Sunday, December 30, 2012

French Quarter - 12/30/12

Sunday – December 30, 2012

Sunday – December 30, 2012

It was a beautiful sunny day with the temperature in the low 50’s. We decided this would be the perfect day to visit the French Quarter in New Orleans.

A short ride of a few miles from our campground, on LA-39, brought us to the Belle Chasse Ferry in the early afternoon. This ferry took us in our van from the east side to the west side of the Mississippi River. There is no charge for vehicles riding the ferry east to west and a $1.00 charge per vehicle when traveling west to east. We then drove a few miles to the Algiers Ferry and parked our van in a nearby private parking lot for $10.00 for the day. This ferry took us across the winding Mississippi River once again and docked at the ferry port in New Orleans. There is no charge for pedestrians or vehicles traveling east to west and $1.00 per vehicle traveling west to east. Pedestrians always ride free in either direction.

Upon our departure from the Algiers Ferry, it is a short walk of about 4 blocks to the French Quarter. It is contained within an area 7 blocks wide by 14 blocks long.

Bourbon Street and Royal Street are two of the most popular streets; portions of both streets are blocked off to vehicular traffic. People fill the streets and street performers take up positions providing entertainment in hopes of securing a few dollars for their services. The street mannequins are most impressive. They have painted their bodies and dressed in garments that make them appear like an actual mannequin. Most remarkable is their mind control; they will assume a position and not move for hours. No movement what so ever, not even the blinking of an eye.

A vast variety of restaurants abound throughout the French Quarter. The most popular are easily detected by the long waiting lines on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. We selected one that was crowded inside, but no waiting line outside. We were seated immediately at a table for two by the window facing the sidewalk. We had a delightful meal of seafood gumbo, blackened chicken poboy, rice & beans and crawfish etouffee followed by a marvelous bread pudding dessert. It was a pricey meal but that is expected in this part of New Orleans.

On Royal Street we came upon a street entertainment ensemble of four musicians, (three men and one woman). The woman sang and also played the clarinet. One man played the trombone another played the tuba and another played the guitar. They were playing the music to the "House Of The Rising Sun" They were so good that a large crowd had assembled to hear them. The woman’s low raspy singing voice was absolutely perfect for this song. She then amazed the audience with her wonderful upbeat solo on the clarinet. Boy could she play that instrument. The trombone player and the tuba player each amazed the audience with their solos as well. In short order people were dropping paper money in their tip boxes.

We returned to our campsite at the St. Bernard State Park campground very satisfied with our visit to the French Quarter.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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