Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Glimpse of NOLA

We concluded our vacation with a Saturday night stop in New Orleans. Apparently, Commuter Husband and I have never been there together – really must go back without minors.


Our first stop was Felix’s on Iberville St. Our wait was short even though there was a line already out the door. We went for the obvious food choice: Char-grilled Oysters sitting in a huge pool of butter. Commuter Husband, Oldest Son and Youngest Son gobbled up a dozen and then Oldest Son ordered another dozen for him! We added Turtle Soup, Crawfish Etouffee, Red Beans & Rice and Fried Pickles. And the obvious desert choice was beignets at CafĂ© Du Monde. Oldest Son and Youngest Son were impressed with the powered sugar volume!

Across from Acme and so good! 
Three oysters left and some bread to sop up the butter gravy!
Cafe au lait, beignets, hot chocolate, milk and coffee for Commuter Family.

We did brave Bourbon Street with the boys since it was still daylight. I am afraid they received some questionable exposure – perhaps the “banana shaped body part” strapped to the foreheads of two young men was uh, um, hmmm … slightly embarrassing for me and obviously funny to my male companions. We also saw several brass bands leading the way for celebrations, a big ass beer (yes that was what the glass said exactly) and a silver painted man (head to toe) who flipped off a passerbyer.

It was at this point that we quickly turned off Bourbon Street and onto St. Charles to walk through Jackson Square. A full wedding party was coming out of the Saint Louis Cathedral and with another full brass band leading the way. Youngest Son wanted his fortune told but $30 was more than he was willing to spend.

We wrapped up our evening browsing through Peaches Records. Youngest Son wanted the $31 Queen record but settled for the $10 Bon Jovi CD. As we walked to our car, Youngest Son even caught some beads thrown to him from a party bus.

A 40th Birthday party dancing through the French Quarter.
Commuter Husband lived in NOLA as a child. He told us about meeting Al Hurt (middle) and Pete Fountain (right.) These statues are part of Musical Legends Park.
Commuter Husband and Youngest Son among so much vinyl!

This morning we headed west to the Laura Plantation. I highly recommend for anyone in the NOLA area. Our well-spoken tour guide educated us about the history of the Creole sugar cane plantation and owners as well as the slaves who worked it. We toured with a group of eleven Italians which was also interesting. Each member of Commuter Family enjoyed the outing.

The Creole style plantation built in in 1804 on 12,000 acres.
Guillaume Duparc and his wife Nanette started the plantation and its four generations of owners.
Oldest Son and Commuter Husband looking at the family tree inside the house.
Oldest Son looking over the back of the plantation and the original kitchen buildings.
Youngest Son chatting with an Italian who flew into Houston from Italy. They are walking toward the kitchen gardens.
Oldest Son and Commuter Husband reading the Code Noir decree passed by France's King Louis  XIV.  The Code Noir defined slavery conditions in the French Colonial Empire such as all slaves must be baptized as Roman Catholics.
Youngest Son and Oldest Son entering a slave cabin and looking at the sugar cane fields. These slave cabins were inhabited until 1977 by descendants!  
Youngest Son asking tour guide about slavery and trying to understand the concept that many were not really free after Civil War. Sharecroppers made $12 per year thus had no immediate way to escape poverty and the plantation. 
Of course Youngest Son wanted a Creole Cookbook!
Pecan tree between plantation and Mississippi River (levy in background.) Beautiful.

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