The next day dawned hangovery. We made a whole french press of chickory coffee, and took it slow.
It occurred to us we didn’t have a photographic record of our home base. $57 per night is crazy cheap for New Orleans, and we had a whole mother-in-law cottage all to ourselves, with free parking!
It’s in a bit of a salty neighborhood. This part of Bywater got hit hard by Katrina, and it’s just across the canal from the 9th Ward. Things still aren’t great around these parts, but Leesaw and Brad keep their place up really well, and make it a point to know all of their neighbors.
We finally got up the gumption to leave the house, and went to wait in this line:
… for these. Beignets and café au lait from Cafe du Monde, the very best place to buy both of these things. Well, the coffee was okay; being proper coffee snobs from Portland, we have to find something wrong with it. Anyways, we skipped the crowd and picnicked on the bank of the mighty Mississippi.
And the inevitable pitying snapshot from a passer-by:
We spent the rest of the morning walking around the French Quarter, which is a very different place in the day time.
The score (of us in front of the cathedral):
… and the “helpful” passer-by:
That afternoon, the Saints played the 49ers. It was a very high-stakes game, and it seemed like all of New Orleans stopped to pay attention. The grocery store we were in turned off the Muzak and put the PA microphone next to the radio. We headed to Kajun’s to meet up with Becky’s friend Cara (who incidentally is part of a dancing mermaid krewe during Mardi Gras) and watch the game. The bartender passed out jello shots whenever the Saints made a touchdown.
But at least we got a 4-hour lunch break. We spent ours back up in Bayou St. John, getting a catfish po’boy and gumbo at the Parkway Bakery and Tavern, who (depending on who you ask) invented the po’boy. It shows – this was the among the best sandwiches either of us have ever eaten. We nearly fought over it.
We found ourselves driving around Lake Shore, we caught a glimpse of Lake Ponchartrain.
Still with time to kill, we drove back to the conference and walked up Magazine Street, found me a hat (apparently New Orleans doesn’t know that when the weather turns cold, you should turn off the A/C for the conference), and walked back through what appeared to be an abandoned industrial district. We weren’t scared at all.
Canon knows how to throw a party, but apparently can’t count chairs.
We must have been super busy on Conference Day Two, because the only two photos we have are from lunch at Commander’s Palace, the swankiest dining establishment we patronized. Lunch was amazing, and the martinis were only 25¢.
We had walked 2 miles to get there, and we kept walking along Magazine Street until we ran out of time, about another 2 miles. Then we rode the streetcar back for our afternoon sessions.
For dinner, we found a place that made us pleasantly homesick. La Boca is just blocks from the convention center, serves grass-fed beef and arugula salads with hazelnuts, and you get to choose your “weapon” from a tray full of eclectic steak knives. It was exactly like being in Portland.
Then we went back to Bourbon Street. I had a shot of Jägermeister at a 200-year-old tavern that used to be a pirate’s blacksmith shop. It was a good day.