Summer 2020 Road Trip - Plan E...The One Where We Wore Masks and Distanced


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Enjoying your vacation photos and thoughts. One thing I really like is that you not only share your planned vacation locations/attractions, etc., but also, all the various little towns, etc., along the way. Sometimes, the journey itself is as interesting as the actual destinations! :)

Thank you! The journey is definitely a big part of the experience. I think it's part of why I really enjoy these nomadic adventures. There's a lot of interesting stuff out there between point A and point B.


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July 22-

We were up early to pack up the car and head out. We loaded up the bags and I informed the office that we were checking out a day early. You could tell they normally do some kind of hot breakfast, but in light of the pandemic, they made little to-go grab bags with muffins and granola. Smart!

I had been doing all of the driving and hadn't slept well, so I asked David to drive this morning. The benefit was that I could take pictures as we drove through Gatlinburg.

Part of me wanted to pull off for a picture, but we had a really long day of driving ahead of us.

Side note...and I'm not saying this to be a contrarian, but we are still trying to figure out how they determine that GSMNP is the most visited park. Hot Springs and Great Smoky Mountain are the only national parks we've visited that don't have some kind of entry checkpoint. Heck, even most of the national monuments also have them. And while we did see people in the park, we saw a far greater amount of people in the neighboring towns.

So, we're driving in and before losing signal, I set navigation to Clingmans Dome...

And we're here...well, at the trail head.

From these next pictures, you can see that it's a morning with a fairly low ceiling...which in the Smokies is probably fairly normal. It was my fear of doing Clingmans Dome in the morning...that we'd be in the clouds and there would be no view.

It was Kendall's goal to climb to the top. So, we set off on the trail. It's a short trail (about .5mi) and it's paved, but a steep grade makes it a bit more challenging than other short paved trails. So, we just took our time and snapped pics on the way.



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Something larger clearly went off the trail here.

And still climbing...

We finally got to the top and it's as I feared.

David had the nerve to ask if we even wanted to bother climbing up. Uhmmmmm...we got this far, so we might as well go a little bit farther and really be in the clouds.

Yeah, it occurred to me that the kids and David would be able to add another state to their list of states visited. Actually, they'd add two this day, but more on that in a bit.

We hung out up there for a little bit, but there was really nothing much for us to see at this time. So, we headed back down.

Odd, but I only took one random pic on the way down. The store K was hoping to pop into also hadn't opened yet, so no goodies up here either.

When we got back to the parking area at the bottom, I handed my camera off to Sam so we could all take turns in the bathroom. The kids remarked that it was one of the best national park bathrooms they've used. Hey, that's something...and I don't think anything could be worse than the bathrooms in Death Valley during the government shutdown. So, these are Sam's.



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I guess she was also trying her hand at wildflower pics...

We hopped back in the car and started to make our way out of the park. I mapped this all the night before and found that leaving on the eastern side would get us to our next stop faster than going back west through Pigeon Forge. I also suspected the mapping would reset, which it sometimes does, so I made a bunch of screen shots to get us out of the park and on the road towards Atlanta. Yes, David and the kids would also get to add GA to their list of states they've visited. I, on the other hand, have been there and was even born in GA. I've also been to NC before, and we've all been to all of the other states on the itinerary, but hey...1 new state for me and 3 new states for everyone else.

And we're driving...

***The blurry fuzzy figures on the left side of the road are wild turkeys. This would be the most interesting animal spotting of the trip.

This visitor center was open, so one last chance for souvenirs here before heading out.

This one also had good reading materials!

Sam didn't like anything and Kendall almost gave up, until I found her a good Clingmans Dome shirt. Hey, that's one more souvenir covered!

On our way out, we saw one black bird...assuming a crow based on size and beak...

An elk crossing, but no elk...

And while not photographed, I saw on groundhog on the way out. One of us made a Jurassic Park joke...the one the guy makes on the initial pass through when they saw nothing and joked about them actually planning to have dinosaurs on the tour.

We passed through the town of Cherokee after leaving the park. We actually sat there for quite a while because they were taking down some trees. We had now lost a lot of the time we were supposed to save by going east.

Still some smoky looking mountains down here too!

I stopped taking pics after this for a while, but we did stop for snacks in one town. Not exactly healthy, but the big Rice Krispie treats became my road snack of choice for this trip. I also did the research every time we passed a swanky boarding school so we could discuss tuition some people pay for these places. OUCH!

Eventually, Atlanta came into view...


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I don't like to share employer info, but it was cool to pass our company building as we were nearing downtown. And now...downtown. LOL

We stopped just west of Atlanta for some lunch at an Applebees. No outdoor dining, but no wait and they were spacing parties really far apart. After that it was on to Alabama, where we'd eventually pick up I-10 to head west. We also crossed back into the central time zone. Gained an hour back...woohoo! As we approached Mobile...we also started to hit rain.

My dad had warned us of that we'd probably be hitting rain from tropical storm feeder bands as we got near the gulf. This really wasn't too bad. By the time we got to the eastern border of Mississippi, it was pretty sunny again.

As we drove through the Biloxi area, it hit me that this would be the part of the trip with the most "new normal" experience. Biloxi was a reminder because this part of the drive is usually filled with billboards enticing people to the casinos for the various shows and buffet specials. There was none of that this time.

The drive time in MS is very short, so we were in Louisiana in no time. So, for the record, we started the day in TN, then went through parts of NC, GA, AL, MS, and now LA. That's SIX STATES in just 1 day. If we weren't staying in NOLA, we easily could have hit the western panhandle of FL and made it all the way to TX, just to say we did...but we didn't. LOL

It felt strange staying on I-10 into New Orleans. We are normally coming back from FL and take the bypass that goes directly to Baton Rouge. It was good for the kids though, because this way they could feel just how big Lake Pontchartrain really is.

And there it is...

During our approach, I called the hotel because I knew it was not going to be business as usual. There would be no valet and no bell services. We would be allowed use of their luggage carts and could either self park in the front of the hotel for $45 a day or in the adjacent garage for $25 a day. We were in the CBD (Central Business District) and garage space is often more generous than the insanely tight parking you find in the FQ (French Quarter), plus I was feeling frugal. So, we opted for the garage.

Upon arrival, I checked in, they informed me of the updated housekeeping policies (which is fine because we'd been declining it all trip anyway), and gave me a list of restaurants that were open for take out, dine in and delivery...since many are still closed (some permanently). We had an 8th floor room. View was so/so...but in that first pic, you can see the NOLA Sheraton tower. That building is right on Canal and only about 2.5 blocks away. So we saved a lot of money (and got bigger beds and rooms) by staying in the CBD without compromising location.

I didn't take a pic of it until the following day, but in that second pic...if I'd panned all the way down, you'd see street car tracks. That side of our hotel was on St. Charles Ave, which has one of the famed New Orleans street cars. We could see and hear the cars from the room. David found it a bit distracting, but I actually kind of liked it.

It was a bit late and finding food was going to be tough. It was close to 8pm by this point and many places were closed or would be closed by the time we got there. Initially, we also tried finding outdoor seating, which just led us to a sports bar. We passed favorite spots like the Ruby Slipper and Mothers, but they were closed for the night and the spots David had looked at were too fancy for our wants for the evening. Normally, the hotel has a bunch of restaurants, but like the Gaylord, they were all shuttered. We wound up settling on a sushi spot next to the hotel as tempers were starting to flare. David and Sam aren't huge sushi fans, but it was close...and let's be honest...NOLA was feeling a bit creepy with things being this quiet. Sure, CBD is always more quiet, but even the Bourbon Street webcam would later show next to nobody. We've been on Bourbon in the middle of the week outside of Mardi Gras many times before...even in the summer. I have NEVER seen it like this.

So, we wound up at this place called Tsunami and right off the bat, David was having issues with the QR code we played pass Sandy's phone.

The lights sort of reminded me of the birds in Jiko!

Blurry, but they started with calamari and dumplings.
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In between courses, we saw some people out for a glowing ride.

I couldn't have any of it, but David ordered a heaping serving of chicken fried rice for everyone else.

For my entree, I got a dragon roll.

I forget what this was, but it's Kendall's.

I never got a pic of Sam's, but whatever it was, she actually liked it. David's on the other hand was not a hit for him. I had some of it and it wasn't awful, but crawfish sushi wouldn't be my first choice. I think it was a "When in Rome" move for him. At least they had a gluten free dessert, so we all could share...

I took a few room pics when we got back just to have a record of what it looked like.

A few other early observations...
1. While we wouldn't see this with hotels in the quarter, our hotel was limited to guests only for entry.
2. Of all of the places we had been, NOLA was going to be the strictest with masks. I recall reading that Nashville was mandating masks everywhere, but NOLA was enforcing it. Everywhere we ate or went, they were up front with the rules and would call out any infraction and require full compliance.
3. That restaurant list they gave us was good, but not totally one of our faves literally reopened while we were there. Still, it was helpful because one of our other faves still had their FQ location closed, but their original location was open.

Obviously, New Orleans was heavily impacted by the pandemic in the beginning. That part of the state is not out of the woods, but it's areas like Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles that are now flaring (to name a few). Either way, they are taking things very seriously and while it certainly made it feel different, it most definitely made us feel safer.

After that, it was off to bed.

Coming up...a full day in NOLA.


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Quick note about the previous day...we were dressed for southern summer when driving to Clingmans Dome. The lower levels of the park were normal heat, but this was the only part of the park where we experienced significantly cooler temps. I want to say it was low 50s up there. We were super chilly at first, but the hike works up enough of a sweat that we didn't even notice after a while. Hey...the little things!

July 23rd-

We slept in a little, but not too much, because breakfast/brunch was one of our goals for the day.

Let me start off by saying that we LOVE LOVE LOVE New Orleans. I know some people feel it's dirty and just a party city. I'm sure some might even wonder how I can love New Orleans or even Vegas for that matter, but not enjoy the more wholesome fun of places like Pigeon Forge and Branson. I honestly don't know, but we all have our likes and dislikes. I do prefer NOLA over Vegas because of the culture and the history. Hey, that's some of why I was also excited to go to Gatlinburg. Not quite the same history, but one of my college groups helped bring education to Gatlinburg, so I was into that history as well...even if it was more from a personal matter and not the city as a whole. New Orleans is a bit different though. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's special.

So, we headed out to grab an elevator. Speaking of...NOLA is one of those cities where many hotels protect their guests with card key access required for elevators.

My camera lens was fogging up and it was raining on and off from the tropical storm, so I just tried to take pics as we walked and hoped for the best.

Before crossing Canal into the quarter, we stopped at CVS to buy some disposable ponchos. I had a feeling we'd need them. It's too bad I didn't bring from home as I have a bunch that I bought for marathon at Disney.

Now, I know a lot of people wouldn't bring their school age children to Bourbon Street, but when it's empty like this...

David and I also battled about talking to the kids at this point, since he wanted to talk parades. I kept trying to tell the kids that Bourbon and the streets like this in the FQ are too small to handle the big parades of today. We had to agree to disagree.

This is where we started to cut towards Jackson Square. The statue below may look more basic during the day...

...but at night (taken from a previous trip), it takes on a whole new life.

We cut through the side by the cathedral to get to the square...

St. Louis Cathedral was open, so we chose to delay brunch a bit to show the kids. I enjoy visiting old/historic churches and houses of worship. Regardless of your religion or lack there of, I think you can still go in and appreciate the work and artistry that went into a place like this.



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I also hope nobody is offended by the photos. When we went to Europe, we were in a large group and I recall there being debate over whether it's OK to photograph inside the various houses of worship that we visited. The majority of the group agreed that it was OK as long as you followed their rules (assuming photography is permitted- as it isn't always), but there were some who found it in poor taste even if permitted. We just try and follow the rules. It has always been my understanding that photography is permitted in this cathedral as long as it is not during services and you remain respectful.

In the short time we were inside, it had started to pour.

Thankfully, our brunch stop is in this same section of Jackson Square. It's unfortunate that it was raining, because they had just started setting up little tables outside. Aside from the safety aspect, dining outside in this area would have been lovely. Still, as you'll see, inside has some nice views too. And this is where we were eating...

This is one of our absolute favorite spots in New Orleans. It's such an incredible city for food, but we definitely have our spots we always go back to. We've had trips where we've eaten here twice in one day. My only regret is that we never got to dine at the owner's more upscale spot called STELLA! Get it...Stella and Stanley LOL He closed it several years ago.

They had literally just reopened and were doing their very best to operate safely. NOLA is requiring masks inside and out, so you can't do anything without a mask. They will let you take it off at your table, but you must put it back on any time you move away from your table while inside the restaurant. Tables were also well spaced out, lots of cleaning going on, and everyone masked up as well as some in face shields or goggles.

See...look at that view! And outside dining really would have been great!

Every single trip to NOLA, I have to have at least one bloody mary. It's not just that most spots we've been to make a good's that they add these spicy green beans to them that I just love.

I can no longer eat it, but I know it's good and this is why David always wants to come here. It's their eggs benedict poboy.

I got their sunnyside up corned beef hash. It's got hollandaise on it as well, but I love it for the huge chunks of corned beef in with those potatoes.

Poor Kendall tried to order one of my old faves that I can no longer eat. I'm going to recycle an old pic just to share. It's their bananas foster French toast that's made with fresh French bread. I just had her order it without the nuts.

They brought it out, but it had the nuts on it (which looked I guess they've changed it up a little since I last had it). The woman who seated us stepped in at this point (not sure if she's also the manager) and said that the ice cream is an almond milk ice cream. K's never had a reaction to almonds and it's the one nut she didn't react to when she's been allergy tested, but the allergist doesn't want us taking chances since she's allergic to so many other tree nuts. We're not the only nut allergy family to find that almonds are a non-issue and I've heard they share some roots with the peach. Either way...not taking our chances. So, she ordered what David got and the silly girl tried to eat it like a regular old sandwich.

Sam was boring and got a burger. I didn't even take a pic. If you really want to see's a pic from 2013. Ha!

Stanley did not disappoint and I can't recommend it enough if you're ever in New Orleans. The food has been consistently good over the years, they leave the favorites on the menu, the location is prime for touristy stuff in the city and has a blend of old/historic feel with modern refinement to it. And the service has been excellent on every visit.

We headed back out and the rain had let up.

A little side note on this pic. While it is one of the corners of the Jackson Sq. area and has that iconic NOLA look, I want you to look towards the center to the gray building with the open air window cutouts.

That is the rooftop bar at our favorite hotel in in the FQ. It's the Omni Royal Orleans...nicknamed "The Royal O." The level above it is an observation deck and about a half level below is the rooftop pool. I have this pic of David sitting up there from a number of years ago just so you can see what it looks like from up there.

This is what it's like from the very top at night.


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OK...back in present day.... I was hoping we'd get to walk around Jackson Square, but because of the protests, it's been on lockdown. So we could only look in and just walk around the area.

Kendall really wanted more of the iconic Jackson Square and cathedral view. She studied American history last year and they covered a lot on Andrew Jackson. I am not here to get into discussions and debates about everything in the news right now. She just wanted to see some of what was covered in her history book. So, we crossed Decatur to try and get her some better views.

We next decided to go over to the steps leading down to the Mississippi...and had a street car right there as we passed.

Sam was ridiculously bored and not very happy that I was bugging her.

This rain was also moving towards us, so we were going to have to get moving soon.

Breaking the rules...probably, but there was nobody around, so they had a mask relaxation moment.

We weren't sure if it would be open, but we decided to try and make it to another favorite spot in the FQ, but would we beat the rain?

Coming up...some old favorites and a parting of ways.


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Please tell me you went to Central Grocery and had a muffuletta sandwich.

Not this trip. Can't eat them anymore with all of this gluten free business, but I have had them there before and they are delicious. I had a pic somewhere, but I think it's from a much earlier trip and before I got really good about labeling my pics in my archives. Thankfully, least in my pre-gluten free days thankfully, there are a lot of places between home and NOLA that makes good ones. There's a deli that used to be connected to my office building that made ones on par with what you could get in NOLA.


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Not this trip. Can't eat them anymore with all of this gluten free business, but I have had them there before and they are delicious. I had a pic somewhere, but I think it's from a much earlier trip and before I got really good about labeling my pics in my archives. Thankfully, least in my pre-gluten free days thankfully, there are a lot of places between home and NOLA that makes good ones. There's a deli that used to be connected to my office building that made ones on par with what you could get in NOLA.

We had one from there years ago and I have been dreaming about another ever since. You can order them now online and have them shipped to home, but way to expensive for me to ever consider. Of course, it would be cheaper than going there for one. I have tried multiple different ones over the years but nothing compared to the one at Central Grocery, and of course I had to have it with Zapps Chips and a Barq's.


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We had one from there years ago and I have been dreaming about another ever since. You can order them now online and have them shipped to home, but way to expensive for me to ever consider. Of course, it would be cheaper than going there for one. I have tried multiple different ones over the years but nothing compared to the one at Central Grocery, and of course I had to have it with Zapps Chips and a Barq's.

It all comes down to the "bread"...which is really more of a sesame seed roll if it's the way I like it. I've had them in a variety of places and if they use the wrong stuff, it's just not right. It may even be a water thing. They say NY pizza from the metro area is better and can't be replicated well in other spots because of the water in the dough. It makes me wonder if the same can be said for the muffaletta. Not as good, but in my top 5 is from this place we usually stop at in Lafayette. Their bread is decent, but something is a bit different with their olives and toasting level. Still...good stuff.

Market Cafe is another one in the FQ that I like. Not sure if the link will go to the sandwich pic. Long link! My husband doesn't like these, so this gives him other things to buy, a place to sit, and they usually have live jazz.

We are debating about going back in December. It's a one tank of gas drive for us and it's nice around Christmas...assuming they decorate this year.


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Since you did not spot any elk at the elk crossing, here are a couple we spotted a few months ago near the visitor center on the Cherokee side of the park.

View attachment 488975

That would be near the area we drove out and saw the sign, so that sounds about right. If all goes well, I hope to see elk next summer...maybe even two varieties! Thank you! I can hear the bugling in my head :D


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July 23rd contined...

So, we had headed back to Royal Street to go see the Hotel Monteleone. It was just starting to rain, but the doorman at the Monteleone allowed us inside. Funny...they still have a doorman and are allowing in non-guests.

It's been a LONG time since either of us stayed here, but it's one of those iconic and historic spots in the FQ. Our very favorite spot here is the Carousel Bar/Lounge. Neither one of us could recall if they served food and would be allowed to open, but they do not and were closed due to the Covid ordinances.

It doesn't just look like a carousel, it spins like one too. It's kind of like if Garden Grill and the Boardwalk Inn at Disney came up with a bar. The pic below is about 10 yrs old and blurry, but I took it inside, so you can see where the bar floor is separated from the floor in the rest of the bar area.

The last time we were inside was 2013, but couldn't get a seat anywhere. The hotel was hosting a mixology/bartending convention and this was the prime spot to be after seminars.

Today, I would have to settle for some pics in the lobby on my phone (but the camera up due to the rain).

We threw on our ponchos, thanked the doorman, and headed back out into what was now pouring rain and went from Royal to Bourbon. David and K had tried finding an open restroom in the Monteleone, but they are all tied to the conference facilities, which were locked. So, we next tried the Royal Sonesta. We stayed here in 2011...nice place, but a little loud (although, not awful), even if you get a room that doesn't face Bourbon. When we stayed here, we had several nights where we bought drinks on Bourbon, brought them into the courtyard at the hotel, and then listened the hotel's jazz club that's adjacent to the courtyard. was quiet. But...that's also how we knew where the bathrooms were.

Sam and I waited in the lobby for them.

While the quiet was a bit odd, the low crowds in the lobby wasn't. The Sonesta may be right on Bourbon, but the vast majority of the people on Bourbon aren't staying at the Royal Sonesta (we only do if the deal is really good...same with the Monteleone) and it's kind of fancy and uptight compared to what the average crowd on Bourbon wants. It also has a lovely rooftop pool.

We headed back out once they were done and went farther down Bourbon. Sam still needed a souvenir and I had just the place in mind.

At some point, I'll get to the shirt that she got, but I figured this would be the spot to get something NOLA related that also ties into her dog's name. I love going in here becasue it's not the garden variety souvenirs you find in the city. A bit creepy

We had another goal on Bourbon farther down the way that we were hoping was open. It looked like it was, but with so much boarded just never know.

Most are boarded because they can't open and wanted to protect themselves from rioting. The one above is a club that's been there for a long time. So, I'm hoping they'll be back. Others are unfortunately boarded up and won't reopen.

On a brighter note, we made it to one of our Bourbon Street favorites and it was OPEN!

Well, sort of...they were doing take out. You couldn't sit inside or in their courtyard, but they had a few small tables and some chairs out front. It's kind of a dive, but it's where you go to get the purple Voodoo!

So, a little history on the place. The structure was built between 1722 and 1732 and it's believed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States. As for the name, it was believed to be used by the Lafitte brothers in the late 1700s as the hub of their smuggling operations. There's more to it, but you get the idea. So, it's a dive, but it's a dive with a lot of history and tradition.

Sort of funny side story...David and I were in here one summer and we'd noticed several large roaches flying around inside. Not that I'm a fan of them, but they're very common down here and usually wind up indoors in summer in search of water. In any event, there was a table in front of us and some of the girls were being kind of obnoxious. One of those roaches landed on one of them and then another girl's drink. It was mayhem after that, but it was kind of funny to witness.

No roaches or inside anything with other people there today, so we sat outside...enjoyed our drinks (kids had water) and we enjoyed relaxing on the little corner for a bit.



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While the bar is popular, it's in more quiet spot on Bourbon that borders on what is more residential/rental.

I was still nursing my Voodoo, but David was nearly done and wanted a Hurricane. I am not a big Hurricane fan and have only had a few that I really like. Pat O's was closed and the rest I like are from restaurants, so it was just David getting one. So, we made our way back up Bourbon and I took some more pics along the way. Side note...when walking Bourbon, I normally get a mudslide, but there's only one place that offers them on Bourbon that I really like...and they were closed. I can never remember the street, but it's the one with the turtles. LOL

David was finishing up his Voodoo just as we got here and still had his mask pulled down. The lady working the counter called out just as his foot was stepping in and made sure he got his mask back on.

David had his hurricane and was happy, so we decided to walk back to the Jackson Square area for something to please the kids. The restaurant boarded up below (Chartres House) that we saw on our walk still had their website up, so hopeful that this is another temporary closure.

When in NOLA,,,you head to Cafe Du Monde.

Unfortunately, EVERY SINGLE TRIP...we forget that they only take cash. I didn't feel like trekking around to find a spot to get cash, so I came up with plan B. On a side note, New Orleans is normally filled with street performers and music. While some places were playing recorded music and broadcasting it out onto the streets, outside of Cafe Du Monde is the only place we saw anything live. There was a lone trumpeter playing some jazz. It was sad, but sort of hopeful. While this impacts the entire world, we can step back and say that this city has endured so much over the years...and that lone trumpet was sort of a sound of hope...a sound that things will eventually be back as they were.

I recall that the beignet place with the statue courtyard on Bourbon was closed, but I recall seeing Cafe Beignet on Royal being open. So, we went back to Royal. They were open and they take plastic! They also took down a bunch of contact info before letting me in because they were doing contact tracing. With the on and off rain, most people were sitting inside, but we opted for outside, since it was the closest thing we were getting to a NOLA courtyard.

It wasn't long before the beignets came out. I couldn't have any, but that's OK.



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The birds did get a few little snacks that fell from our table. I guess they missed the tourists as well.

On our way out, I saw this little fire escape adorned with beads. I love when people do this.

It's in focus unlike the one below, but this is my all time favorite balcony bead pic from all of our NOLA trips.

We headed up to Canal because we wanted to check out the Marriott. We passed the Monteleone again on the way and said hi to the doorman. As for the Marriott...We've stayed here quite a few times. In fact, it's part of why we've been to NOLA so much. Yes, it's a relatively easy drive for us, but this also used to be a big part of David's sales territory. So, he'd come here for regional conferences and would usually stay at either the Marriott or the Monteleone. We have fond memories of this place. Rooms are a bit musty, but I love their gym. It's on one of the upper floors and all of the cardio equipment faces windows looking out onto the city. They have a nice lounge area off of the lobby that we usually visit, but I didn't think it would be open right now and to be honest...I really just thought we were popping in to take a look around.

Things got cranky when David wanted to sit down for a drink and was OK with ordering food if we were required under the ordinance. I was tired. His snoring means sleep deprivation and I was starting to hit a wall. We couldn't come to an agreement, so Kendall went off with David and Sam and I went back to the hotel.

Kendall and David wound up taking the St. Charles streetcar all over the place...and didn't take a single picture! I've seen a lot of that part of town by car (Garden District, etc.), but pics would have been nice. When I wasn't napping, I followed K's phone on the Life360 app. Sam and I took a couple of hotel pics upon our return

She was kept up by the snoring too and while part of her wanted to see the city, she was really happy to nap.

I also got a pic of her shirt...well, at least one side of the souvenir.

David was in a much better mood when they got back and Sam and I were happy with the quiet rest we got. Now it was time to figure out dinner.

Story time...on one of our early trips to NOLA, we were walking around one night in search of dinner. Either waits were long or places were fancier than we wanted for the night. We were strolling up Dauphine, looking into a few shop windows (there some neat costume stuff here), and we found a place on the corner of Dauphine and Iberville that looked kind of like a diner. We go in and find out it's a seafood spot...and while there was a wait, it looked like something we wanted to try. So, we waited, and we were introduced to something we'd never had before. Instead of bread before your meal, they gave us a bowl of these spicy crawfish boil red potatoes. The food we ordered was great too...and we'd officially fallen in love with Deanie's.

It wasn't until after that trip did I find out that the FQ location is not the original and that there were actually three Deanie's in NOLA. There's one labeled as Garden District area and the original Bucktown location is in Metairie. The FQ location is temporarily closed due to...well, ya know...everything, but the others are open. So, we hopped in the car and drove to Metairie to experience the original Deanie's.

Coming up...Dinner at Deanie's and exploring the hotel.
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