On Saturday we returned from a great trip to New Orleans with the Whitt family! New Orleans is a very interesting city! We arrived on Wednesday and spent most of the day touring the city. Our first stop was Johnny’s Po-Boys for some Po-Boys (duh), Muffulettas, and the first bowl of gumbo for Daniel on this trip.
We wandered around the French quarter – which reminded me a lot of Europe and we found the famous Bourbon Street… but even during the day it was a bit too crazy for me! We also jumped on a street car and traveled to the Garden District which is full of plantation style houses. That night we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Emeril’s! Everyone else thought the food was average but mine was delicious!! I had some butternut squash bisque with crab meat that was so yummy I would have licked the bottom of the bowl if I was eating it at home. My entree was a delightful crab cake – I’m a sucker for crab cakes – soooo good! Then! (yes, there’s more) for dessert we shared a piece of banana cream pie and a piece of lemon ice box pie. Usually I’m not interested in pie but these two were excellent! Daniel also had his second bowl of gumbo.
Day 1 Total Walking Distance: 5 miles
Day 1 Caloric Intake: I don’t want to know.
Thursday Mike and I decided to sleep in, get a quick workout in, and then meet everyone for lunch and a walking tour. We met John, Sharon & Daniel at Cafe du Monde for some quick beingets. Beignets are basically a fried doughnut covered in a ridiculous amount of powdered sugar. Another one of my weaknesses: doughnuts. So naturally, I loved them! We headed to our walking tour covered in powdered sugar.
Our tour guide led us around the French Quarter and she had tons of information! She told us lots about the history of New Orleans had share some neat architectural info as well. This was helpful… then as we walked I could think profound thoughts like “That’s a creole house because of the 4 wells, rather than “hmm that house is strange looking.”
After the tour we headed to a BBQ joint called the Joint BBQ that Mike and Kevin had seen on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. A 2 mile hike left us all hungry (and maybe a bit grouchy) so we chowed down on pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ chicken. As always, my favorite part was the mac and cheese side dish.
After the Joint it was nap time and that night we headed to Acme Oyster House for dinner. We enjoyed some oysters on the half shell (Daniel’s first oysters and third bowl of gumbo) as well as some standard gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya.
Day 2 Total Walking Distance: 7 miles
Day 2 Caloric Intake: I don’t want to know.
Friday morning we got up early and headed to the National World War II Museum. We toured the exhibits and learned soooo much about the war and life at home during the war. Some interesting tidbits:
These blow up tanks were used as decoys to distract the German military while the US planned its attack at Normandy.
Here’s a fun story about some Iowans!
They used tetrahedrons on the beaches! Can’t wait to tell some geometers about this!
The museum was very interesting and thought provoking – it definitely made me miss my grandpa. I have many questions I would love to ask him! Today Mike and I went to the library and picked out some WWII in HD DVDs to watch and Mike is currently reading Band Of Brothers… so I guess you could say it piqued our interest!
After the museum we headed for the swamp! But first… more food! Lunch at Welty’s included deli sandwiches – mine was a Rueben the size of my head. Yum! Now, onto the swamp! We took a bus outside of New Orleans for a swamp tour. We climbed on a boat and headed out in search of alligators! We saw lots of cool wildlife including armadillos, turtles, herons, and of course, alligators!
They also had a baby alligator on the boat that we could hold! It was awesome!
Dinner time meant more food and Daniel’s fourth bowl of gumbo.
Day 3 Total Walking Distance: a measly 2 miles
Day 3 Caloric Intake: I don’t want to know.
Saturday we packed up and cleared out of our hotel rooms and then headed to the New Orleans School of Cooking for a cooking demonstration and of course, more eating! Our chef made gumbo (Daniel’s 5th bowl and voted best!), jambalaya, bread pudding, and pralines. We had tried some pralines earlier in the trip and I wasn’t too impressed. But these… these were incredible!! I bought 12 of them in the gift shop and have been enjoying them daily.
After the cooking class we headed to the airport for the trip back to Naperville!
Trip Total Walking Distance: a minimum of 15 miles – not bad in about 3.5 days!
Trip Total Caloric Intake: I definitely do not want to know!
It was a great time! Thanks John & Sharon for a fun trip!
Note: crazy person dancing while blocking traffic 🙂