Today was a busy, busy day!
We went to the French Market and the rest of the Quarter for a good wander in the Louisiana sunshine. We also had to fetch a gator foot for Taylor, so there was an actual purpose for the trip. We found a great parking spot and started off toward the market. Lots of stopping and browsing along the way (the little stores along the way are irresistible!). We roamed through the French Market after a short stop at a little park tucked between South Peters and Decatur Streets. There are some pretty fountains and statues, but Holland was more interested in playing with the leaves on the trees. Whatever makes her happy is fine with me!
The market isn’t as gigantic as I remember it being when I was younger, or else I just don’t feel the need to stop at every booth anymore. Either way, it was a kind of short excursion to find the gator feet and look for a place to eat lunch. I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been before, so we just sort of meandered around the backside of the Quarter, near the Marigny, but not that far. (Looking back, this was a mistake, but more on that later.) We were deep into a beautiful residential area I’d never seen before, and could have stared at the amazing buildings and galleries for hours, but tummies were growling and there were no little restaurants in that particular neighborhood, so we turned the stroller toward busier places.
On our trek, we saw that the St. Louis Cathedral was open for touring, so we made a short detour inside. Holland was very good about whispering inside the sanctuary, and behaved beautifully when she walked around. She was actually much more polite and respectful than 90% of the tourists inside! She lit a candle for Opa all by herself, we said a little prayer, and left in search of food again.
There’s a little restaurant on Chartres Street called The Alpine that I’ve passed a hundred times, complete with the old black man out front inviting people in, but I’ve never eaten there. He was nice, though, and the menu looked good, and it was a new place for us to try, so in we went. He even helped carry the stroller over the front stoop! I immediately decided on the gator sausage po-boy, simply because I=catfish and shrimp ones are everywhere. Our lunch took a little while to arrive, but they brought a coloring sheet and french bread for snacking, so that was fine with us! Sadly, the loveliness ended there. Holland’s chicken was greasy, greasy, and my po-boy was the saddest one I’ve ever seen. The sausage was the only good part. Bread was overly chewy, toppings consisted of a sparse little pile of wilted veggies forlornly resting on the side of the plate, and they forgot to bring my side items. We ate enough to get un-hungry again (which in Holland’s case is not much) and after about 45 minutes finally got our check and left. The service was friendly, but s-l-o-w and the food is mediocre tourist fare at best. D+.
Off for more travels. We made our way to Royal Street for a post-lunch “coffee milk” at Royal Blend. Walking into that place is a treat in itself. You follow a dark corridor into a lush courtyard and enter the shop to the symphony of delectable scents of coffee, chocolate, sugar, and pastries. The guy behind the counter made me the best hazelnut iced mocha I’ve ever had, and gave us the biggest double-chocolate chip cookie in the jar. We had a wonderful time watching a lady give palm readings, listening in on another lady giving an “angel reading” with tarot cards over the phone, and playing in the fountain outside.
Finally, it was time to go to the car and get back home. We stopped at Oma’s office in the way to visit everyone there, and finally went back to the house for dinner. Aunt Lauren came over, and we watched Backyardigans until Holland passed out on the sofa. Lauren and I took advantage of the sleeping baby and snuck off to Morning Call for coffee and beignets and a few hours of girl talk and catching up.
A full day, but a fun one!