I was excited to get into New Orleans to have Huck and the kids see and experience the town. We had a list of suggestions of where to go, what foods to eat, where to park. It was still a little overwhelming figuring out what to do. 🙂
We walked straight to Jackson Square to people watch and enjoy the sites and sounds.
Of course we had to ask about public bathrooms. I swear we had way too many trips to this indoor mall. BUT we met 2 really nice gentlemen who were Veteran’s helping Veterans. One called over our kids and insisted on giving them mints. (In hind sight, really?? Don’t you know we teach the kids not to take candy from strangers? Oy! I could tell the man was so nice, but it does confuse the kids a bit.) We asked for a lunch suggestion as the other recommendations we had been given had a 1-2 hour wait. They were such genuine, nice, happy guys and commented on our nice family. They suggested a great place across the street to eat lunch. The neat thing was at the end of the day we passed the candy guy as we were walking down a street headed back to the car. It was obviously a nice surprise for both of us! I thanked him for his service, but he was genuinely happy to have served and to be serving. What a great heart he has!
Back to the square to look and listen. The art, the music, the performers. It’s so funny to hear the kids thoughts and reactions on the palm readers and card readers, etc. The boys really wanted to see the magic show, which we kept missing.
Over to Cafe Du Monde to wait in line. I knew what this meant, so Huck and the kids sat and watched Dragon Masters do their show while I stood in line. For 45+ minutes. 2 lessons learned almost too late: There are 2 lines – 1 for sit down, 1 for take out. Surprisingly the take out line takes waaaaay longer than the sit down line! Most important – they only accept cash! This fact was not discovered until I was in line for over 30 minutes. There is a small sign on the (wrong) side of the cafe that is not along the street. Luckily I had cash. Whew. The kids and Huck really enjoyed the break dancing/comedy show! So all’s well that ends well. Oh and we had yummy beignets as well!
Back to Jackson Square. The kids were quite entertained, but I was antsy. I wanted to see and do more, since I know there is so much to see. Finally, I convinced everyone to move on to some other streets and we had so much fun seeing a lot of different types of street bands. Most were very down home and authentic. The instruments were well loved and the people were so genuine and so happy.
We even managed to walk down Bourbon Street for a few blocks. It is incredibly tame during the day compared to the night life. I don’t *think* the kids saw anything too inappropriate. Lots of drunk people of course. We did see some funny costumes, a poet for hire, and a guy with a string of beads that were insane! The biggest bead was as big as his head! I do know the kids noticed the drinking and the smoking – but that was all over the place, even in Jackson Square. We had some interesting conversations about people drinking too much. Kids never cease to amaze me with what they notice and what they think about the actions of adults.
The other thing the kids noticed is that New Orleans has a lot of homeless people. They had a lot of questions about this and they expressed sorrow about the number of homeless. We talked about how the weather is milder here and how the hurricanes also destroy many homes. We all wish we could do more to eliminate this situation. It is quite overwhelming to think about how many people are homeless. It is also quite amazing the creativity and drive some of them have to make money. The talent and the opportunity both exist here in New Orleans.