Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Jazz Fest NOLA 2013 - Week 2

Thursday May 2, 2013 
Day Four of Jazz Fest

After yet another leisurely morning we crossed the street and ate at the Dress It Cafe.  We had chipped beef gravy, biscuits, scrambled eggs and sausage. Excellent once again.  We hustled and bustled and inquired until we figured out how to get a free ride on the shuttle. woo hoo!  Today Michael and I are on our own.

The weather was sunny with some very pretty clouds as we started the day at the Congo Square stage.  We got to Samba a little, shop a little, but pretty soon the weather started rolling in.  We made it to the Peoples Economy Tent just in time for the Rain to start falling.

We camped out in the Economy Tent to miss the rain only leaving in a pancho for beer refills and bathroom breaks. We got to see some of NOLA's finest traditional Dixieland jazz music.  We stayed until the rain stopped, then headed over to the Liagnappe Stage in the drizzle for a set from The Honeypots after a light lunch of a dozen oysters.. :)

Then it was back to the Peoples Economy Tent for the band that was the highlight of the day, Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses.  They played a montage of traditional music in tribute to Sidney Bechet the great soprano sax player.  Aurora played Soprano Sax and sang some.  The band was great, she was amazing.. 

The weather remained cloudy and cool so we stayed inside the rest of the day, next to the Blues tent where we saw a magnificent set from Native American Folk Singer and Blues artist, Pura Fe'. Wow!  The drummer played the Cajon, she had a great blues guitarist and Pura sang and played her unusual slide Dobro.  

We finished our day at the Liagnappe Stage watching Ingrid Lucia and her fine band of musicians.  That excellent set finished we set off once again for the Gentilly Gate where Steve picked us up once again and we went off to dinner at Taqueria Corona. 

Michael and I went on to attend the final three days of Jazz Fest, continuing to absorb as much of the festival as humanly possible. Meanwhile I'm off to Australia for some teaching and touring. Perhaps I'll have some time forms blog entry or two! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Touring in NOLA 2013 Day 3

Wednesday May 1, 2013 

Another leisurely  morning of reading email, talking on the phone, and editing photos, led us finally to a great breakfast at Mother's Restaurant just a couple of blocks from the Belle Maison.  Michael and I both had the Crawfish Étouffée Omelet.. Oh my... :)  The coffee here and everywhere in NOLA it seems, is rich and full flavored, the best there is!  The line was out the door and around the block by the time we left.  We must have hit it just right.  We were able to just walk in, order and eat!

We really wanted to do the Segway Tour of the French Quarter.  With the weather being so iffy, we decided to go back to the hotel and check the weather channel and make a decision.. We finally decided to just go for it and lo and behold, the weather held and we were able to get in the whole 3 hour Segway ride through the French Quarter, Marigny, and Treme without getting wet.  Our cute little tour guide, Amber, trained us, entertained us, and led us in a very enjoyable journey.  Highlights included Armstrong Park and Congo Square,  the Bonaparte House, The Tennessee Williams house, the Lafite Bar (oldest in New Orleans), and finally a ride throught the French Market and down the riverfront.  It was much fun, although Michael had a little trouble with the dismount at first, the Segway kept trying to eat his leg! :)  He finally figured it out.

We were heading to dinner with Steve, Jess and Miri at Superior Seafood so we needed to find a cab.  We started walking and looking and a couple of guys overheard and told us to simply walk over to the Marriot around the corner and we'd find a cab there. Presto!  We were in the cab and on our way!

At Superior, we had a nice dinner which of course included a dozen oysters each for me and Michael, and some of the best seafood in New Orleans. Michael had skewered grilled shrimp kabobs on grits with bread pudding for dessert and I had a nice goat cheese and shrimp salad.  Excellent!

We caught the St. Charles street car back downtown and were able to get 2 blocks from the hotel.  We stopped in at Chuck's Sports Bar (It's open damn near 24 hours :) for a nightcap..  P U ... we don't need to go back in there.  We could barely breath.  Got to watch a little NBA tho...

Touring in NOLA 2013 Day 2

Tuesday April 30, 2013 

After a leisurely morning talking on the phone, answering emails, drinking coffee and editing our photo streams, we finally got out and about for breakfast. Oops, we missed breakfast and had to settle for lunch at the Commerce Restaurant on Camp Street, just a few steps from our Hotel.  Michael had a Oyster Po-boy and I had a Club.  Very good!

Today is museum day.  We walked down Magazine Street to the WWII museum to spend the day there.  We started with the Tom Hanks narrated movie, "Beyond All Boundries."  Then we lucked into a free guided tour of the main museum.  Our guide Paul, took us through the displays for Normandy and the War in the Pacific.  He was very interesting and will informed.  The tour was very good and we felt like we got to experience the best of the museum proper. 

We stopped in at The Soda Shop for some gourmet ice cream in this 50's themed eatery.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame had a nice exhibit set up and we both took that in before walking across the street to the Boing Pavilion to see the war planes on display.  It was a 4 story hanger-like structure with a B-17 hanging from the ceiling along with 5 other warbirds of various types. 

The John Besh restaurant, The American Sector, was just closing (at 5:30!!) by the time we arrived but we were able to order a beer (NOLA Blonde and Hopitoulas) and some snacks.  Michael had some greasy onion rings, a cup of Gumbo and a BBQ slider, and I had a cup of gormet fries and 2 BBQ sliders.  Everything was delicious except the poor onion rings...

We walked back to the hotel and settled in for a bit. Caught up on some emails and photo stream edits then we walked back down Decatur to Jackson Square.  After Coffee and Beignet's at Cafe du Monde and a stroll around the square taking several nice photos, we set off for a stroll down Bourbon Street on our way back to the hotel.
 We stopped in for a beer at the Barber Chair and continued down Bourbon street carrying our cups of beer along the way. I was "arrested" for carrying an open cup of beer and not being drunk... It was a come on for a local charity and I got a very cool hat for my $20. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Touring in Nola 2013 Day 1

Monday, April 29, 2013 

Moving day.  We moved from the Quality Inn on St. Charles to the Belle Maison Wyndham on Gravier St.  Michael has a time share and was able to get Monday - Thursday and invited me to stay with him.  This worked out great and solved all transportation problems that would have occured if I'd have stayed with Steve and Jess.  

Breakfast was the buffet at the Quality Inn and then we're off to the Belle Maison.

We stored our luggage and headed out for a day of touristing.  We walked from our hotel to the riverfront (about 15 minutes) We walked to the dock for the Natchez and bought tickets for the boat ride later in the day.
 We walked back down to Decatur Street for Oysters and Beer for lunch at My Fav, The Crescent City Brewhouse.  We got to watch the shucker do his thing.  I'm pretty sure that he shucked them just for us.  Michael was enamored of the jelly fish on the ceiling...  I had the beer sampler.

After Lunch we set off to find the Hard Rock.  We thought it was on Decatur, come to find out they'd moved to Bourbon Street.  So off we went.  Got to hear two great street musicians on the way, two girls on guitar and fiddle.  They played a nice jazzy version of "Jambalaya." 

We found the Hard Rock and had a beer and bought a pin and a church key for Steve.  Michael got a shirt, a pin, and a church key for me. Michael enjoyed the one million beer bottles that were attached to the ceiling...

After the Hard Rock we needed to get back to the Natchez for our boat ride so we hired a bicycle cab for a scenic but short trip back to the dock.  We had a very chatty ride.  The weather was sunny and warm, very nice day for a ride.

We were dropped at the dock and waited for the boat.  The ride on the Natchez was just like all the other rides I've ever taken.  The calliope played, a great little jazz band on the dock entertained us as we waited.  A homeless man with a head injury waited to get picked up by the medics while the band played on.

On the boat, we settled in for the two hour cruise down then back up the great Mississippi River.  We had Abita Amber and Budwiser, sat back and enjoyed the ride.  We explored the boat a little, going down to the engine room, visited the gift shop (got a little steamboat whistle for Miri.  She loved it!) and checked out the Dixieland band in the dining room.  We ended up back on deck and noticed the clouds gathering for a coming thunderstorm.  We were treated to a huge light show and then the rains came...  

We waited on the boat as long as we could to avoid the worst of the downpour and then made a run for The Gumbo Pot for a little early dinner.  We ate here simply to escape the rest of the thundershower.  We contacted Steve and Jess and arranged to meet for dinner at the Irish House.  This was unexpected but very nice.  Steve loaned me his guitar so I could play in the session after dinner.

We ate some very nice chef-made salads because of our early dinner at The Gumbo Pot.  Miri loved her little whistle.  Jess and Steve had fish n chips with their Guiness.  We moved over to the session area and I sat and played with the folks till 9 o'clock.  Jessica come over for two songs and we sang Step it Out Mary and The Good Man.  

We said goodnight and a taxi took us back to the Belle Maison.  We retrieved our luggage and moved in for the night.  I caught up on an episode of Survivor and we watched the after-show together then hit the sack.