Thursday, December 17, 2015


We went to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago to see the Saints play. As you may know, their season hasn't been going as well as we would have liked. New Orleans is, however, a fun place to visit, no matter the outcome of the game. As one of my Facebook friends commented, "Even when the game is in doubt, the food is never in question." Indeed.

We started our food fest at Desire Oyster Bar, located adjacent to the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street. Jim likes oysters on the half shell. I like the the Creole Trio, featuring gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. So good.
It is always fun to see the balconies in the French Quarter all decked out for the holidays. Any holiday.
On Friday, we took the streetcar out St. Charles avenue to have lunch. I snapped this photo along the way. You don't see many of those any more.

When we arrived at Commander's Palace, they gave each guest a bell to ring in the holiday season.
5 cent martinis are festive in any season.
Jim enjoyed the turtle soup.
And I cleaned my plate to get to my favorite - bread pudding soufflé.
Best. dessert. ever. See that bowl in the background? Warm whiskey cream sauce. Oh yes.
It was a sunny day in the garden district, and we took a photo before catching the streetcar back to the hotel.
On Friday afternoon, we took the cocktail tour, which we have done on each of our visits to New Orleans. We were able to get in Joe's group (he's the best), and had a good time meeting new friends, and hearing his (now familiar) stories.
Pirate's Alley is one of the stops on the tour, with the mystical Green Fairy cocktail offered for the enjoyment of tour takers.
We walked down Royal Street, and passed right by our hotel, all decorated for Christmas. That's our balcony room on the second floor.
There was even a lighted bike parade. Always something fun and fancy in New Orleans.
Saturday was beautiful, and we took a walk past the cathedral on our way to Cafe du Monde.
Jackson Square is stunning against the bright blue sky.
After a little shopping, we headed to Canal Street for the Krewe of Jingle Christmas Parade. We heard about the parade that morning, and thought we should at least go watch. No one does a parade like New Orleans.
Winged horses...
soldiers on stilts...
(creepy) Santa floats...
and lots and lots of little girls.
Girls dancing, and marching, and tapping, and twirling all the way down the parade route.
Each float had people on board tossing beads, cups, and the occasional stuffed animal to the crowd. Beads, beads, everywhere.
There were Rolling Elvises (or as one site I consulted for the plural of Elvis says, Elvi). Some were rolling, some were walking, and all were having a good time.
I liked the MuffALottas, a dance troupe, who were having fun dancing with their trays in their red and green Christmas costumes.
They even threw beads from horses! Of courses!
Snowman float.
I liked the candy cane stilt the best. We collected our beads, and finished our afternoon at the Carousel Bar, keeping up with the Purdue game on our phones.
Saturday evening we had a nice dinner in the Jazz Bistro at Arnaud's Restaurant. The musicians come around to each table and ask for a request. We usually request 'When the Saints Go Marching In', but someone beat us to it that night. We settled on 'What a Wonderful World.' Yes it is. We finished with Bananas Foster for dessert, always impressive.
And delicious.

Breakfast at Brennan's on Sunday morning gave us another opportunity to enjoy the torching and tasting of Bananas Foster. Legend has it, the dessert was invented there.
They handed out bells there, as well, and they were a nice accessory to our game-day jerseys. Who Dat!
We got to the Superdome early (I know, a surprise), and checked out the statue of Saints owner Tom Benson.
Took a selfie in front of the dome.
We had to wait a few minutes outside the entrance, and I was making friends with the security crew. It's always good to make friends. Our tickets allow us access to the Bunker Club below the stands, where they serve good food and drink, have big screen televisions, nice restrooms, and comfortable couches on which to relax. Jim had a nice meal in there while I was in my seat watching the action on the field. We had a pretty good view.
I like watching my team, win or lose. Well, okay, it's a little more fun when they win. We knew this would be a tough game, as our Saints were playing the undefeated Carolina Panthers.

There's our Drew. He really is a good guy. You can't find a person in New Orleans with anything negative to say about him. New Orleans loves our Boilermaker.
The team photographer is always working. He is the one who came over to the rail at the game in Indianapolis, and talked to Matthew, and gave him a Drew Brees card.
Warming up.
Marques Colston's family was on the sidelines before the game to watch him warm up. So cute.
He came over and greeted the kids. Don't you just love those little gold pants?
The photographer came over and spoke to them,
and then snapped a picture.
I have read a few articles that say that this might be Colston's last year as a Saint. Speculation, of course, and I hope they are able to keep him on the team. He holds many of the receiving records for the team, including most receiving touchdowns and most total touchdowns. When he scores a touchdown, he doesn't dance, dunk, or discuss, just hands the ball to the referee and gets back to work. Drew Brees calls him Mr. Reliable. His nickname is Quiet Storm. I was so happy that he caught 2 touchdown passes last Sunday in the game at Tampa Bay.

He gave his gloves to his young son, who put them on as they made their way off the field after the warm ups. He's one of my favorites.
There's our Drew, ready to go.
Pre-game huddle.
A handshake from the coach.
The Saints played the Carolina Panthers. They're pretty good. Like undefeated good. Number 41 on their team is Roman Harper. He played on the Super Bowl Champion Saints team. Now he's on the Panthers, who have started their season in a very similar fashion to that Super Bowl Team in '09-'10. Harper wrote a very good article comparing the two teams, that you can read here, if you're interested.
Team introductions include a lot of fire.

I know he's good, but it is my observation that the Panther's quarterback is just a little bit too full of himself. He comes to the coin toss at mid-field before the game with a towel on his head, which seems rather disrespectful to me.
As soon as the coin dropped, he was heading back to the bench.
It was a great game, and my Saints came this close to winning it. I held my beads, stood up, sat down, watched, didn't watch, high fived, celebrated, and, finally, agonized over the final score. So close!

The guy below, number 28, is one of the reasons the Panthers won the game. I like his name, but I don't much like what the other Jonathan Stewart did to the Saints.
Drew frequently confers with his receivers on the bench, to make adjustments.
After a final, valiant drive, the Saints came up short, and lost 41-38. That's a lot of points, and the team played hard.
Jim has a new favorite in Benjamin Watson. He's a captain, a leader, and Jim wore his jersey number to the game. Jim read his book, Under Our Skin, while we were in New Orleans.
After the game, Benjamin Watson leads the mid-field prayer. He is facing the camera, just below the Gatorade sign. We stick around at the stadium as long as they will let us, which isn't as long as I would like. :)
Bye bye, Superdome.
We walked back to the hotel from the stadium, and then headed out to find some dinner. St. Louis Cathedral is beautiful day or night. We ate at Tujague's, and took our dessert to go.
We ate Monday morning breakfast at Cafe Beignet, just down the street from our hotel. Our order was number 9. Naturally.
It was a beautiful morning, and we went up to the hotel rooftop to enjoy the view.

The pool was open, and there was even someone swimming.
Jim took one last look before we headed downstairs.
A few more minutes on our balcony, and it was time to head to the airport.
We watched a pretty sunset during our layover in Atlanta. Although we had time for dinner and the sunset, there apparently wasn't time to get our bag on the plane, and we got to Indy without it. Thankfully, it found its way home. As did we.

1 comment:

Terri D said...

Wow!! You tell such great stories and have the best photos...feels like I was with you in NOLA! I totally forgot about the Cocktail Tour when we were there last Spring. Now I want to go again so we can do that!