Monday, October 31, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 08

The buzzards and Fannie Mae slept in until 7:30 and after a Bright Side Breakfast, Fannie Mae stayed to guard the room while Linda and John took an exploratory trip on public transportation.

We drove abour 5 miles down Veterans Memorial Blvd and parked in a Winn Dixie grocery store parking lot. New Orleans Rapid Transit (RTA) bus 45 stops just across the street. We took bus 45 to the stop at the Cemeteries. Oddly enough the Cemeteries is a transfer point. And, there are dozens of cemeteries there. Hmmmm....transfer to where?  We caught the inbound Canal Street streetcar and made it to the French Quarter.  The streetcar stops at Harrah's Casino and you walk a block or so to catch the Riverfront streetcar. Which we did. We got off at the Ursulines stop which serves the French Market. Everything seems to be in very good shape and it was fun to walk down streets we remembered from long ago. Linda did a little shopping in the French Market and then we headed to the Progress Grocery Store on Decatur St. for a muffaletta sandwich.  Found the grocery store, but it is closed on Mondays. Further down Decatur St. was a nice restaurant (River's Edge) where we stopped for lunch. John had a seafood omelet and Linda had a cup of gumbo (this time with okra).

Rode the Riverfront streetcar back to Canal Street and jumped the Canal Street streetcar. Little did we realize that there are two different canal street streetcars. The one that goes to the cemeteries runs every 10 minutes. The other one, which only runs every 40 minutes, goes to the City Park. and Museum. Sadly, that's the one we jumped on, not knowing there were two different ones. So, we ended up at City Park. We paid our fares again (whoopee, a big $.80 for both of us) and rode it back to Canal Street where we picked up the correct Canal Street streetcar and wound up at, of course, the Cemeteries.

Just missed our connection to the 45 bus at the Cemeteries and it runs every half-hour. So, we had to wait. Hanging around all those dead folks on Halloween can get a bit spooky! On our bus and streetcar rides lots of businesses, many residential areas and a lot of tourists and local residents. Riding public transportation is a nice way to soak in the flavor of New Orleans and October is certainly a pleasant time of year to visit. The temperature today hovered around 70  degrees. And, for seniors, it's hard to beat a $.40 fare with free transfers. One could say you can drive it faster. But, then you have to worry about finding parking and paying for it!

After our return, Linda took off with our dirty laundry from the last week and a cup o' quarters. La Quinta thoughtfully provides a washer and dryer for their guests. John and Fannie played and dozed in the room.

Dinner was at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood. John had a grilled shrimp remoulade salad and Linda had a bowl of gumbo.  She has decided that she needs to come up with a rating system for all the different gumbos she is experiencing.  Thus, Don's Seafood gets a 7, River's Edge gets a 6, New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood gets a 7 and there will be more to follow. If anyone out there has suggestions for gumbo places in New Orleans, please send them to

John did extremely well today on his calorie budget. He finished under budget by 1,071 calories. And that included eating a day-old beignet for a snack tonight.

There are some pictures of our adventure of today in the photo gallery which you can see by clicking here. There is also a 46 second video clip of the RTA streetcars which you can view by clicking here.

The funniest sign today was on a t-shirt in the French Quarter that said “Just Deaux It!”.  Two funny business names seen today were Floor De Lis and Hair Attack (a carpet store and a beauty shop).

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