Our trip to New Orleans for Memorial Day weekend was much different than our prior trips in that it was very relaxed. Of course, we had plans for almost every minute of every day, just as we always do, but we failed to execute our plan. We've been on the go and on the road for the past two months. When we hit New Orleans, we simply ran out of steam. But, surprisingly, it was one of our more enjoyable visits to New Orleans.
We arrived at the B&B around 8:00 Friday night. After greeting our hosts and dropping off our luggage, we headed for Frenchmen St. so I could make an appointment at Electric Ladyland for Saturday. The artist I wanted was completely booked for Saturday, so I had to schedule for Sunday.
After booking my appointment, we headed across the street to the Spotted Cat to listen to the New Orleans Jazz Vipers. Although the place was jammed, we managed, through some miracle, to score three seats at the bar. While we were sitting there, we saw a second line parade going down Frenchmen St. You gotta love New Orleans. Since I had driven more than 400 miles that day, I was dragging, so we decided to call it quits around midnight.
The next morning (Saturday), we had breakfast, laid around the B&B and chatted with the other guests, then headed over to Bayou Boogaloo around 11:00. Although the band lineup looked pretty good, the heat and humidity were fearsome, so we stayed until 1:00 and headed for the air conditioning.
We then went back to Frenchmen St., where we had lunch at the Marigny Brasserie. The meal was good but not great, and I thought it was a bit overpriced for what we had. In some other city, I may have given the place higher marks, but not in New Orleans. I doubt that we'll be back.
We walked over to The John and had a few beers. One of our group expressed a desire to walk down Bourbon St., which is not something we normally do, but he hadn't been in years, so we decided to accommodate him. We weren't expecting much, but we happened upon the Blues Club, where Rooster and the Chicken Hawks were playing, so we went in and spent a few enjoyable hours listening to them. Rooster still puts on a great show.
About 7:00 or so, Stephanie and I left the younger folks and headed to Venezia's on Carrolton for dinner. Venezia's is a neighborhood restaurant of the old New Orleans tradition. What a meal!! I had the best spaghetti and meat sauce I've ever had in a restaurant, and Stephanie's lasagna was also that good. We had planned to head down to Frenchmen St. that night to catch Smokey Greenwell at Cafe Negril, but, after a meal like that, we didn't feel like doing anything but going back to the porch swing, which we did.
Sunday was a lazy day. After the normal morning breakfast and conversation, I went to Electric Ladyland at 1:00 for my appointment, and Stephanie decided to spend some time on the porch swing, reading. When I returned about 3:30, we were both hungry, so we went to Mandina's for a late lunch (or early dinner). This was my first visit to Mandina's since they reopened after Katrina. I immediately noticed that the prices were considerably higher than I remembered. But, in their defense, the portions are huge. We split an entree and I had a house salad, which was more than enough food. The food is still delicious and the waiters are the same old crew, for the most part. I'm still trying to decide if I like the new layout.
After lunch/dinner, a trip to Angelo Brocato's was in order. The last time I had Angelo Brocato's ice cream was about 35 years ago, when the establishment was located on Ursulines, at the present location of Croissant D'Or. Back in those days, the ice cream was always wonderful, but it was usually preceded by some "appetite enhancer." I'm happy to report that it's still wonderful, even without the appetite enhancer. The number of people going in and out of that place on a Sunday afternoon was amazing.
We spent the rest of the afternoon just riding around different areas of New Orleans and taking in the sights. We turned in early because we had to drive home on Monday.
As I noted earlier, it was a different kind of trip for us. We had a great time, even though we didn't get out and do much. We'll make up for it next time <smile>