On 10/10/10 we first visited New Orleans for a wedding and fell in love with the city. So it was kind of appropriate that we came back on 12/12/12.
Our first day in the Crescent City was a cold and damp one. We discovered on our previous visit that the best way to navigate around New Orleans was by bicycle. Rarely does less-than-ideal weather prevent us from our biking plan. So, off we went.
Getting a late start from our campsite at St Bernard State Park, we rode two ferries in, had lunch and visited the Insectarium, then rode two ferries out.
The ferries were necessary because a bicycle can’t go over many of the Mississippi River bridges. The river snakes through New Orleans like the Grinch around a Christmas tree.
On the ferries, we had an opportunity to chat with some of the locals. We got some interesting inside info on the city, and Katrina.
In varied accents (Creole, Cajun, Southern and folks who talk just like me) we heard stories about the wrath of the storm seven years ago. Ginger spent several months in Georgia, away from her wrecked home.
The would-be river boat captain told a story about the flow of mighty Mississippi that day. The boilermaker, charming as could be, didn’t talk much about Katrina, but his love for his home was evident in his story about industry along the banks of the river.
Day two dawned clear and sunny and quite a bit warmer. We took off on bikes again, skipping the fun but time-eating ferry and driving in to a cheap ($5.00 per day) parking lot just outside the French Quarter.
My daughter, having recently travelled to New Orleans, recommended Betsy’s Pancake House on Canal Street in the Mid City neighborhood.
Betsy’s was yummy. Grits and blueberry pancakes were consumed as the clock read 12:12 on 12/12/12!
Next up was City Park and the Singing Oak. It was magical, standing under the massive tree, hung with wind chimes of all sizes! All tuned to the pentatonic scale.
Here’s a better video of the Singing Oak:
It being Wednesday, the New Orleans Museum of Art was free, so of course we checked it out.
Next up was a bicycle tour of the French Quarter. Bourbon street was hopping at two in the afternoon! The party, apparently, never ends.
Lastly, we took refreshments at Cafe du Monde. Cups of Cafe au Lait were raised in memory of my dear mom, who loved the beignets and coffee so much she would visit the Cafe more than once on each visit to New Orleans.
On the way back to St Bernard park, we went over the Claiborne Street bridge.
I had read about Brad Pitt’s work for Katrina victims and hoped that we would see some of the houses that his foundation is building.
If you click on the bottom photo to open it, you can see the rebuilt Ninth Ward.
Man, you guys make due. Self sufficiency and not afraid to make things work. I envy it and love it. God bless and still love the blog!
Thanks Vince, say hi to Maria, Olivia, and Julia! A big guy strong today, upon hearing our story, said; “You’re a lot braver than I”…
David and Jane – It is fun to read about your adventures! I can’t believe you are missing all the fun here! we miss you guys!
Hi Megan! We are missing the fight for the park! I wrote a few emails but it’s not the same as being there. Thanks so much for all you are doing!
We sure miss YOU all! Great to see Charlie riding that raccoon still. Thats my favorite ride too, just have to hold on really tight. We are also glad you all are there fighting the good fight. Jane wrote her letter immediately.
Who advised you to avoid the 9th ward? and why?
Well…the Ginger the ranger at St Bernard State park made mostly “Positive” suggestions, but did “X” out some areas on the cartoon map…and we may have remembered the 9th Ward from the news. We made our way through a lot of other unseemly places though. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. We saw lots of things the tourists and Interstates wouldn’t have shown.