Thursday, June 26, 2008

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans ...

I'm so excited! My husband and I are going to New Orleans for the weekend. After Katrina, I said I never wanted to go back, but we want to get away for the weekend and New Orleans is fairly close, so we decided to go. I'm going to take my camera and hope to get lots of pictures to share with you.

Today I bought a Fodor's 2008 New Orleans guide book which outlines some pretty amazing facts about the recovery of the city:

Nearly 80% of the city was flooded

Almost 200,000 homes (71%) were damaged by flooding

90% of businesses have reopened in downtown New Orleans

There are now 812 restaurants in Orleans Parish -- more than before Katrina

Almost all of New Orleans' major hotels have reopened

The French Quarter did not flood and damage to its collection of historic buildings was relatively mild. Shops, clubs, restaurants, and museums have reopened.

Is it safe to go? The tourist areas and populated neighborhoods are generally considered safe, but the city has seen rising crime rates, and looting continues in some of its underpopulated neighborhoods (which we will avoid).

We're going to stay at our favorite New Orleans hotel, Windsor Court, and our plans include a lunch cruise down the Mississippi River on the Steamboat Natchez, the city's only authentic steamboat stern-wheeler, and a visit to the Aquarium of the Americas. I get "seasick" fishing off of a pier, so I'm a little apprehensive about the steamboat cruise. I just hope I won't embarrass myself.

I also hope to visit some of the antique galleries and shops in the French Quarter, if my feet (and my sweet husband) don't give out on me.

Of course, any trip to New Orleans usually revolves around "Where do you want to eat?" ... and one of our favorite places is Cafe' du Monde, located on the river in the French Quarter. There's nothing like sitting on a bench at 6:00 a.m., sharing a bag of "melt-in-your-mouth" beignets and cafe' au lait, and listening to the sounds of the river and enjoying the sights and sounds of the French Quarter awakening. At least Katrina didn't take that pleasure away from us, and I can't wait.

I'll look forward to sharing our trip with you next week. Until then ... take care.



Unknown said...

Hi Janie,
You will love your visit to New Orleans. My son is in graduate school there, so we've been down a time or two in the past year.

You might like to go to Magazine street to look for anitques. There are a couple of Antique Malls that are fun to browse. If you do a search on google, I think you'll find a website that has all the stores listed. It's not in the French Quarter so you'll have to drive but it isn't too far....near St. Charles and the zoo. I can't wait to see your pictures! Have fun!

Jill said...

Hi Miss Janie,
Thank you for your great encouragement comment...I believe I might have been a bit dramatic yesterday. I guess that is what they call venting!

Have a wonderful time in New Orleans! I love Cafe DuMonde, too! You know if you go a little bit off the beaten path in the French Quarter there are some great antique stores. More towards the Garden District.

Will be anxious to see some great pictures of your trip.

Unknown said...

I am so jealous. I have been trying to get there for the last couple of years. I keep trying to get my boys to look at colleges just so I have an excuse to visit. (I have family in Baton Rouge.)
Have a great time and have a beignet or two for me!

Anonymous said...

Miss Janie,

If you want to check out a more insiders guide to New Orleans, you should visit --

While it does contain some of the more "touristy" places, it also has good amount of authentic places that you might not find in Fodor's.

Have a nice trip.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! Have a great weekend!!! Talk to you next week when you post all your great pictures and I am sure you will find a few goodies for us to be jealous of too! Stay Safe - Jeannette

Karin said...

Oh, you'll have a fabulous time!! So jealous! I haven't been to New Orleans since Katrina, either, so I'm looking forward to what you have to say. We still have friends who live there and they say it's better than ever. I so regret talking my husband out of going to medical school there. I was worried about cost of living and crime, so he went to school on Shreveport. In retrospect, I see that we missed out on a once in a lifetime experience.

PS Google ginger and sea sickness. It's a proven remedy!

Have a wonderful time!

PAT said...

Hi Janie

I can hardly wait to see your photos and hear all about your trip. It sounds wonderful!


Picket said...

Hey sweetie...ohhhhh lucky you...have a great time and but me something pretty!!!! lol lol I can't wait to see the pics and hear all about your trip..take care my friend and enjoy yourself!!!!

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Janie, Hope you enjoy your trip! I've never been to New Orleans, but would love to some day! Hope you will share lots of pictures with us, when you return!

~Rhonda ;)

Julie @ Sweet Chaos said...

Oh, I'm jealous. New Orleans is my favorite place. Please let us know with many pictures how it really is now. Katrina broke my heart, it was so awful. I'm hoping to get back soon. (We got our daughter from there, lol ;) ) Can't wait to hear/see about your trip. Have a beignet & a muffelata for me.

Judy said...

We've only been thru New Orleans on our way to a cruise ship since Katrina but we do get as far as Biloxi/Gulfport. I would love to go back to N.O. soon and do a lot of what you are doing. The last time we were there was for the Sugar Bowl about 4 years ago!

Have a wonderful time...can't wait to see pictures!