Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Orleans - Rest Stop

Day 35 and 36 - No bike miles!

Now that is an oxymoron - New Orleans and rest!

French Market - New Orleans

We set out on foot, feeling a little naked without our bikes and explored River Walk, the French Quarter and invested some cash at Harrah's casino.  We enjoyed some good old gumbo during lunch at the Jazz Legends park and of course spent countless hours on Bourbon Street listening to wonderful bands and street musicians.

A musician commuting to work!

We enjoyed a personal walking tour with Terry, a resident of the French Quarter, who took us under her wing and gave us the inside scoop on Brad and Angie's house, Spike Lee's house and of course the restaurants that the locals recommend.  She was yet another colourful character who for some reason decided to take time out of her day to spend with us.   

Just as we did during our last visit to New Orleans, some twenty some years ago we closed down Pat Obriens to the sound of dueling pianos playing Don't Stop Believing!  

We were forced to face reality and come to terms that it was probably a bit too far to ride back home so alternate travel plans are necessary.  We researched planes, trains and automobiles and have come up with a plan to Amtrak and ferry our way back home.  We were able to check our bags in early, so we spent the morning hanging out at the Amtrak station putting our bikes (they feel like friends now) into their boxes for shipping.  It was quite a strange feeling to pack them up and leave them at the station.  The Amtrak staff were fantastic...they were helpful and also had a few kind hearted laughs at our expense!

Amtrak station - New Orleans

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Preservation Hall.  We spent our last
evening listening to traditional jazz classics like Sweet Georgia Brown and Maple Leaf Rag....great solos and the atmospherre of Preservation Hall made you feel like you had been transported back in time to the prohibition era.  Definnitely a highlight  of our visit to New Orleans.

Preservation Hall - New Orleans
Horse Patrol - French Quarter

Tomorrow - we will depart for a 82 hour train ride home via Los Angeles and Seattle.....

Giggle of the day:

The giggles In New Orleans were are a few:

Finally, a whole new level of 'camping':

Bike camping at the Drury Inn and Suites - New Orleans
We were well rested and looking forward to a quiet, romantic breakfast at the hotel before we set out to explore the City.  We went down to the breakfast area, poured our coffees and found a quiet table for two when the bank of elevator doors opened and 100 high school musicians, stressed out band directors and chaperones poured into the lobby.  They were getting ready to unleash their kids on Bourbon street!  We sat back, took a big slug of coffee and soaked it all in - AWESOME!

In the spirit of brand loyalty, partnerships and cross promotion, we have been wearing our Tourism Cafe t-shirts proudly.  Today, Rob was swamped with requests from tourists to take their pictures.  Apparently, they mistake the logo for a type of Tourism ambassador. ....could this be a potential way of funding our next trip?

...and last, but not least, a fabulous quote from our daughter Emma.  "You guys are tanks.  Next time you might need to find a longer river!"