What a day. What a city. I have never been to New Orleans before this trip but I promise you I will be back. I love it here!
Our day began with an exploration of St. Louis Cemetery #1, right across the way from us. We saw the crypt used in the movie EASY RIDER. This is New Orleans' oldest cemetery and reportedly one of the most haunted. We found the crypt where Voodoo Queen Marie Leveau is SUPPOSEDLY buried, and then the one where insiders say she IS buried. Both are unmarked...except for the various tokens and items that people leave.
Pennies. Toy skeletons. Liquor bottles and cigarette packs (all empty). One man wrote his name in BLOOD. X's are scratched into all sides of the tomb. Voodoo markings we are told. Spooky stuff.
That cemetery made the tiny hairs I have on the top of my shaved head stand on end. I literally had goosebumps. I have never seen a cemetery this old and in such disrepair.
My inlaws told me that they once could see into a broken crypt where you could actually see BONES. We saw a crypt that was open, a little curtain flapping the wind. Someone was going to be placed there sometime that day. Scary as heck.
I could have spent hours there and we are actually going back for a 2 hour guided tour to get more of the full history.
We then walked to the French Quarter, something I had only read about in novels and seen in movies and television documentaries. It was ever more beautiful and quaint than I had thought.
We had an amazing lunch at Emeril Lagasse's NOLA restaurant. The atmosphere was casual, the food UNBELIEVABLE.
I was sad to find that Harry Anderson's magic shop had closed down, actually it closed its doors even before Katrina.
My wife and I got a Tarot reading by a woman named Velvet and it was amazingly on target. I liked the deck she used so much that I made my way to Marie Leveau's Voodoo Shop and bought a deck to bring home. I don't know how to even use one but the artwork was amazing and how could I resist art based on a real abandoned insane asylum? It's the Deviant Moon deck for those into such things. I think I will collect some decks just for the unique artwork.
We then watched a short parade on Bourbon Street. I had never been to Mardi Gras and although it was a small event, it was still cool to watch all the costumed people acting silly and passing out beads and odd momentos.
The afternoon was capped off by a carriage ride from Jackson Square back to our pad. The coach driver actually spent a few years in San Francisco and his brother-in-law still lives not far from where I grew up in Bernal Heights. Small world.
It began to rain as we bounced and bobbed down the French Quarter streets, the sun breaking through the black clouds. It was a magical ride as we passed inviting homes and abandoned palaces of yesterday. An onlooker tossed a bean bag baby for Gingy from a balcony above. Cool stuff.
It rained all night. It POURED. I had actually NEVER in my life witnessed a rainfall that intense. It felt like the rain would pierce the ceiling.
Now it's morning and the sun had broken through and we are looking forward to a day of visiting historic plantations.
I will upload a bunch of pictures when we come back and you'll be able to find them on my site, www.foxacrossamerica.com.
More on today's adventures in Monday's blog...stay tuned!