New Orleans, By Foot and Public Bus
New Orleans Travel Blog› entry 14 of 15 › view all entries
After getting into our new hotel the night before, we took the trolley out to the Garden District, an area of large old houses and mansions, many which have, yes, gardens. The houses were very pretty and stately, and of varying architectural styles -- Georgians interspersed with Victorians and so on.
Originally, the area was home to rich people that were too snooty to live in the French quarter. Now, its filled with a lot of tourists walking around with their noses in their tour books, which tell them where to go on their walking tours. We left our AAA book back at the hotel, so we half wandered and half tailed this old couple with two books. They kept looking at us funny.
After a stroll through Lafayette Cemetery, we took a trolley back to the French Quarter. I keep saying trolley, but I really mean streetcar.
After strolling the French quarter, we walked north to St. Lous Cemetery #1, New Orleans' oldest still-existing cemetery. It's probably the cooleset of the three cemeteries I went to. It didn't have the grandeur of Metairie, but the older, decaying mausoleums in St. Louis gave the place a creepier and more historic feel. Lots of tours go there during the day time, and my mom snuck into one of them.
My mom wanted to see Lake Pontchartrain, so we decided to hop on a bus. It was pretty funny to see my little-asian-lady mom sit between some locals drinking tallboys on a bus bench, chatting with them about the lake.
Off we went on the Franklin bus, heading east and then north to the lakefront. The bus went through the suburbs of the 8th and 9th wards, where you could still see the devastation of Katrina -- boarded up houses with the distinctive bright orange X's still on them, marking the date they were searched after the floods and the number of dead found in the houses. We saw several trailers in the front yards of houses.
The bus dropped us off near the lake, and we walked the rest of the way to the rough, expansive waters of Lake Pontchartrain. My mom chatted up some more locals who were fishing for drum.
It's a big lake, and reminds you of the ocean when you see it, except there's no shore -- you stand on the edge of it atop the levee. It's like they've built a wall to hold back the sea.