New Orleans, Louisiana...

As we head West, we are stopping, briefly, at various special places along the way. For TEN hours, we explored The Big Easy. It was exceptionally fun but not nearly enough time.

New Orleans (1718) is one of those cities one must visit every now and then. It has been almost 20 years since I was here last. It stills intrigues and delights me. It's the history, culture, 'characters', food, sounds, colors, architecture... it just has the coolest vibe.
Since 1862, Cafe Du Monde, world famous for its cafe' au lait, beignets, and the opportunity to people watch, has enticed the masses. While there are other places in town that serve beignets, this place just screams Nawlins to me.

A stroll through the French Market really made us feel somewhere else.
The city is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. We spent the day just exploring the French Quarter and marveled at all it had to offer.

Steve is standing by Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar. Hailed as possibly the oldest bar in the United States and most definitely the oldest building currently in use as a bar, Lafitte’s is housed in a French-built structure that dates from roughly 1722. So cool.
This "Do Not Climb" image was on the wall of an amazing home, right in the heart of it all. I loved the imagery.

I am a sucker for faded advertising murals on the sides of buildings. What a surprise for me to discover this Uneeda Biscuit Company ad. The company, founded in 1898, was a division of the famous New Orleans Nabsico Baking Company. This remnant of an old Five Cents Uneeda Biscuit sign graces a Dumaine Street building, just off of Bourbon Street.

No visit to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Pat O'Brien's which is not complete without a world-famous Hurricane! This delicious and strong drink was created during World War II when liquor such as whiskey was in low supply. In order to purchase just one case of these liquors, liquor salesmen forced bar owners to purchase as much as 50 cases of rum, which was plentiful. In an effort to use the abundance of rum that Pat O'Brien's acquired, the recipe for the Hurricane evolved with the help of an eager liquor salesman. The name came soon after when a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp was used to serve the fruity rum cocktail. Our pause for libation was a welcomed break in our day.
Louis Dufilho Jr’s most significant contribution to the history and integrity of the field of pharmacy took place in New Orleans in 1816. He was America's First Licensed Pharmacist. His pharmacy, right here, was the first United States apothecary shop to be conducted on the basis of proven adequacy. History is everywhere.
This town is known for its music and some of the best can be heard right on the streets. This is one element that I absolutely love.

A highlight of our day was taking a Culinary History Tour. For two hours, Preston led us through the town while we sampled the French Quarter's famously delicious dishes as we learned about the architecture of the buildings and its 300 year old history. We learned the historical facts about the city's oldest restaurants and discovered some secrets behind New Orleans creole cooking.
The Po-Boy was born from a 1929 transit strike where kind a restaurant owner, Bennie Martin, would provided large sandwiches to the strikers. He said, "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, 'Here comes another poor boy.'"
I really enjoyed the Creole jambalaya which originates from right in the French Quarter.

The St. Louis Cathedral (1794) is one of the city's most notable landmarks, a venerable building, its triple steeples towering above its historic neighbors. Truly, this is the heart of old New Orleans.
It was our goal to see the town in the evening. We were not disappointed. Wow.

“In New Orleans…..You can’t separate nothing from nothing.
Everything mingles each into the other…until nothing is purely itself
but becomes part of one funky gumbo.”
– Mac Rebennack, Musician

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