I got up a little earlier than usual, since we had to check out of our awesome VRBO house by 10am. We did our usual toast and massive-amounts-of-iced-coffee breakfast, and then packed up and took everything out to the car. Steve and Colleen were staying another night, and had a room at the Hotel Monteleone. They chose it because of the rooftop pool for their daughter, not because of the awesome rotating bar.
The view wasn’t too bad, either:
We left the car with the valet and headed down toward the riverfront to get breakfast. We got a table at the French Market Cafe, where I discovered that not a single item on the menu was vegetarian. Thankfully, they still had their breakfast buffet running, and it had one of the best biscuits I’d ever had. So I was happy.
After breakfast, we went to the French Market again, since they hadn’t seen it yet. I found a couple really cute prints of a shrimp and crab to take home for our kitchen, and Colleen got a voodoo doll. Not the kind you stab with pins, but one to make you happy when you feel sad. Who knew?
From there, we walked back into the Quarter and down Royal Street to do some shopping. We stopped into a few art galleries and some some really fantastic (and way too expensive) stuff. We also discovered that the haunted or unhaunted nature of property in the French Quarter seems to be a big selling point. I’m not sure if haunting makes it more or less expensive, though.
I was really thirsty (it was way hotter than usual), so Matt and I went into Pat O’Briens to get drinks for everyone (since they couldn’t take their daughter inside). The guys got juleps, and Colleen and I had Cool Breezes again. They were delicious!
Matt and I wanted to go see Armstrong Park before we left, and were shopped-out, so we headed that way while they went back to the hotel for a nap. It was only about six blocks away, but it felt like a lot in the heat, and after having walked so many miles already.
We hung out on a bench in the shade in Congo Square for a while, then went to see the Louis Armstrong trophy and the lakes in the rest of the park. I didn’t know the place was so big!
We headed back to the French Quarter, texting Steve that we’d be at Kingfish, the cocktail bar we’d wanted to go to a few days earlier. He said he’d meet us there. We grabbed seats at the bar, which had a gigantic photo of Huey Long at the opposite end. There were a few people there that may have been there for days at that point. They were in a pretty entertaining state.
The bartender was awesome. She made me an N/A drink with ginger beer and her own homemade bitters, and all the drinks involved crushed ice made the old-fashioned way, with a huge mallet and canvas bag. (Every time she had to make ice, everyone stopped to watch.) She told us her boyfriend was actually playing at a bar in Minneapolis that weekend (a show I later found out one of our friends had attended). Steve joined us, and we ordered a few appetizers – fries with bleu cheese, three kinds of cracklins, and BBQ shrimp on a waffle.
After a while, I wanted to go back over to Bourbon Street for some people-watching, so we went to Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House. The older lady working behind the bar was crabby as hell, but at least she didn’t charge me for my multiple Diet Coke refills. I bought Matt and Steve shots of Fireball (we’d been discussing them at the previous place), and they decided to have absinthe, too, since Steve hadn’t experienced the drip yet. I texted Colleen what was going on, and she was a little bit apprehensive. If I couldn’t drink, though, they were going to have to cover my portion as well.
Then it was time to head to the airport, sadly. We walked back to the hotel, got the car from the valet, and they drove us to the airport. Our flight was delayed a little, til 6:30, but it was otherwise uneventful and we were home by 11pm (after taking the train downtown to get the car). Not bringing a change of clothes for the cold was definitely not the smartest thing we’ve ever done!