We got into the Crescent city late in the night and went straight to the hotel. The next day would be busy busy! Our hotel was in the French Quarter, an old part of the city with both old, ornately decorated buildings, as well as new modern buildings. The French Quarter is home to famous thoroughfares such as Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street. After being on a train for the last day, it was a weird sensation not rocking back and forth constantly. I slept well in our VERY comfortable hotel room.
The next morning, we had an early morning. After grabbing a muffin, bagel, and coffee from the hotel breakfast bar, we hit the road for the first tour of the day. My mom ended up not feeling too well, so she and my dad stayed at the hotel while my aunt and I went about the city. We had to make the mile-long walk to the waterfront where we would be able to find our tour group. This walk to the waterfront would become quite familiar, as, over the course of the trip, I must’ve made it at least 15 times!
We arrived at the waterfront about 20 minutes before our tour departed, and just waited around. We took some pictures of the Mississippi River behind us, and of the giant steamboat waiting to depart. When the time came, we got on our bus and got ready for a tour of the city. We started with a visit to a Cemetery. Cemeteries in New Orleans are unique because all burials are done above ground in beautiful tombs. The tombs were beautiful and had unique carvings and artwork on them. From the cemetery, we made our way through the city passing by many local landmarks. These included churches, schools, the childhood home of Peyton and Eli Manning, and some colleges around the city. We concluded the tour by visiting the New Orleans City Park which is home to a famous beignet store. Beignets are little pastries that are very common in New Orleans. They are fried and coated with powdered sugar, making it a delicious, but quite unhealthy treat. We tried the beignets and were dropped back at the waterfront.
From here, my aunt and I had no time to spare. We made the mile and a half walk to an industrial part of town where our next tour would start. Our next tour was called Mardi Gras world and it explored the logistics, and artwork behind the festival that makes New Orleans so famous. We were able to walk through the warehouse where they made the floats and were even able to try on some authentic costumes. this was a very interesting experience indeed.
From this tour, we ran back to the waterfront in record time to catch our next tour. Remember the big steamboat from earlier? We were going to take a cruise on it. At this point, my mom was feeling well, so my parents had both joined us. The cruise was about 2 hours long and very exciting. There was a live jazz band, the beautiful sights on either side of the river, and an opportunity to visit the engine room. The cruise dropped us back at the waterfront and we had the rest of the evening to ourselves. My parents had missed out on eating beignets, so we went to a small cafe and ordered a few. After eating, we strolled around the city and ended up in Jackson Square, a large town square with a tall cathedral-like building behind it. The square has some significance to history, but I can’t remember exactly what it was.
After walking for a while, we grew hungry and decided on a nice Indian restaurant on the far side of town. We took a cab and reached the restaurant at 7:00 PM. After a terrific meal, we decided to head back to the hotel. WE WERE EXHAUSTED! At the end of the day, I had done almost 30,000 steps, and I was 1 step away from collapsing. I tell you, a warm bed had never seemed so inviting.
Overall, it was a fantastic day, and I learned so much about the city’s significance and rich history. I had experienced one of America’s most culturally diverse cities and I LOVED IT!
More posts on my trip to come! Stay tuned! Until next time!