Taking It Big Easy

Read about our musical experiences in New Orleans Louisiana


USA Music Tour 2015 Day 19

New Orleans Louisiana 8 September

Today is our wedding anniversary – 36 years – and we couldn’t think of a better place in which to spend it.  This is my seventh visit to this beautiful city and Jenny’s third – it’s familiar and exotically different at the same time.  Perfect for both of us.

A variety of activities planned today.

It’s Jim’s first time in the town they call Big Easy, so we had some must-do’s.  After breakfast at our hotel the Maison Dupuy on the corner of a Burgundy and Toulouse, we headed for Jackson Square, the beautiful St Louis Cathedral and the Louisiana State Museum.


Jackson Square – photo Jim Jacob


St Louis Cathedral – photo Jim Jacob


Fats Domino’s piano, as found after Hurricane Katrina – photo Jim Jacob


The traditional Cafe Dumont is just over Decatur Street, for a chicory coffee and beignet.


Cafe Dumont – photo Jim Jacob


Jackson Square – photo Jim Jacob


A house call next – my favourite shop in New Orleans, California Drawstrings on Royal Street.  A walk along my favourite street in the French Quarter, Royal to my favourite rotating bar in the world The Carousel in the Hotel Monteleone for two club sodas (it was pre-lunch).


Royal St, French Quarter – photo Jim Jacob


The Carousel Bar, Hotel Monteleone – photo Jim Jacob


Street Blues – photo Jim Jacob


A spicy and delicious crawfish pie for lunch and it was all aboard the good paddle steamer Natchez for the rest of the afternoon.  The Natchez is the only authentic paddle steamer on the Mississippi River with a paddle wheel weighing 26 tons.  Now, the Mississippi River (aka Ol’ Man River, aka The Big Muddy) is the third largest river in the world which caters for 90,000 barges annually.  On the cruise we started downstream toward the Gulf of Mexico.  We had wonderful views of the town of Algiers across from New Orleans, past the long, high levies and the lower Ninth Ward which was savaged by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago, by the site of The Battle of Orleans in 1850, the Domino Sugar factory and the massive Exon oil refinery.


Along the Mighty Mississippi – photo Jim Jacob


Exon Oil Refinery – photo Jim Jacob


Aboard the Steamship Natchez – photo Jim Jacob


A turnaround and the interesting commentary was replaced by the dulcet tones of the on-board excellent jazz band Duke Heitker and the Starboard Stompers on the way back.  Heavy short rain as we turned at Algiers Point, one of the sharpest bends of this magical river and another burst as we got off the vessel.  A beautiful way to spend the afternoon.


The Natchez Dining Saloon – photo Jim Jacob


The stream-driven paddle wheel – photo Jim Jacob


Jenny and yours truly and the New Orleans skyline – photo Jim Jacob


Some shopping on the way back.  A cocktail at the Maison Dupuy’s bar, good chatting with the knowledgable barman and a nice couple from Canton Georgia.  Time to refresh before setting off for Frenchmen Street.


The Quarter – photo Jim Jacob


The Quarter – photo Jim Jacob


The Louisiana Music Factory is the first stop for some record browsing.  Along to Adolfo’s Restaurant to register own name for a table (bookings are not taken) and downstairs to the bar where we wait.  Very fortunately, Irish singer Lisa Harrigan is playing and listening to her is an excellent way to pass the time.

After our very good meal, we walked along the length of Frenchmen.  My, has it changed since I was last here in October 2014.  True, it was a Tuesday and the club d.b.a’s was closed for renovation, but there was not much evidence of traditional New Orleans music going on and the number of new and bright food convenience stores cast the street in a whole new light.

Tomorrow, ‘gators


Read about our musical experiences in New Orleans Louisiana

Read about our musical experiences in New Orleans Louisiana

Read about our musical experiences in New Orleans Louisiana




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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. Hi Rob and Jenny, congratulations on your anniversary !! enjoy the rest of the trip, sounds like you’re lapping it up.

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