I was awakened by the buzz of my mobile phone. My friend and one of our travel companions frantically sent me a text with a tornado warning advisory. It had rained heavily overnight and it was now Monday, 5:30am with a tornado warning in Louisiana.
I wasn’t too concerned for some reason. I guess I supposed the hotel would put on a major alarm should there have been cause for alarm. But, it probably was because I never really experienced a tornado first hand, so I guess my ignorance made me remain bliss? Anyway, there was no cause for alarm. The tornado warning had soon ended.
Unfortunately, from what I understood in my dazed morning sleep mind, north of the city was hit and the storm kept moving along towards Florida. By 9:00am, the sun began to sneak through the clouds, clearing the sky for another sunny warm day in New Orleans.
So, another day had begun. I popped down to the Silver Whistle for my morning Americano and, this time, a fresh warm biscuit with a side of house made jam. Later, I met the other half of our travel crew at the French Market for a light lunch before they departed on a tour of the levees and water pumps, and learn about the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina. My half of the travel crew, on the other hand, skipped the Katrina tour for a quiet day of exploration in the neighborhood of Marigny or Faubourg.
We walked along the musical Frenchman street and continued eastward into Marigny and, from what I was told, Faubourg neighborhood. This area seemed a bit more bohemian, filled with creativity and clearly artistic people. Did I mention that throughout the city Mardi Gras beads were still hanging about haphazardly on trees, balconies and other hard to reach places? We did come across some houses and trees that seemed purposefully decorated with the colorful beads; probably held for other upcoming festivals.
We strolled around in the warmth until requiring refreshments. At which point, we stumbled upon a small bar called Marie’s, where we enjoyed a cold beer and fun chatter with the locals, under the shade. Moving on, we sought out St. Roch Market – a food hall with stalls on either end offering high quality eats. I was instantly envious that we had nothing like this at home.
Later that afternoon, we all met up for another stroll through French Quarter and finally made our way to Café du Monde for their famous beignets. At this time, there was no ridiculous line to get in – it was not the weekend, so that helped. We sat at the table and waited for our fresh warm beignet. They were fluffy, warm donut-like pillows smothered in powered sugar. Why wouldn’t anyone like these?
And then it was finally the moment I had been looking forward to throughout the whole trip – Tiki Time! Look for Part 2, coming soon.
[To be continued in Part 2.]