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05 August 2015

Going For A Walk: New Orleans {Or Dodgy RV Parks Mean More Beignets}

I was looking back at our blog the other day and realized that there are a number of adventures we had during our USA road trip that I haven't told you about yet. Like the time we stayed at a dodgy RV park in New Orleans. The great thing about dodgy RV parks in  New Orleans is that they're cheap (for New Orleans, that is) and that means you have more money to spend on beignets. The bad thing about dodgy RV parks is that they're, well, dodgy.

Although I blogged about the lack of public toilets in New Orleans back in January (and if you're of a certain age, you'll agree that knowing where the public toilets are is an important consideration!), I haven't taken you on a walk through the Big Easy. So have a little wander with us from the comfort of your couch and I'll show you what we got up to. If you have some beignet mix, you might want to fry up some to munch on while we go on our little walk. Don't forget the powdered sugar.


Here's where our little walk starts - at the Pelican RV Park. This was the view from our window. Do you like the barbed wire? While not pretty to look at, it was oddly reassuring. Because if you're staying in this part of town and leaving your camper unattended while you explore New Orleans, it's comforting to know that there is a barbed wire fence around the place and a locked gate.


Sure we could have stayed at a posh RV park, like the French Quarter RV Resort, but why pay close to $100 a night when you can get a bargain rate of only $27 a night? To be fair to the Pelican RV Park, while it wasn't pretty, the manager was extremely helpful and responsive and told us that they're in the process of changing the place over from a mobile home park to a proper RV park. So maybe things are looking spiffier now. 

Once you leave the barbed wire compound, you head up two blocks to the bus stop. (You can get a one day Jazzy Pass for $3.) The Pelican RV Park is five miles away from the French Quarter, which was a bit too far for us to walk, considering all the walking we would be doing in the city. Plus I hadn't had any breakfast yet, as I was saving myself for beignets, so the energy levels weren't really up there for a long walk.

Beignets. Yum. Have you ever had them? Fried dough with heaps of powdered sugar on them. This is the place to go - Cafe du Monde. Scott had never tried them before. I'm guessing they aren't a big seller in North Dakota. He was balking at spending $2.42 on a plate of tiny doughnuts, but, after one bite, he was a convert. Powdered sugar and deep fried dough will do that to a fellow. He had no qualms about shelling out more money for a second helping.


While you're scarfing down beignets, you can hear the folks playing jazz outside. It will make your toes start tapping. Even if you try to stop them, they'll start tapping on their own. Between the sugar overload and the music, you'll be feeling fine.



Then it was time to walk those beignets off! We could have shelled out for a horse drawn carriage, but I'm allergic to horses and Scott's allergic to spending money unnecessarily. So we set off on foot.


 It was a pretty drizzly day. But it kind of made the waterfront look romantic.


After having a peek at the waterfront, we wandered aimlessly around the city. Sometimes, you just need to put away your map and see where your feet take you.




There's music everywhere you go.


Scott likes taking pictures of old ghost signs.



At some point the sun came out and we moseyed around watching the street performers.



New Orleans is definitely a party town. I wonder how much alcohol is consumed each day?


Like every good tourist to New Orleans, we made our way to the historic cemetery. Like eating beignets and listening to jazz, it's kind of expected that you check out the old tombs. Just preferably not at night. Apparently, roaming around the cemetery after dark is even dodgier than the RV park we stayed at.



And of course, no visit to New Orleans would be complete without Ethiopian food. We took the streetcar out to the Garden district in search of doro wat. There were two Ethiopian restaurants to choose from. I chose poorly. So sad when you get yourself all giddy and excited at the thought of Ethiopian, only to wish you had had beignets instead.


Have you ever been to New Orleans? Did you have beignets and Ethiopian food?

{We explored New Orleans, stayed at a dodgy RV park and ate way too many beignets on 10-12 January 2015. 

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38 comments:

  1. i love beignets and am even partial to King Cakes. But for me New Orleans' appeal is quickly lessening as measured by the French Quarter and its surroundings. For me New Orleans is about Frenchman Street and The Garden District and other neighborhood areas that are far away from the noise, vomit and urine of the French Quarter. But then again I am 50, so maybe I am too old to know a good time when I walk through it.

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    1. I know what you mean. When we were walking through early in the morning you could see and smell all the "remnants" of the partying that went on the night before. You really had to be careful where you walked so that you didn't step in any vomit etc. We weren't in the French Quarter late at night - I can only imagine how crazy it gets there. We had a little wander through the Garden District - really lovely and peaceful.

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  2. New Orleans didn't do anything for us. No intention of ever going back.

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    1. How long did you guys stay there for? Did you explore other parts of New Orleans or just the French Quarter?

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  3. I second Frenchman street... We love it. Largely if one learns where the locals go, and avoid the tourist spots, it's an amazing place to be. There's so many wonderful, quiet neighborhoods, so many great restaurants, art, music, and people. It just takes a bit to know where to go.
    (Been loving your writing and travels -- thank you!)

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    1. Thanks for the nice feedback Matthew! Next time we're back in NOLA, we'll definitely have to check out the less touristy spots. I'm guessing there is a whole other side of the city that we never experienced.

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  4. ...and the food! So much good food! Can't believe I forgot to mention that!

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    1. Food is one of the best parts of traveling :-)

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  5. I haven't been to New Orleans in a really long time, but you just brought back so many memories. Love this post.

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    1. I love when I see posts from other people who traveled to places I've been. It always brings back such fun memories when I look at their photos.

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  6. Born & raised in New Orleans, we STILL don't get tired of roaming the streets and watching the people ... we still LOVE those beignets too! I recognize those street performers, and glad you enjoyed your visit. We've never had Ethiopian food, but we love to eat! =)

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    1. I've always enjoyed reading your posts about New Orleans - you can tell how much you love your hometown :-)

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  7. I would love to visit New Orleans, though I am wondering if the beignets are what we in Australia call doughnut holes. A small doughnut about an inch in diameter covered in cinnamon sugar?

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    1. The texture and taste of a beignet is different than that of a normal doughnut, but still the same concept - fried dough with a lot of sugar. I love doughnuts and doughnut holes too!

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  8. I have never had a beignet but i am more than willing to try. I would love the street music and the street art of New Orleans

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    1. New Orleans is a really great place to just wander around and people watch. And you definitely should try a beignet one of these days. They sell mix so that you can make them at home :-)

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  9. I was recently in New Orleans and our visit corresponded with the French Quarter Jazz Festival so the place was buzzing. I didn't sample a beignet but I did try Redfish from the Mississippi River and Jambalaya - which was delicious. It certainly was a party town. Did you know that women bare their breasts for beads on Bourbon Street? Lol

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    1. Oh wow - that would have been fantastic to be there at the same time as the jazz festival! Jambalaya is delicious too - such great flavors. I'd heard that before about flashing in exchange for beads. Didn't see it while we were there, but then again we weren't out really late at night or there during a festival time.

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  10. I loved reading your post. I would have gone the dodgy RV park for $27 too! I would go to New Orleans and see what it was like. Beignets sound right up my alley :)

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    1. Although it wasn't pretty, it was definitely worth it to us to stay in the dodgy RV park in order to save a bit of money. It wasn't too bad taking public transport into the city and it didn't take too long so it worked out okay.

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  11. I love New Orleans, especially beignets although I can't claim that I've ever stayed in a dodgy RV park. Sounds like it was worth it though.

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    1. It was definitely worth it. We're traveling on a budget so the more times we can go for the low cost option (like a dodgy RV park) means we can stay on the road longer and not have to go back and work at "real jobs".

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  12. Your posts always crack me up. I do not know how to come up with so many unique post titles. Anyway, I think you have a good point here. Believe me, we have stayed in some not so nice places in very expensive cities (like Rio de Janeiro). Because of that, we had have had cash to do activities and visit places we wanted to visit.

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    1. Thanks Ruth! It's nice to know we can bring a wee smile and laugh from time to time.

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  13. You can take good walking tours of th French quarter, pretty inexpensively i think -- good way to avoid post-beignet sugar coma. I have never eaten anything in New Orleans other than Cajun and creole food. It's all too good.

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    1. My mom and I visited New Orleans many, many years ago and we went on one of those walking tours. I don't remember if it was expensive or not, but it was very enjoyable and a fun way to see the city.

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  14. The last few times I was in New Orleans was on business trips, so I had a nice hotel AND the company paid for my food. My coworkers and I ate muffaletta sandwiches and beignets for a few days so we could save up our per diem and splurge at a fancy restaurant the last night. NOLA is only a day's drive away from me, and I've been trying to convince hubby that we need to go there on a family vacation.

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    1. I LOVE muffaletta! Sadly, we didn't have any when we were in New Orleans :-( Hope you can convince your hubby to go for a family vacation in NOLA.

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  15. I lost all the photos I had of New Orleans except one - I need to go back, camera in hand!
    Won't you please come link up your photos at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/say-yes-to-neigh.html?

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    1. What a nightmare to lose all your photos! So sorry about that! Thanks for the invite to your link-up :-)

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  16. Hey, I think we passed that dodgy RV park (or another one just like it) on the bus into downtown from our dodgy hotel -- but that would have been many, many years ago, long before the floods. I actually liked taking the bus in because we got to see how most people in NOLA actually live. Lots of poverty, but good people. It was one of my favorite cities. . . I haven't been back since the hurricane because I've been afraid that it has changed for the worse, but your post makes me think I need to check it out again. Not that I'll be looking for Ethiopian food while I'm there. . .

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    1. I agree - taking the bus was really interesting! And so much easier than trying to drive in and park. I was in NOLA before the hurricane as well. I wasn't sure what to expect on this visit in terms of how it would compare but I think they did a great job restoring the city. Try Ethiopian food one day - it is really delicious!

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  17. New Orleans is filled with photo opportunities for the street photographer. There are possibilities around every corner. Nicely done.

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    1. It's really is a great city for photos - so many colorful and interesting things to snap!

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  18. New Orleans? Yes and loved it! Beignets, mais bien sur! Of course! Ethiopian food...not that time, have to go back!

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    1. J'adore les beignets aussi! I wish I could remember the name of the Ethiopian restaurant we went to so I could warn people not to go to that one.

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  19. New Orleans is such a great city! It's been a long since my last visit but I loved virtually following you guys along on this trip. I've had beignets but didn't realize about Ethiopian food. There's a Little Ethiopia in Los Angeles I've been meaning to go. Thanks for this great tour and glad you were able to venture out beyond your dodgy RV park.

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    1. Definitely check out the Ethiopian restaurant. It isn't for everyone, but it's fun to try different cuisines!

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