Friday, November 30, 2012

New Orleans, a Great Place to Visit!

Pat O'Brien's legendary Hurricane Cocktail
New Orleans is the first leg of my 3 week journey which includes 50 hours of  being stuck in an airplane, nothing to brag about for sure.  I am writing this from the town that Hurricane Katrina devastated in 2005, more than 7 years ago already.  To be honest, I haven't seen much of the effect however the locals say that near the outskirts of the city it's still pretty bad.  For me, I am staying in the luxurious Loews Downtown Hotel, 2 blocks off the water front in downtown New Orleans.  This is an interesting town for sure and at least from my advantage, continues to be a vibrant city worth visiting.  One of the things on my bucket list is to have a genuine Hurricane Cocktail from the famous Pat O'Brien's located in the Historic French Quarter.  A few of my colleagues and I walked from our hotel to the iconic bar, a good mile and a half, sat down and watched the New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Hawks game and had what is best expressed as "everything I imagined it to be!".   This thing is huge and includes 4 shots of quality gold rum, Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Cocktail Mix, crushed ice, and garnished with an orange slice and cherry.  I dare to say it's almost 16 ounces with the crushed ice causing a coat of frost to form on the outside of the glass.  They have an interesting concept, you get charged an extra $3.00 for your drink and if you want it back you have to turn in the glass.  I decided to keep mine and on the way out a guy gives you a cardboard container, their famous beads, and a carrying bag to take the glass with you.  Seeing's how I bought nothing, that glass was going to be mine.  I was able to get it back to the hotel in one piece.  Although I need another glass in my collection of special places I have been like I need a hole in my head, it was something that could not be resisted!

New Orleans water front
The previous night we took a genuine riverboat jazz cruise, complete with a Cajun buffet on a 210 foot paddle wheeler called the Creole Queen.  After sitting down and eating dinner the boat fired up the paddle wheels and we headed down river for an hour before turning around and returning to port.  The Mississippi is certainly different at it's mouth than  it is in Minneapolis.  Deep and muddy, it's reported that the river is over 200 feet deep as it meanders through downtown New Orleans.  You can get an idea of it size by the amount of large ocean going freighters making there way up and down the river.  With the river nearing record lows, there are places near home that you can almost walk across.  I have to admit it was a beautiful site as we came into the dock on the final leg of our cruise.  We leave tomorrow but not before I can get the chance to down some New Orleans fresh oysters and maybe have some gumbo.  It's an exciting place and definitely worth your visit some time.
Coming home on Friday, my wife and I will head to Prairie Du Chen to attend the funeral of my sister-in-law's mother, Violet Heiar.  Her husband Wes was the guy I bought the tractor from, having just seen her a few weeks ago, its a sad day.  Inevitable, it's simply a sign that we are not getting any younger.  I'll be scrambling to get down and back as Sunday will see me on a plane to Hong Kong.  I hope I can get some sleep!


Anonymous said...

I love New Orleans. It's the only town that I would go back to just for the food. And that's coming from a bland eating, Norwegian. Hope you can make it to Preservation Hall.


Otto said...

I had no idea the Mississippi River was so deep there. I knew it was a lot wider.

You gonna be in town for the Packers/Vikings game?

Dave Anderson said...

Keith, today I had chicken and sausage gumbo with a fillet of deep fried catfish and a scoop of rice on top, amazing. We ended this afternoon having a dozen raw oysters on the half shell at the Red Fish Oyster Bar. $15/doz and they were huge!

Otto, it doesn't look like it:-(

Anonymous said...


Was great to see you check that hurricane off your bucket list. Sorry I missed the clams thou.