New Orleans Day 4 – Rollin’ On the River
Today was a busy day in the quarter. We got up and grabbed a quick slice (our first – and likely only – foray into one of the many Pizza + Daquiri joints on Bourbon Street) then caught a shuttle to Mardi Gras world. It’s one of the five companies that does props and floats for the two-week Mardi Gras celebrations for which New Orleans is famous. We ate King Cake (so good!) and learned some interesting facts. Like everyone on the floats pays to be a member of the krewe, and that each float costs $50,000-$80,000 up front, and then $5,000 t0 $15,000 each year to refurbish it. Or that the krewe members have to buy their own ‘throws’ (beads and other things they toss from the floats).
Afterwards we caught a ride on the Steamboat Natchez, which was pretty awesome. It gave some perspective about how the city really is below the river, and also showed us the ports along the way. It was a nice, relaxing way to see more than just the French Quarter.
For dinner we finally visited Frenchmen street. I was in charge of picking the restaurant, and it was (of course) our first ‘meh’ meal experience of the trip. But it was still good, because we got to enjoy some jazz during the meal. Then we wandered the street and caught an art fair and two fantastic bands playing on street corners. This is a Monday, and it’s still more lively than Seattle most nights of the week. It was amazing, and it will be hard to leave this place. Especially because of our last stop of the night – an dessert visit to Cafe du Monde for one more round of beignets.