As we stepped off the plane into the humid air of New Orleans, the rain filled clouds loomed eerily above our heads. The culture of jazz bands, heavy accents and amazing seafood sets the mood even while walking through the airport. My first glimpses of New Orleans was experienced crammed into the front seat of a Chrysler that native of Louisiana, Kelly is driving. While not having our third rental car makes traveling with eleven people plus luggage quite a bit more difficult, I sense that it is making our group grow closer.
Upon arrival at the Hotel LeCirque I already know that I love New Orleans. I immediately wanted to jump onto the streetcar and draw in the rest of this historic city. After we rested for about an hour our class journeyed close to Bourbon Street for the most amazing dining experience. Oysters!! We each had to taste charbroiled oysters soaked in a lemony butter sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese. I find it so amazing that I have never tried these amazing foods as I have tonight. After our appetizer my main dish was a fried oyster Po-Boy. The combination of French bread and oysters was one I would never have thought of–yet remarkable.
After dinner we ventured down Bourbon Street. While most of what we saw would be inappropriate to write about, the neon lights and swanky music captured my heart. Walking through Jackson square, past Café du Monde and looking into the Mississippi River filled with massive ships at sunset, is so beautiful it’s hard to imagine that this city has even been in as much pain as what Hurricane Katrina brought. This picture perfect venture is nothing like what America saw on major network news at the end of August 2005.
The group then sat at the romantic Café du Monde, ate beignets and drank Café au Lait’s. I later share this moment with my dad and he recalls to me being ten years old and experiencing Café du Monde. The powder sugar covered beignets contrasted with the sharp coffee is a memory that really does last a lifetime. We finally made it back to our rooms about 7:15 central time but our entire group is dragging our feet. We have gained an hour as well as a tiny bit New Orleans culture.