We had breakfast at the Cafe du
Monde, right near the Mississipi riverbank. We had cafe au lait and
beignets, a fried piece of dough covered in powdered sugar -- delicious.
We went walking around the French Quarter all morning, through Jackson Square,
down Pirates' Alley to the Faulkner Bookstore, then down Royal Street to check
out all the antique stores.
We took a Gray Line bus tour of the city, which we highly recommend. It took us
around the French Quarter, to an old above-ground
cemetery, to the art museum and the levies, and by the garden district.
Our guide said that the above-ground tombs are not, as everyone believes,
because the water table is so high that below-ground burrial is not possible.
There are plenty of below-ground cemeteries in and around New Orleans. The
practice of using tombs was taken from France and Spain hundreds of years ago
and families like having a single
structure for all of their members.
(The double tomb in the above picture only has enough space for two caskets.
The hot and humid New Orleans weather reduces the body to bones within a year.
When there's a need for a third casket, the older of the two existing ones is
removed and its contents are moved to the receiving vault, the area underneith
the lower space.)
After the tour we went to the Crescent City Brewhouse for lunch. We then got a
book on walking tours of the garden district and hitched a cab there.
The Garden District is an impressive historic neighborhood full of 100+ year
old mansions, huge trees and cast iron fences. We spent about an hour on a
self-guided walking tour and then headed back to the hotel for a quick nap. We
then got a little dressed up (Jennifer with her new red feather boa) and went
to Mr. B.'s, a nice restaurant at the edge of the French Quarter.
We walked back through the much quieter Sunday night
Bourbon Street and stopped for a few drinks at Lafitte's Blacksmith Pub, supposedly the oldest
structure used as a bar in the United States, built in 1722. The piano player
sang very loudly and very badly.