City Tour

New Orleans Travel Blog

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Today I had to make sure that we were awake and fed by 2:30pm for our city tour that I booked online at www.cajunpridetours.com (we got a great deal). You might think that is not hard to do. Well, you don't know my husband. When on vacation it is sometimes impossible to get him out of bed. lol
I did drag him out of the hotel at noon though, because I was starving. Again, if we had had a mini fridge in our room this wouldn't have been a problem. We went for a quick sub at Subway, which hit the spot!
We were back at the hotel by 2:30pm. I had confirmation that the Cajun Pride Tours would pick us up sometime in the next 30 minutes. After only 10 minutes their van pulled up and we were on our way. Our tour guide Derick was very nice and you could tell the "Cajun pride" in him. While we were picking up on last person for our tour he got to know us by asking where we were from.
Jackson Square
He was in a great mood. lol
Once we had everyone on board he started narrating the tour. Let me tell you, it might be nicer to get the tour in one of the hours carriages or by foot, by this is definitely the more comfortable way to see it all. It was a hot day and being in a cooled van was not the worst way to travel.
We started out by driving through the French Quarter, down Royal Street and Bourbon Street. He pulled over a couple of times to point out some of the prettier balconies or some of the older houses that had the courtyards from back in the day. He was telling us that back then everyone used to build their houses like that here. The part you see from the streets is only the back of the actual house. We spent quite sometime looking at old building and Derick pointed out a couple of seafood restaurants for us since we had told him that we definitely wanted to have some authentic Cajun food.
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Along the way we also saw the French Market and Jackson Square. Here we were told that the Mississippi River is higher above the sea level then the whole city is. That's an unnerving thought to say the least.
After the French Quarter, we headed for the City Park. We drove by the place where the Jazz Fest is held every year in the end of April.  We drove by New Orleans museums which are located in or near the City Park and also the Botanical Gardens.
Next we drove along Lake Pontchartrain. I'm not sure if it is the biggest lake in the US but it's pretty big alright.
Royal Street, French Quarter
Big enough to not being able to see the other shore. The bridge that spans across it, is definitely the longest bridge in the US.
Here is where Derick pointed out some of the levees and flood walls that broke during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He told us a bunch of stories about how him and his family and friends experienced the storm. Then he took as to one of the neighborhoods that was completely flooded after the storm. On some of the houses you could still see the waterlines from the flood. A lot of houses had been rebuild though. Higher of the ground, bigger and better! I wanted to see and hear about the storm since I thought it was not right to just come to this city to party and not see this part of New Orleans. It been 3 years but this city will still need a lot of time to recover from the disaster that was Katrina. I feel for the people that lost everything and had to start over.
Streets of NOLA
I also understand the people that moved away and started a new life elsewhere.
Our next stop was Lake Lawn Park Cemetery one of this city's many. We circled around it once and stopped near the tomb of Jefferson Davis. The cemeteries in this city are unique. The dead were only allowed to be buried in over the ground mausoleums as to the usual 6 feet under. Reason for this was the high possibility of flood water washing out the cemeteries and the fear of human remains being washed away. We were told that this was true back in the day. But with New Orleans' flood system now (the one that failed horribly during Katrina) it would actually be possible to bury people in the usual manner now. Of course if other families have huge mausoleums, some shaped like a pyramid, who would want to be buried under ground.
Pretty balconies
  After this quick stop to stretch our legs we were almost done with our tour. On the way out we passed by the grave of Anne Rice's husband and their family's mausoleum.
The road back to the city took us through the Garden District with its gorgeous mansions. We saw the famous Lafayette Cemetery which was mentioned in the book Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice.  Derick told us that a little after the movie came out they started locking up the cemetery because people started taking "souvenirs" off the graves, like stone crosses or angel statues. *shakes head* We also saw the house that Jefferson Davis died in and the house that marks the highest spot of the city (from the sea level that is).
We followed the tram line back to the French Quarter where we were dropped off at our hotel a little bit after 5:00pm.
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Boy, we were hungry.  Time to test Derick's knowledge on Cajun Cuisine.  Tonight's dinner was at the Gulf restaurant. (see review)
After our delicious meal we headed back to the room for a little shut-eye.
We went bar hopping that night. Since I was told that Pat O'Brien's was a must visit, that's where we started. We also went to Fritzel's which is almost at the end of Bourbon Street. In between there were a bunch of bars all great, like Cats Meow or the Jazz Emporium.
I know we got back to the hotel OK just don't ask me at what time. ;)
missandrea81 says:
Thanks. Yeah, I would have liked more picture opportunities on the tour where the bus actually stopped. It was a whole lot better then being in that dreadful heat though.
Posted on: Jul 22, 2008
marksreynolds says:
Taken from a moving vehicle?...great job!! They are all very nice :)
Posted on: Jul 21, 2008
missandrea81 says:
Glad you like them. Most of them were taken from a moving vehicle. Not bad right?
Posted on: Jul 17, 2008
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Jackson Square
Jackson Square
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Royal Street, French Quarter
Royal Street, French Quarter
Streets of NOLA
Streets of NOLA
Pretty balconies
Pretty balconies
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a bayou
a bayou
Retirement home next to a cemetery…
Retirement home next to a cemeter…
NOLA city park
NOLA city park
in the city park
in the city park
Statue
Statue
Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
Abandoned house in NOLA, notice th…
Abandoned house in NOLA, notice t…
NOLA cemetery
NOLA cemetery
mausoleums
mausoleums
Pyramid mausoleum
Pyramid mausoleum
another mausoleum
another mausoleum
stained glass window
stained glass window
Tomb of Jefferson Davis
Tomb of Jefferson Davis
yet another tomb
yet another tomb
next to our tour bus
next to our tour bus
another tomb
another tomb
Family mausoleum of Anne Rice fam…
Family mausoleum of Anne Rice' fa…
Pretty NOLA house
Pretty NOLA house
the White House in NOLA?
the White House in NOLA?
more stained glass windows
more stained glass windows
The highest point in New Orleans, …
The highest point in New Orleans,…
A girls school in the Garden dist…
A girl's school in the Garden dis…
The famous La Fayette Cemetery
The famous La Fayette Cemetery
another mansion in the Garden Dist…
another mansion in the Garden Dis…
Jefferson Davis history
Jefferson Davis history
Jefferson Davis died here
Jefferson Davis died here
No comment
No comment
Pat OBriens
Pat O'Brien's
Fire and Water fountain at Pat OB…
Fire and Water fountain at Pat O'…
As you walk into Pat OBriens
As you walk into Pat O'Brien's
Boondock Saints... great movie
Boondock Saints... great movie
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