Sunday, February 20, 2011

NoLa Part Troix

Day 3 in New Orleans and it's time to say goodbye, sadly.

We would have loved to have some more time to explore, but I guess that means we'll just have to come back. :)

We headed out for breakfast at the "Gumbo Pot', walking down Decatur Street.
Along the way, we took some pictures with Bubba. We kept seeing these little black figures spray painted onto the side of the road in various places. Some had umbrellas, some were just walking, and one was even being beamed up by a spaceship. They were random, which we loved, and relatively unrecognizable apparently - the 3 people we asked had no clue about them, and they worked there... lol.

Breakfast was pretty good. We've established that food is expensive already, but we should have looked at a menu before we sat down. At any rate, we decided to go ahead and have some food. Everything on the menu sounded great, and we were going to be on the road for the rest of the day, so we figured this could be our "big meal". I had the Eggs Jonathan (which is basically eggs benedict with tomatoes and oysters) and Gary had the Creole omelet (which had shrimp, onions, green peppers, etc.) and both were good. Nothing overtly special except for the fact that it included particularly New Orleans-ish ingredients.
After breakfast, we took a walk along the river. I was much happier to see that the heavy fog from the previous morning was not a daily occurrence. It was nice to be able to see the water, and the land across the river, without looking into a deep fog. After a bit, it was time to head back to the hotel and check out.

One thing that I really wanted to do was go to a cemetery. All of the pictures I've seen of New Orleans cemeteries have left me in awe and I was looking forward to seeing one in person. Luckily, yesterday we talked to one of the New Orleans tourist attendants and she was able to point us in the right direction. The St. Louis cemetery is walking distance of the French Quarter, however, it is in a less-than-safe part of town and she said that we would basically want to go there, and come right back! With an emphasis on the come right back part. :) We didn't make it to that one. She had also mentioned the Metiarie Cemetery which is about 5 miles from the Quarter. It's not as long at the St. Louis, but she assured us it was the prettiest, and it was going to be on our way out of the city anyways, so we decided to give in a whirl.

We found the cemetery easily enough. It was very easy to get to off the highway, and was truly amazing! The catacombs and tombs lining rows of streets, the ornate statues and meaningful tributes to the deceased defining the space and creating an air of remembrance... it was breathtaking, just as I had imagined. And the Metiarie really was so beautiful, and large. We drove through for a long time, stopping to take pictures and marvel. It was just as we were about to head out that we saw it... well, Gary saw it really. One relatively ordinary tomb, perched on the corner of the cemetery has unknowingly become one of the more photographed sites. And when we first saw it, we had noticed an older man and woman going up to the gated front, looking in. We thought that they may have been relatives. But as we were passing it, Gary was able to see inside and see the cradled angel. We stopped, got out, and took some pictures. I still cannot believe that we found her! The front gate is just barely opened enough to stick your hand in and take a picture, the blueish-tinted glass and iron on the door hindering a good photograph through the door, and there is a window broken out of the right side of the building, which is where the majority of the pictures of her had been taken. Thinking about it now, it's sad that the tomb was vandalized, and the very personal image made very public, was available to all who wanted it. But the power of the image had overcome me to the point that I was driving around the cemetery just hoping that it was the right one. And it was. Amazingly, Gary caught a glimpse of it.
Side note: While we were walking though the various markets, we had stumbled upon local photographers would had taken some amazing pictures, including photos within cemeteries. One such image that stuck out in my mind was of an angel cradling over a bench, mourning. You can't see her face, but the emotion is so apparent, and sad. At the time, I had failed to get the name of the cemetery that she was at, but I had hopes of seeing her again. Various photographers had captured her, and the image was burned into my mind. Such majesty, such pain...

It's amazing how excited I am that we found that angel... :)

Once we left the cemetery, we had to make our way back to 10. I think I mentioned this before. Driving around New Orleans is comparable to driving around New York, Miami, just with worse roads. We thought we were going to right way, and all of the sudden, we were going West on 90. We've no idea how it happened, but after crossing a lot of bridges, and driving miles out of the way, we knew we had to turn around. So we did, and we met a toll that we didn't know we were coming upon, and Gary had to scrounge around in my change bag trying to find exact change... we got up to the toll booth and I'm just about dying laughing because the 100 cents in various coins that Gary had found happened to contain a foreign coin that wouldn't (obviously) suffice for the toll. The attendant smiled, my glee and Gary's frustration apparent, laughed, and said "well we'd have to have 'em huh" (meaning about Louisiana having to have tools?). I smiled, handed her the change, and drove away, laughing. Gary then informed me that we only gave her $.95 cents... lol. Oh well, at least she was smiling.

We finally got on the right track and have reached our night's destination- Abbeville, AL.
We drove into Gulf Port, MS to see the ocean, but it was too foggy/hazy to see anything but a little bit of the beach.
We did get to see Beau Rivage and some of the other casinos, but we didn't really get to see across the wide-blue ocean until we reached Mobile.
It was neat though because we got to see a Navy Battleship! And that's sufficient for us. :)
We are looking forward to tomorrow's activities!

Bon nuit!

1 comment:

a star* in the margin said...

So glad you had fun! Next time you plan a trip, look at every day for that city a month or two in advance and you can usually get some really great deals on restaurants and activities. We ended up eating at a really awesome restaurant for half off when we went to NOLA. :)