We woke to the smell of beignets wafting in from the street curiously mixed with the scent of lemon from the disinfectant they use to wash the sheets here.  Breakfast was served by a cheerful waitress who greeted us with “Morning Sunshines!”

We had booked a walking tour of New Orleans this morning with Tours by Locals and even early in the day, the warm and humid air hit us as soon as we walked out of the hotel’s air conditioning.  It would be way too hot to visit in the middle of Summer (though it does get cold here in the Winter).  The tour was a good orientation and a pleasant way of getting a good feel of the place and its colourful history.  You could book it yourself directly with the guide if you wanted (probably cheaper) – www.lavieorleanstours.com.  By 11am, the festival was in full swing – everyone was dancing along to the beat in the streets.  This city really rocks!

Foodie Firsts:
Beignets and strawberries for breakfast.  Beignets are everywhere in NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana), but they were a fabulous first for me.  They are a delicious sweet pastry, deep fried and dusted with confectioner’s sugar.   I’d eat them every day, but – as our taxi driver said – “no worries sugar, everyone here looks like Santa Claus”.

French 75 – The signature cocktail at Arnaud’s Jazz Bistro (813 Rue Bienville St.), .  A heady concoction of cognac, champagne, lemon juice and sugar syrup.  This restaurant serves traditional creole food with live jazz accompaniment – it’ s heavenly.  The artwork is great too.  Reservation essential.

Grits:  Ground corn kernels – a bit like polenta.  We had them served with shrimps, but they are served with all sorts of things.  It’s an acquired taste – a bit bland for me.

Fascinating Fact:
Termites are a real problem here.  They have metal circles in the pavement all the way along and under each one is a tube of insecticide to kill the creatures off.  House owners have to carry hefty insurance against the pests.  I didn’t know that they fly – but apparently, they swarm here when it gets really bad.

Wish I could – jive – properly!

Tips for Future Travellers:
New Orleans on a budget – Fun things to do that don’t cost much – especially if it’s wet:

Ride the streetcar to the Garden District – it’s the oldest street car in the US.  The wooden bench seats reverse when it is time to do the return journey – cool!  The back door sticks, so everyone hollers “PUSH – HARD …” at every stop.  Fun.

​Take the Canal boat across the Mississippi to see the city from across the water.

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