New Orleans, a city that holds a special place in my heart. Having had gone to college at Florida State University, a mere 5 hours away, many trips were made to the Crescent City – Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, hurricanes (the drink), and a few unmentionables. This time around however, we enjoyed the city with kids. Although our agenda diverted drastically from our previous visits of bar hopping and Bourbon Street there were no shortage of G-rated fun and entertainment. Yes, you can take kids under the age of 21 to New Orleans and still have a blast.
My nieces, Cecillia and Ciera, joined us for this trip -a graduation and belated 21st birthday present for them. On top of our many adventures and excursions, we managed to squeeze in a photo shoot of the girls. Aren’t they beautiful? Ethan and Owen loved having their cousins there with us.
The trip started off on a train ride down from Chicago, our first time ever traveling by train. If you’ve never traveled by train before, I would highly recommend it. (Notice the holding of hangs, not prompted by me at all – love it!)
We got sleeper accommodations, so plenty of room to stretch out and relax on the long journey down. The kids absolutely loved it. Here Ethan is checking out the scenery passing by.
As we pulled into the city, we got a glimpse of the lower 7th ward. How sad to see that 6 years after Katrina, there are still so much to rebuild.
Down in the French Quarter, however, the effects of Katrina were not so visible. It is still a vibrate place as I’ve remembered it to be. The artists, street vendors and tourists still plenty there.
Our days began at Cafe Du Monde, a french market coffee stand. A generous serving of fresh beignets, french-style donuts lavishly covered with powdered sugar, and a hot serving of cafe au lait, there was no better way to do it. Owen enjoyed licking the sugar off his plate after polishing off his beignets. I was tempted to do the same, but I refrained.
New Orleans with kids was a treat; carriage rides, children’s museum, cemetery tours, visit to the aquarium and of course, the swamp tour – that was a blast! Plenty of alligator sightings and even a pet alligator on board that we got to hold.
Lafayette Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the city and a scene from the movie “Interview with a vampire” was filmed there as well. As we walked through it was amazing to take in the history of it all.
The pet alligator on board our swamp tour.
The crazy captain feeding chicken to a gator. I have a feeling he will end up loosing a finger or two before it’s all said and done. Cool thing we learned at the end of our tour was that the fire-fly character from Disney’s Princess and the Frog was based after him.
The boys enjoyed feeding birds at the aquarium.
What a wonderful spring break to a wonderful city. Stay tuned for more pictures from my nieces’ photo session.