WHY NOT? EXTENDING OUR STAY IN NOLA
There is a reason people talk about the weather. It’s certainly small talk and a common ground, but the weather has the power to affect and color our experience of a place in a very tangible way. We can commiserate together when the weather is uncooperative and bleak, or giddily connect under a clear blue sky. There is no better time to do this than springtime!
The weather was as close to perfect as a day can get in New Orleans, and even more perfect, my family had decided to extend their stay one more day so we could experience New Orleans together!
This was our third visit to New Orleans and we were excited to show my family some of our favorite places. We started with a walk along the mighty Mississippi as she nears her destination at the Gulf of Mexico.
We walked through the streets taking in the sights and sounds of the French Quarter with six kids in tow ranging from 11 months to 14 years.
We took our photo in front of the iconic St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Thing 3 loved spending time being carried in his baby carrier by grandpa.
Thing 1 and 2 were really excited to show their cousins the art of bartering at the French Market.
It turns out the vendors weren’t as willing to negotiate as in years past (probably because of spring break) but they did manage to get a good deal on some alligator heads. You know, because everyone wants an alligator head…
My sister’s daughters felt they hit the jackpot with their masks and fans.
Everyone was happy as long as we took plenty of breaks. Stopping for pralines didn’t hurt either.
One of the best things about NOLA, besides the food, are the street performers. Stroll through Jackson Square or down Royal Street (both streets are family friendly) to catch some wild performers like this sword swallower.
Or maybe you’ll prefer to hold some exotic birds.
A man in an invisible chair is sure to make anyone smile, and there is no shortage of street musicians.
Of course, you can’t go to New Orleans without riding a streetcar. It was standing room only on this car, but Thing 2 and his grandma didn’t seem to mind!
Brent and I had been planning to leave when my family left, but instead we decided to stay awhile longer. We moved the RV from Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi to Bayou Sennett State Park in Louisiana. Staying at Bayou Sennett State Park would make exploring New Orleans easier since it’s only a 20 minute drive into the city. Not only is it convenient, but it’s also a beautiful park with large well-maintained sites.
The sites are so large you won’t even mind your neighbors. In fact, they may actually dazzle you in the morning when their homes are covered in morning dew.
Even though this was our third time RVing in New Orleans, there was still plenty of places to explore and new things to see. We took a suggestion and headed over to City Park. City Park is the 6th largest, and one of the most visited metropolitan parks in the United States. One of the most prized assets of the park is its trees; the largest grove of mature live oaks call City Park home.
Recreational opportunities abound in City Park, including playgrounds and putt-putt, boating on the lake, and even an amusement park. It would take a few days to see it all!
We headed to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The sculpture garden occupies over 5 lush acres and hosts more than 60 modern sculptures. Modern art leaves a lot of room for interpretation and it’s always fun to have family discussions about the art. The older boys always come up with some sort of observation that leaves us all laughing!
A trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without beignets and cafe’ au lait. We’ve tried beignets at various bakeries around the city but this was our first time to visit Morning Call.
Would you like some beignet with your powdered sugar?
Along with the French Quarter we decided to pay a visit to another one of our old favorites, the Garden District. Thing 1 enjoys architecture and likes looking at the elegant, late 19th century homes almost as much as we do.
The Garden District got its name from the colorful abundant gardens in the neighborhood.
We decided we wanted to venture outside of the city limits to experience a little more southern culture.
We drove through the bayou to Boutte’s in Lafitte for a something a little more local and less touristy. Their authentic gumbo was worth the drive.
As a bonus, we got to experience an amazing sunset over the Mississippi River.
We also decided to take advantage of the local food offerings and visited the Westwego Shrimp Lot.
We bought a few pounds of fresh shrimp for a fraction of the price we typically see in the supermarket.
Brent and Thing 2 peeled and deveined the shrimp before Brent grilled them.
We hadn’t planned to extend our stay in New Orleans, but by the end of the week we were so glad we did!
What sort of local food do you like to buy when you go RVing? Have you ever been to New Orleans? What is your favorite thing to do there?