Tuesday 28 June 2011

Dixieland Part 4.......

We were able to get up a little later on Tuesday as our first excursion of the day was brunch at The Court Of Two Sisters, so we didn't need to go to breakfast at the hotel.

The Court of Two Sisters is located in a historic courtyard of the French Quarter

where the brunch buffet features more than sixty authentic creole and New Orleans dishes, from eggs benedict to fresh seafood - see the whole brunch menu here.  

Enjoying the brunch with Lorna and Peter from our tour bus.

There was so much to choose from but I started with the eggs benedict which was absolutely delicious.  I also tried crawfish, which I'd never had, I can't say I would have them again but I'm glad I tried them.      It was all so delicious and we were spoilt for choice as you will understand if you've checked out the menu on the link above.   All through the brunch we were entertained by an authentic New Orleans Jazz Band, which was so relaxing and certainly added to the ambience of the place.

Stuffed full of plumptiousness we made our way back to the hotel to collect a few things before it was time to meet the coach for our next excursion to the Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour.

Arriving at our destination we boarded the boat to tour,Cajun style, through the heart of Louisiana's swamplands, deep into the bayous where we saw alligators, blue herons, turtles and jumping fish.   We tried to get photographs of the jumping fish but they were too fast but I've put together a slide show of what we did see.

Whilst on board the boat MWM got to hold a rather large Alligator's head, it was dead of course.

Then we both got to hold a live baby alligator, mind you it's mouth was safely taped up.

I was surprised how soft it's skin was, I expected it to be hard and scaly!

Apparently other wildlife  like snakes, egrets, white tailed deer, mink and nutria all make their homes in the swamp but we didn't see any of them.  

At the end of the tour we headed back to our hotel where we just had time to shower and change before we had to meet a local guide for a walking tour through he French quarter, hearing the stories, history and legends of the famous buildings, bars and restaurants.

Our guide explained that the ironwork on the balconies held messages for visitors in that if they couldn't read they would be able to tell which places just sold drink - the ironwork would depict grapes, and if the ironwork depicted acorns this was where they could get food and a bed for the night.   Most of the streets were lit by gas light, New Orleans has so much natural gas (methane) that it is very economical for the city to light the streets in this way, they even export gas to Tennessee.

Apparently Jean Lafitte was the famous pirate portrayed by Yul Brynner  in the film The Buccaneer.

Our guide walked us through a hotel on Bourbon Street to this beautiful courtyard.

She told us that the hotel had at one time been a convent and the nuns did more than pray for the male visitors.    Apparently all doors on Bourbon Street are painted a uniform green and the line in the song The Green Door, ' knows what goes on behind the green door' refers to the goings-on at the convent,  I don't know how true this is but it's an interesting legend.      We saw Brad and Angelina's house, MWM took a very short video of it, unfortunately Brad and Angelina didn't come out whilst we were lingering outside otherwise we'd have got them on the video, wouldn't that have been a scoop?

Brad's Pit

The tour ended and we went in Pat O'Briens for something to eat.   We had their New Orleans Trio which were little pots of three things we promised ourselves we would try whilst in New Orleans - Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, and Jambalaya and delicious they were too.   Of course we tried  their famous drink - a Hurricane - whilst we were waiting for a table but we didn't buy the glass as it would have been difficult to get it home. We were told that if you have one Hurricane that's OK, if you have two you feel as though you're in a Hurricane - well we had two and we were OK so what does that tell you?    When we'd finished eating we took a beer each and walked up Bourbon Street, stopping outside the bars to listen to the various bands before we made our way back to the hotel.    After such a busy day we were ready for bed, as we had an early start the following day for the next leg of our journey - to Memphis.

I hope you'll join me for Dixieland Part 5  Memphis and Elvis!

Read Dixieland Part 1 here
Read Dixieland Part 2 here
Read Dixieland Part 3 here


Ron said...

"She told us that the hotel had at one time been a convent and the nuns did more than pray for the male visitors."

Oh, how FUNNY!!!!!!

LOVE this post! As usual, your photos and narratives always make me feel like I was there with you.

New Orleans looks wonderful! And thank you for sharing about the ironwork on the balconies because I found that very interesting.

And OMG (knowing what a HUGE Angelina Jolie fan I am), I REALLY enjoyed the video clip. I would have probably stood outside for DAYS; waiting to see her and Brad - HA!

Thank you for sharing, m'dear. Enjoyed!


P.S. Looking forward to part 5!

Commander Zaius said...

I held a baby alligator once myself, those bad boys are just mean. If their mouths are free those teeth are sharp even at that young age.

Great pictures, too bad Brad and Angelina weren't home.

CrystalChick said...

I just love that first little courtyard! So old and quaint. And the jazz band must have been quite wonderful to listen to... adding to an already perfect atmosphere.
The French Quarter.. YES, that would be a really neat place to visit. Glad you got to sample all the different food and drinks and see so many neat things.

Maggie May said...

*Stuffed full of plumptiousness*! Love that description!
It all looked very lovely.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

we have enjoyed the court of two sisters as well as pat o'brien's place, loved them both!

smiles, bee

Cloudia said...

Best tour of N'awlins EVER!

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral


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Akelamalu said...

I thought of you when we were standing outside Brad's and Angelina's house Ron. If they'd come out I would have asked Angelina for her autograph for you!

The guide said the same thing about the baby alligators Beach. We were disappointed not to see Brad and Angelina. ;)

There were so many little hidden courtyards between the streets Crystal Chick and that one was just beautiful. We really enjoyed all the food, wherever we ate.

Stuffed was exactly how we felt Maggie! ;)

You know exactly what I'm talking about then Bee :)

We thought so Cloudia :)

Flowerpot said...

What an incredible time you've had Ak!

Shrinky said...

You look positively radiant, it's obvious you are both having a wonderful time. That courtyard is gorgeous, as are all the other places you've toured. I am so, so, so jealous!!

Dianne said...

I love all the photos and details :)

Daryl said...

I have dined at the Court of the Two Sisters ... lovely garden isnt it .. and I must point out that those lights are now electric not gas ... neat video!

Akelamalu said...

We certainly did Flowerpot!

Thanks Shrinky, we did have a wonderful time.

So pleased you've enjoyed them Dianne :)

The garden is lovely at the Court Of Two Sisters Daryl. I have to say that the guide took great pains to assure us that the lights are definitely gas. Glad you liked the SHORT video. :)

G-Man said...

Eggs Benedict at The Court are to Die for!
Pat O'Briens Hurracaines were my first ones as well.
I've taken the same swamp Tour.
I know you had a Rockin Time

Richard Lawry said...

Looks like you had a great time. I love visiting New Orleans and Southern Louisiana

An Arkies Musings

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely fantastic place to visit, somewhere I nearly moved to back in the 90's after being offered a job in Baton Rouge.

I love the style of the buildings.

But the crocs put me off, lol.
CJ xx

Akelamalu said...

Ah you know exactly what I'm talkin' about G-man - we did have a rockin' time!

It's a trip I'll remember all my life Richies!

I love the buildings too CJ. How come you didn't take the job in Baton Rouge?

Linda said...

That's really interesting about the messages in the iron railings - I didn't know that! But then again, I've also never been to the French Quarter or anywhere else in New Orleans other than the airport!

I did have a Hurricane once though over in Biloxi and not in New Orleans and one was more than enough for me! Of course, I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol consumption!

Loving your journey so far!

Akelamalu said...

Everything about the French Quarter and in fact New Orleans was really interesting Linda. I hope you get to see it for yourself some day. I'm not sure even we could have drunk more than two Hurricanes and we've had plenty of practice. ;)

SM said...

nice pics
place looks beautiful

tony said...

A Grande Tour. Lovely Photos.You Had A Ball I Can See! (not sure about the alligator tho......!)

Spiky Zora Jones said...

akelemalu: I don't know about that one but other La La. hehehe.

That menu is awesome. I think I'll plan a vacay there next's all sounds fun. And jazz bands...hello they are my weakness. :)

thanks sweetie for the tour. and I took it's okay to have two hurricanes. :)

katie eggeman said...

Your pictures are wonderful, as usual I feel like I've been there with you. I am waiting for more!

secret agent woman said...

I kicked a rather large gator once in the swamp, thinking it was plastic. They are solid creatures.

(I had to delete and move this comment to the right post!)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Akelamalu - we're definitely enjoying William and Kate - just spent the morning watching their official meet-and-greet walkabout in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (here in the Maritimes.) It's being broadcast live on TV.

Once again, I loved this leg of your Dixieland tour. All the jazz must be heavenly.

'Plumptiousness' - my new favorite word.

Never knew about the ironwork advertising - very cool. And the 'behind the Green Door' story - hadn't heard that one, either. LOL!

Akelamalu said...

Glad you enjoyed this sm and thanks for visiting.

It was a bit of a Grande Tour Tony, lots more to come. ;)

The bit about the convent made me smile too Spiky! If you do go have a Hurricane for me honey. x

I'm so pleased you enjoyed it Bankerchick x

Crikey SAW I bet that was scary!

I've enjoyed watching the news reports about Wills and Kate's visit Julia, they do seem to be having a good time. I'm so glad you enjoyed my little travelogue and yes, the Jazz was fantastic.

Travis Cody said...

You make it sound so intriguing.

Akelamalu said...

I found it intriguing Trav ;)

Mimi Lenox said...

You are a riot. The green door..hmm..
But, please, I am begging you...put that alligator down.

Akelamalu said...

Just passing on what our guide told us Mimi ;)