The bride and groom had a lovely breakfast gathering yesterday morning for all wedding guests, as there were a lot of out of towners, it was a nice way to gather once more to say goodbye in a less hectic atmosphere than the actual wedding day. It was a casual but wonderful gathering and really nice to socialize and just hang out for a couple of hours.
After saying all of my goodbyes to he people I've known for many years and the ones I just met, and of course to the bride and groom, I made my way through the streets of NOLA once more.
I knew I was planning to take a lunch cruise on the Mississippi river aboard the Steamboat Natchez but I also knew that after breakfast, the 11:30 cruise would be too early, so I bought passage on the 2:30 departure.
I then went for another attempt at Cafe du Monde and was defeated yet again by a monster line I was unwilling to wait on. So, I made my way along the French Market and I weaseled in and out of several spots along the French Quarter before coming back to Decatur street toward Canal and stopped into one of the Cafe du Monde factory stores to pick up a few boxes of their beignet mix for a few friends and a can of the chickory coffee blend for myself.
I walked back to my hotel and dropped of the stuff taking a scenic route down blocks I hadn't seen previously. After a brief rest, I walked again this time down into the Warehouse District; I wanted to see where Emeril's original restaurant was. I then proceeded down Julia street to and through the Riverwalk, then through Harrah's casino.
Next up, Peaces records where I admired an impressive vinyl collection then off to the dock behind Jackson Brewery (which is no longer a brewery, but a mall). While waiting to board, some last plays a steam calliope atop the steamboat. The calliope is interesting for the first song or two then begins to feel like someone drilling through your frontal lobe with boiling lava.
After boarding, I ate a massive lunch with delicious southern fried chicken, baked beans, corn bread, Mac and cheese, slaw and bread pudding; it was enough food to sustain me the rest of the day and pretty much through until breakfast today.
The cruise itself was okay but it was very relaxing, I love being on the water and the engine room was super cool. When the cruise returned two hours later, I made one more attempt at Cafe du Monde where while relatively full from the meal on the ship, since there was no line, I had to take advantage. I ordered a decaf Cafe au Lait with an order of beignets. I had to remove as much of the sugar as I could for health reasons (I should have ordered them naked but I didn't want to.. You know what I mean) but it was all great. The hot fried glob of dough and the coffee... I had just days before ranted about how pretentious coffee has become with these boutique cafes, but this was for certain the best cup of coffee I ever drank.
The rest of the day I basically relaxed; I had done lots of walking and so I made it back to the hotel and rested for a couple of hours then just hit a bar to hang for a beer and some hanging with whomever was there to hang with before one last stroll through the French quarter then back to get some sleep.
As I write this at just before 9 am local time, I've already had my morning workout, breakfast and showered. Iay or may not return to Emeril's for lunch but I am going to take the longer, more "scenic" route to the airport using public transportation.
Catch you all from back home.