It's About Time!!
~Friday, November 12, 2021~
Not a cloud in the sky, so it appears it’s a good day for our family to arrive in the Crescent City. However, the season’s first snowblast is churning in the upper midwest so we’re crossing our fingers they won’t be affected by that.
It wasn’t quite the same scenario at Cafe du Monde today. Instead of the ideal 5-minute wait that it was a few days ago, it was about 30 minutes today with a slight change in entertainment. Instead of the talented sax player with his more pop-style tunes, we had a tuba player and his hand clapping sidekick entertaining all of us as we waited in line. The Swampy Blues type music was actually pretty fun. But here’s the funny part…...the sax player that was parked at this spot right in front of Cafe du Monde 2 days ago, was vying for that spot again today, discreetly asking the tuba player to move along. By the time we were done with our beignets, they had worked “things” out, mingling their talent. My guess is that this is a primo, profitable spot for these street musicians, based on the beignet line we saw today.
We’ve been wanting to see the highly recommended Frenchmen Street (a version of what the French Quarter USED to be like), so decided
to scout it out ahead of time in case we wanted to go with Tim and Tracy after their arrival. We took a few photos of the clubs that looked promising…..The Spotted Cat Music Club and Cafe Negril in particular. Frenchmen Street and the 3-block square that surround it is home to some of the city’s most popular live jazz music scene. Historically, as Bourbon Street became more touristy, Frenchmen became the spot for locals to hang out, geared toward a more authentic New Orleans music style.
Before we knew it, it was time to head for the airport. Tim and Tracy’s flight landed on time and for us, getting to the airport went pretty smooth. It’s still an adjustment though, driving in this pedestrian crazed, congested city. Then, finally!! A big hug fest, as I hadn’t seen my sister in over a year.
Tim had recently visited us in the U.P. of Michigan but Tracy was unable to join us. So much to catch up on, with so little time since they are only here until Sunday. They had been up since 3:30 a.m. managing to sneak in a few zzz’s on the plane. Good thing since we had a lot of celebrating to do. We thought the best thing to do was to drop them off at their hotel first to get settled in while we went back to our place to grab a bite and walk Sadie. I feel badly for our pups knowing New Orleans has not been a fun stop for her, but little does she know what’s in store in a few days at Magnolia Beach…..boondocking right on the dog-friendly beach. She’ll have a ball!
At about 4:30, Jeff and I walked over and met up with them at Pat O’Brien’s where we enjoyed a few fun cocktails at the patio bar; a mixture of Hurricanes, Bloody Mary’s and Cyclones.
The place was hoppin’. At the center stands the landmark Flaming Fountain. Meant to resemble a champagne glass, the copper fountain has a brilliant flame and streams of water. Apparently, you can put a request in with your server to be the chosen one to light the fountain that evening. At sunset, they simply hand over the torch to the lucky winner (see video). When Jeff and I were here the other night, we arrived later, so missed this fun event. We also missed the “Dueling Piano” lounge last time, but got to get a glimpse of it tonight. The Dueling Piano concept started in the 1890’s Ragtime era. The show is largely dictated by the audience, where you can put in song requests and sing along.
Then we went to dinner at Domenica, inside the Roosevelt Hotel in the business district of New Orleans. What a great modern/classic atmosphere, delicious food and a funny, fabulous waiter. The pasta-made from scratch and the Fried Kale and Brussel Sprouts were out of this world. The only rejection was Tim’s beet salad. But everything else from the beer to the main course was top-notch.
Pleasantly full, but ready for more fun, we were drawn into the Bourbon Street Drinkery. I lost my voice in trying to talk over the loud rock style music. Jeff and Tim were noticing that people were going up and down the set of stairs behind our table. Curious, we walked up to a whole new quieter world up there with its inviting living room setting and fun bar. Just outside was the quintessential iron-clad balcony from which to look down on Bourbon Street. Fun to get an above ground perspective of the neon lights, pulsing music and the many tourists enjoying libations from their “to go” cups, strolling bar to bar. Joining our fellow tourists, we headed over to our next stop of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar. This was one of our favorite bars that we visited the other night. However, it was a bit more crowded than last time, but we still managed to find the perfect table with an addition of some live piano music. At about midnight, we waved the white flag and called it a night.