NOLA for Christmas

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We spent Christmas Eve day exploring New Orleans.  We logged almost 6 miles walking from our parking space near Louis Armstrong park down to Bourbon Street (just a bunch of bars and people drinking outside),to the Roosevelt Hotel to see the famous lobby Christmas lights, then down Canal Street to the Mississippi River, Jackson Park, up Frenchmen’s Street, Dauphine, the Esplanade, Basin Street and back to Louis Armstrong park. We loved the beautiful mix of architecture, from French Quarter wrought iron to small Creole cottages, shotgun houses and mansions with big columns all smooshed into the city together.  Very cool!

After leaving New Orleans, we followed the Mississippi River north to St. James Parish, looking for a place to eat along the way. Of course, nothing was open except fast food joints and this one Mexican restaurant, El Paso Grill, which is where we decided to eat. The food was delicious! But the biggest laugh of the day came when we ordered our drinks.  Bob said, “It’s happy hour, the sign said buy one margarita, get one free!”  I said, “That sounds good to me, I’ll have a margarita,” and Bob said, “I’ll have the same!”  The waitress returned to our table and put these down …

We didn’t mean we EACH wanted two margaritas!!  LOLOL!

Of course, once they were on the table we didn’t waste them.  No worries, folks. They were some of the weakest margarita’s we’ve ever had!!

After dinner, we continued along the river to the spectacle of the bonfires that are built each year along the tops of the river levees. An old Cajun tradition says that these fires show Papa Noël the way to New Orleans. Groups of people and community organizations build them, generally in the shape of a teepee, but there was one that was a beautiful pelican! They go on for miles, accompanied by fireworks with throngs of people walking down the street, having front-yard parties with music blasting … a huge community party! I don’t see how Papa Noël could miss them.

Today is Christmas Day, and we’re going to hang around the park where we are camped, maybe take a bike ride, cook up a pork roast in the instant pot for dinner later.  We’ll be thinking of everyone back home and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  We miss you all!

And Merry Christmas from Tessa, too!

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