Day two got off to a late start. After so much fun on our first night, we were tired little pups, so we slept in and took our time getting going. The weather was iffy – very muggy, very cloudy, the sky threatening to open up at any moment. We spent the first part of our day wandering around Magazine Street with its quaint cafes and novelty shops. We went to New Orleans Music Exchange and spent a bit of time there, trying out instruments, checking things out. Shawn fell in love with a Lakland bass and got to play stand-up for a while, and I discovered a vintage Yamaha CP-30 that I wanted to bring home! The staff were very friendly and very cool. They even gave us a pair of free tickets to a show on Sunday night at The Howlin’ Wolf. That was so nice of them.
After shopping and wandering, we had some really good falafel at a Mediterranean place called Byblos and then headed back downtown. We parked the car and walked around for a bit along Riverwalk, where the Railroad Revival Tour was in town. We watched the Natchez jazz cruise take off, ambled along the shore of the Mississippi River in the shadow of the Greater New Orleans Bridge, admired Jackson Square, walked along Decatur Street. And of course, you cannot walk along Decatur Street without stopping at Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets. I drank my novelty bottle of water and watched Shawn partake in a time-honored NOLA tradition – and of course we bought some coffee to bring home for Tina!
The rest of the evening found us back in the heart of the French Quarter – where else? On Bourbon Street again, of course. The street is like a magnet. While the rest of the little side streets grow a little darker as night falls, the hum of voices, music and neon lights draws one down to Bourbon. After more wandering in and out of music clubs, we took in a set of “good time jazz” at Fritzel’s, one of my absolute favorite spots in the city. Shawn also tested another NOLA exclusive – or so we thought. At Fritzel’s he ordered a Hurricane, which in fact is what he already knew as a rum runner. Oh well. More bang for your buck in a drink like that! Chuck Brackman on trumpet and “Uncle” Barry Foulon on banjo, with a kick-ass drummer and bassist behind them, were a force to be reckoned with. Fantastic music!
We decided to make it an earlier night, so we came back to the hotel and got some much-needed shut-eye. The weather has broken and as I look out over the pool here, the sun is dazzling in a cloud-less, much less humid sky. A perfect day, I think, for more wandering along the river and getting a ride on the Trolley! For a buck and a quarter you can get on a trolley car and get a fun, unique and historic look at the city. More pictures coming for sure!