A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: 4kitten

haunted history tours, mediocre lunch, and The Blue Dog

sunny

Sorry no updates for a few days, have been busy, so to continue from last time...

I took the Vampire tour with Haunted History Tours and our tour guide was George. The tour was interesting because it was a mix of local history, lore, and local gossips. It was also fun because we got to stop in two bars for drinks and bathroom breaks and we got to drink and walk. I don't think I have ever drank alcohol openly while walking on uneven streets before. Definitely living dangerously...LOL.

We passed by a few houses in the french quarter that were reputed to be haunted. The fact that I have been inside one of those houses doesn't bother me as much as it should have. It was a heck of a tale to tell...

Anyway, these tours are definitely a good bargain and recommend it to all who are visiting NOLA to partake in them.

The next day, I woke up bright and early and went to the Zoombies Voodoo Shop to join the Cemetary tour also by Haunted History Tours. We are going to St. Louis Cemetary #1.

Our tour guide was Lindsay, a lawyer turned tour guide, who is very informative about the local history and notable graves inside the cemetary. Also, she provided good information about why some of the graves are buried above ground and that some graves are still very much buried below ground.

After this tour, I walked back toward the CBD and had lunch at a well known hotel. It was average at best but my waiter was great. She was great to talk to and we talked about everything from bad weather to why they have this cute dog (The Blue Dog) painting/poster on every corner in NOLA. I found out about the blue dog painting is by George Rodrigue (a Cajun artist) and the dog painting made famous by Absolut Voka in 1992.

More about my adventures in later post. Merry Christmas!

Posted by 4kitten 21:09 Archived in USA Tagged new orleans Comments (0)

Vampire Tour & Sordid History of New Orleans

sunny

So after all the joyous caroling, I waited for the tour group to start...

I had signed up for the Vampire tour and we were to meet in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.

At the stroke of 8:30 p.m., we started our tour. The tour guy was pretty informative and we stopped in at two bars during the tour. Great for bathroom breaks and drinks purchase. It was more of a spooky history tour.

One of the houses he mentioned that had a lot of spooky happening is one I visited earlier in the day. Guess which house it was?

It was the Beauregard house.

More on that in a later post...

Posted by 4kitten 18:07 Archived in USA Tagged new orleans Comments (0)

Holiday Homes Adventure

sunny

After I landed the other day, I checked into hotel and had dinner at a lovely french restaurant located in the CBD. I then went back to hotel to sleep because I was exhausted.

Hours later, I woke up to the sound of neighbors... Let me rephrase that. Hours later, I woke up to woman talking loudly to her companions and asking for "Aaron" or was that "Erin"? Don't have a clue except from what I can deduced, she was incredibly drunk... After about an half hour of this nonsense, someone finally had the sense to knock on her door telling her to be quiet and have a nice night. Yep, they are nice like that here. And so with that...quiet was bestowed upon us (or relatively) and I went back to my heavy slumber. Hours after that, I woke up again, and decided to skip the cooking demo that I had plan to attend. As much as I wanted to join that demo, I really did not feel like getting up...total jetlag. Went back to zzzzzzzzz.

Finally woke up, took forever to get ready and stumbled out to the French Quarter. Walked on Bourbon Street and saw lots of drunk people in the middle of the day and lots of sex shops. Whoa...reminds me of Vegas except not...

Anyway, I kept walking, walking, walking...no one bothers me. Maybe cuz I wore a backpack and actually look like I live around here? Hah!

So I finally got to where I was intending to go which was the Creole Delicacies at Jackson Square. This shop specializes in Pralines and other NOLA specilaities. Got a bottle of water and some praline chocolates as gifts and ventured back to their courtyard. There were two lovely ladies there selling tickets to the Holiday Home Tour sponsored by the Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre. Once a year, they open several historical homes all decked out in beautiful holiday garb and use that money they raised to sponsor the Caroling in Jackson Square later that nigh

So after I brought my ticket, I was given a map of the locations of the historic homes and was told that they are indicated by a green flag. (I noticed that the ticket says, "2009" on it and asked and was told that yes, they were using last years' ticket. Oookay. As long as I can use the ticket, I am fine with recycling. I guessed they printed too many tickets last year??) Sure enough, the first home I went to had a big green flag out front and a Santa and Mrs. Claus greeting all the guests that were coming to visit.

This first house is the "Romantic Beauregard-Keyes House" located at 1113 Chartres Street. This is also one of the most opened and fancy house I have been to on the tour. It even had refreshments at the back of the house (several different types of cookies and lemonade). And the people (women and men) there were all dressed up in period costumes making it seem even more lovely than it already is... According to the brochure they handed out, this house had a checkered history with many owners, and in 1865, it was General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, a noted Confederate leader who hailed from Louisiana returned to New Orleans, and he lodged there for eighteen months. And because of this period of history, the house came to be known as the Beauregard house. Later in 1944, Frances Keyes, a well known novelist, came to Louisiana, rented the house and eventually brought it and work on restoring it to its original glory. (More on this house later.)

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The second house I visited is located at 600 Esplanade.
It was described in the brochure as a classic Creole townhouse, built in 1834 by attorney Henry Raphael Denis and in the 1850's, the lacy two-level cast-iron balconies were added to enhance its beauty. One of their notable former residence was Japanese chemist and philanthropist Jokichi Takamine. According to the brochure, he discovered adrenaline and he also gifted the 3,000 flowering cherry trees that is now the attraction in Washington DC during spring. Current owners are the proprietor of a shop at 1036 Royal Street called Nadine Blake. I believe she's a designer. And I have to add this from my observation of the home, I think it's beautiful mix of modern and tradition.

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The third house I visited is located at 1240 Royal.
The house is done in Victorian Queen Anne style which I am familiar with given that I come from San Francisco and all. The garden was extensively redone in 2000. So it was incredibly beautiful and relaxing place.

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The fourth house visited is located at 1132 Royal - Gallier House.
This was the only house visited on this tour that did not permit interior photographing. The other houses actually welcomed it. A lot of the house was off limited to visitors, so I actually did not enjoy this house as much as others. I don't know why they bother to open it to visitors and not letting visitors visit. Weird practice. I understand that it is a landmark but I truly don't see the significance of it being that special when I can't see it.

The fifth house visited is located at 1129 Bourbon.
This house seem very small although it could be because it was sectioned off for visitors. The garden is lovely though. I had a great time looking at their garden where there is a small coi pond.

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The sixth house visited is located at 1113 Bourbon.
It is a lovely house because it's designed to look like an uptown property according to the brochure. And in 1984, local tv and radio personalities couple who lived there renovated it to update the kiten and bathrooms.

After all the walking, I went to a well known grill place on Bourbon to eat a burger and some fries. Listen to the banters between the chefs and the local folks that lived there.

Then I walked back to my hotel and rested.

At around 6 p.m. I walked to Jackson Square intending to join in the caroling. The place was packed with people and after listening for a while sitting outside the square, I decided to go over to Cafe du monde to try their beignets and cafe au latte and then come back to hear more caroling. Oh, the beignets and coffee hit the spot. So delicious.

After that, I went back to caroling and joined in for Silent Night. It was sooo very special.

Soon, the crowd started leaving and the square emptied out.

I then joined in for the Vampire tour which met in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.

More on that later-

Posted by 4kitten 18:07 Archived in USA Tagged new orleans Comments (0)

Sleepless drama in pouring rain....

sunny

After getting off work around 7 p.m. last night, I went home and had a light dinner consisted of veggies and rice. After dinner, I decided to pack my suitcase for travel the next day and that took longer than expected. After a while, I didn't even want to sleep because I was afraid that if I do I would miss the shuttle pickup. So instead of sleeping, I was up and working until 3:05 a.m. in the morning and got picked up by the Super Shuttle.

Once outside, I realized that it was pouring...glad I was leaving for the city during this wet weather...

The shuttle continued to pick more people up after me. There was some drama where there was some miscommunication between the shuttle service and this woman who was supposed to be picked up at a certain hour and she was in the shower when we showed up at her door. Then the drama really started when her roommate (?) started at yelling match with the driver. Hm...Did I mention this is about 3:30 a.m. in the morning? Yeah... So the driver, this other passenger, and I were all waiting outside this "shower woman's" apartment for half an hour. Kind of frustrating...

After "shower woman" finally came out of the building, she apologized to us (the other passenger and I) profusely. Then the really mad driver started slamming all the car doors very loudly and picked up three more passengers. Finally, we were on our way to the airport. The driver was driving pretty well in that pouring rain storm and personally, I was glad that the drama did not cause an accident. Whew!

Once I got to the airport, I got in line for the security and breezed through since I already checked in hours ago...

Then I brought a bagel with cream cheese because I was really hungry.

Boarded the plane around 5:45 a.m. Slept intermittently on the plane, but half way through the flight got woken up by the flight attendant asking if there's any medical personnel on board. Turns out someone got sick and needed some medical help. Everyone was super calm though, so that helped a lot.

Once we landed in Houston, we were asked to remain on the plane while the medics got to the person who got sick. Then we were off the plane.

I had to connect in Houston to New Orleans and luckily, my gate was only two steps away, so I didn't have to run across the airport. Yay.

Waited about 45 minutes and boarded the connecting flight to NOLA. Quickest plane ride ever as I blinked and we were landing...

Since I have already arranged shuttle service from airport to hotel, everything was super easy and got dropped off at hotel.

Once checked in, I showered and changed and went to dinner. Super yummy dinner.... more on that later.

I have to sleep now... night!

Posted by 4kitten 18:13 Archived in USA Tagged new orleans Comments (0)

Restless

waiting for next short adventure...

Checking on weather to see how to pack for next short trip coming up...

Posted by 4kitten 14:57 Archived in USA Tagged san francisco packing waiting Comments (0)

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