Since our hotel didn’t have any fancy continental breakfast or anything like that, we decided to go to the one and only, Haskell’s Doughnuts!!!! This was a doughnut shop featured on the show. I walked in taking pictures of the place…trying very hard to not look too much like a tourist. We went in and I ordered 2 glazed doughnuts and a pint of milk. We sat at the bar, just where Si, Jase, Martin, and Godwin sat for that episode! I sat in Si’s seat. I know because they autographed the seats AND the counters where they sat!! It was so awesome to be Si for a couple of minutes.
Next stop was the Corner Coffeehouse, which was also featured on the show. It was a bit of an odd place, but I did have a delicious Cafe Mocha. We had to kill some time before the warehouse store opened, so we played a game of chess. I lost in probably 10 moves. But hey, I was glad to visit another place that was on the show! We finally headed to the warehouse again. It was actually pretty crowded, and people were starting to line up to get in!! I was beyond excited. The doors opened and I scoured the crowd for a cast member, but I didn’t see any. Rats! But I did get some cool stuff (including a duck call!) and some presents for my folks back home. I just loved the fact that I was standing in the same building as the folks on the show!! The show and whole cast in general just became more real in my mind. It was great. After checking out and getting over the fact that I didn’t see a cast member, we got back on the road, and headed to New Orleans!!
We stopped for lunch in Baton Rouge at this place called Tony’s Seafood Market and Deli. They do have food that they sell, like a grocery store. But they also had a big line of cooked food that you could buy. I got gumbo, and Jack got some Crawfish Etoufee. It was kind of a bizarre place to get food, but it was great! Definitely tasted like Louisiana!
It was quite the sight seeing the skyline of NOLA as we approached. Hard to believe that Katrina completely devastated this city 10 years ago, but now it’s back alive and well. To start things off on an interesting note, we exited the interstate, just to find a homeless person spray cleaner on our windshield and attempt to start cleaning it while we were stopped at a red light. We had to roll down the widow and tell him “No, no thank you”. I’m assuming he gets money because people don’t stop him and then just give him a few dollars for his service. Interesting start. We found our hotel, the Hilton, located at Two Poydras Street. We unloaded as quick as we could so that we could start touring the city! We got done with that and then hit the street.
It was hot. Crazy hot. We went to get a good look at the Mississippi…the mighty Mississippi. We saw it and a barge was passing right in front of us. It’s not the cleanest river, considering it’s been through how many states (and people…eew) by the time it gets to New Orleans? But it was still quite a sight. Our next stop was Cafe Du Monde—the original one located Decatur Street. We finally got a seat there after looking for awhile. Obviously, all the seats in the shade were taken, so we just settled for one in the sun. Even though it was blazing hot, I still got the regular coffee and bignets. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. Best bignets I’ve ever had. Some of the best coffee that I’ve ever had, despite the 90 degree temperatures. (though there was quite a breeze coming off the Mississippi that made it bearable)
After that, we just wondered around the French Quarter. It was an interesting place. There would be streets with shops open, bars open, and lots of people. There were also streets that were primarily residential, where you could see windows open and gates and cars parked outside. But there were also some parts that were completely abandoned, and the building was totally decrepit. I suppose that this was still remnants of Katrina, unfortunately. Hard to believe that some parts haven’t completely recovered.
We went by the quentessential Pat O’Brien’s off the famous Bourbon Street. The place was like a garden with plants everywhere. We had some delicious punch, and popcorn, of course. Afterwards, we walked around some more, saw the rest of Bourbon Street (such a crazy place!), and Jackson Square. For dinner we headed to Mulate’s, which is a Cajun restaurant with a live Zydeco band (and a dance floor!). I hadn’t had Jambalaya yet, so this was the place to have it. It was just pure heaven. That’s EXACTLY how Jambalaya was supposed to taste! And it was hot too…kind of broke a sweat, but it was totally worth it!
After dinner we took a little resting break back at the hotel room, and then headed back out. We decided to go to Harrah’s just because we could. We had determined beforehand that we would not spend any more than $10 in the place. It took us awhile but we finally found the video poker machines. I played a bit, and at one point I won something like 3 dollars! Thought about cashing out, but kept going. I ended up losing all of my $10. Aww dang. Jack, on the other hand, bet a whole dollar on 1 hand (gasp!) and then it turns out he got a straight flush, and won 9 dollars! His net…$3 in the positive. It’s actually a good thing he was with me, because I was close to putting in another $10, but Jack convinced me otherwise. Note to self…never go gambling alone…or really…never go gambling. Lesson learned.
We walked around the French Quarter a bit more that night, then ended up going back to the hotel room. I was absolutely sick and tired of walking by the time we got back. My phone said that we had ended up walking 26,815 steps! 15.5 Miles!! That’s a lot of walking! Needles to say, I didn’t have any trouble getting a good night’s rest that night!