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Road Trip

Day 12

Jennifer Alden (Sunday, January 21, 2001)

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.

Lawrence_double_tomb.jpg Bourbon_boa.jpg Corn_fence_3.jpg Garden_house_3.jpg Tombs.jpg
Cafe_du_Monde_1_cropped.jpg Lafitte.jpg


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