Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rollin' Down The River!

View of the New Orleans Riverwalk as we left the dock

Ya know how being a local usually means you don't do half the stuff the tourists do?  Born and raised in New Orleans, I've often watched the paddlewheel boats load up folks for a ride down the Mississippi.  I'd never experienced this myself, and neither had Ken.  When we were in the middle of wedding preparations and longing for a break, I saw a "Groupon" deal offering a 2 1/2 hr excursion down the Mississippi river, to the Chalmette battlefield and back for only $20 per couple.  What a deal!  I purchased the tickets and figured this would be a nice break after the wedding.  A couple of days later I found another "Groupon" for $50 worth of food for $25 at a restaurant on the river, and just steps away from the riverboat.  Add a $10 discount I had received from "Groupon" and we were getting $50 of food for $15 bucks.  We were going to be able to spend a day in New Orleans riding down the river and eating great food for only $35!  No, we're not cheap, just on a very tight budget till our house sells!

Now that the wedding is over, we thought this past Saturday was a good time to cash in our coupons.  After knocking out some work that morning, we finally played tourists and rode the Creole Queen! The weather was perfect!

We admired the cruise ship docked near the Creole Queen ... and wished we were on it!

 Jackson Square in pic below ... can you see why New Orleans is known to be located in a bowl?  Notice the tops of the vehicles on the other side of the levee.  Luckily, the bars and strip clubs were saved from Katrina!  The levee broke further down.

While cruising down the river, we were told about the different sites that we passed.  Some of the sites included loading docks and warehouses, an anchorage for huge ships ... 

and the Domino's sugar plant.  

We got a different view of the city ...

then we arrived at the Chalmette battlefield, where the last great battle of 1812 between the US and Britain took place.  We learned that this location was previously a sugar plantation, and the home seen in our photos wasn't built until after the war.

We gathered under one of the huge oak trees to listen to the guide talk about the battle.  He did a great job, and made the history lesson quite interesting.

The Chalmette Monument, honoring Andrew Jackson's performance during the battle.

We then boarded the boat and headed back to New Orleans ...

On the way back, we listened to New Orleans jazz music and watched the sites go by ... so relaxing!

We then walked a short distance to Spanish Plaza and went to the "Crazy Lobster" restaurant for dinner.

We ordered one of our favorite dishes ... shrimp n grits!  It did not disappoint.

While we savored every bite, we enjoyed a live jazz band and watched that cruise ship we saw earlier float right by.  I guess we won't be on that boat this time ...

We had a great day, and it was just what we needed.  We love this city!  It is so rich with culture, history, great food and music.  No matter how much time we spend here, we never get bored and we always see something we didn't notice before.  We need to play tourists a little more often!  Our friends are getting married here next month ... a bicycle wedding.  You know that's gonna be a blast!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

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