortly before midnight and found it crowded, but not terrible; we were able to get seats at the bar to watch the show, at least.
When we emerged from the bar after the show, we found a crowd gathered around a brass band who’d just set up on Frenchmen. They’d come from Jazz Fest, and just picked a street corner to play on afterwards. Have I mentioned that New Orleans is awesome?? I loved it.
Even though it was a very long way to our hotel, we decided to walk it and see what was up in the French Quarter. We wandered into Pat O’Brien’s around 2am, expecting some kind of fratboy disaster, but found the back bar to be very relaxed. The bartender was great, too, and we noticed that the drinks were actually priced cheaper in that bar than in the courtyard.
After our drinks there, we went over to Chris Owens’. I’m not sure what compelled us to go in there in the first place (I’m sure it was my idea, because of the blaring dance music), because the place was neon-lit inside even in the middle of the night, and was mostly empty. We got drinks, though, and sat on a couch watching the highly entertaining people on the dance floor. Also, Matt saw a rat run across the bar. So yeah. We’ll probably just enjoy Chris Owens from the outside next time.
We got back to the hotel around 3:30am, this time sans morning beer.