Let the Good Times Roll

13 Jan

Michaela are I are in New Orleans for a quick trip. My grandfather’s second wife just turned 90 and her family is having a birthday party for her in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.¬†Henrietta is special to me and I decided to make the trip to celebrate with her… flying into New Orleans (Southwest flies there nonstop from San Diego and with my companion pass, I could take Michaela with me for free) and driving to Jackson for the party.

We got into New Orleans last night around 6 p.m. and after dropping our stuff at the lovely hotel Mike booked for us, we went for dinner and then beignets at Cafe du Monde. I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that Michaela loved them. French donuts buried in powdered sugar? Heaven! We walked around a bit before coming back to the hotel and crashing.


This morning, we slept in and then grabbed a quick bite to eat at Starbucks. Not fancy or New Orleans-y, I know, but I am a sucker for a Chai tea latte and it was close. We then hopped on a streetcar to City Park, a massive park that’s home to an art museum, sculpture garden, botanical garden, several lakes, equestrian areas, sporting fields, and more. It’s where Storyland is– a garden full of things out of different books, including Mother Goose stories and more modern ones. It’s small, but we didn’t have that much time anyway. We had to go back to the French Quarter to take our tour!



We’ve taken Michaela with us a lot of places, as you know if you’ve read this blog for a while or are friends with me or Mike on social media. I figured this time we’d do something just for kids and signed us up for a French QuarTour Kids tour. The Spooky Tour promised to entertain kids 5-10 years old with a spooky, not scary, experience. As it turns out, we were the only ones booked for today’s tour so we got a private one! Our guide, Jill, took us around the French Quarter, telling us stories from the past and sprinkling in “sightings” and “contacts” like the treasure map Jean Lafitte¬†left that led us to the St. Louis Cathedral, where Michaela got to do a voodoo spell and use a “ghost meter” to search for ghost energy. Amazingly, the meter pointed her to the cell where Lafitte was imprisoned, and he left her a pirate’s bag full of chocolate coins (“maybe he was Jewish,” I joked). It was a fun, cute experience and I’m glad we did it.



The tour ended in Jackson Square, so we watched an awesome band play before heading to Cafe du Monde… again… for more beignets. Then we hopped the ferry across the Mississippi River (and took it back right away).


Michaela had her heart set on playing in the pool at our hotel, so we came back, went to the pool for a while, relaxed for a bit and changed, and then braved Friday night in New Orleans.

Mike was here a while ago and he was raving about some pizza by the slice place. He didn’t know the name of it, but I looked on Yelp for a highly rated place and we set off for a couple of slices. On the way, we heard the sounds of a large brass band in the distance. As it got closer, we saw floats, dancers, people in costumes, and then the band itself. The people on the floats and those walking were so sweet! They went out of their way to give Michaela beads and to wave at her. She was over the moon: scrambling for the beads, waving, smiling ear to ear, pulling necklace after necklace over her head. It was truly magical. I don’t know what the parade was for– a pre-Mardi Gras thing or a spectacle tied to a local bar or something else entirely– but it was the perfect New Orleans experience.


Michaela’s final haul? FIFTY-ONE NECKLACES!

We had our pizza and walked down Bourbon Street… for one block. I couldn’t take it. There were so many drunk people, so much cigarette and pot smoke, such loud music… I am too old for that stuff and Michaela is too young. So we went back to a side street and enjoyed strolling in a more relaxed part of the French Quarter.

Tomorrow morning we head to Jackson. I expect that will be a very different experience, but I’m looking forward to it. After all, you only turn 90 once… If you’re lucky to make it that long!

One Response to “Let the Good Times Roll”

  1. way January 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    So great that Michaela was able to go on this trip with you. Sounds like it’s been a blast so far. She’s going to have such fond memories!

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