From Sara's travel journal:
We woke up on the early side on Sunday, and went out in search of beignets at Café Du Monde. There was a huge line, of course, but we were able to snag some fried dough and café au lait (I took mine on ice) to go and we had them in Jackson Square. We took a little walk by the Mississippi, and then stopped into a National Park Service visitor’s center that had a bunch of information about the Mississippi Delta and the history of New Orleans. We went to a tourist shop to grab our obligatory magnet, and then we stopped by our hotel room before lunch. We went to the Gumbo Shop, another recommended restaurant, and had some Cajun/creole food. We had two types of gumbo, seafood okra and chicken andouille, and a combo platter that had jambalaya, shrimp creole, and red beans and rice. Yum yum yum.
After lunch, we took the St. Charles streetcar to the garden district. I had written down directions for a walking tour, and we stopped by some of the more famous homes. It was very pretty, I can see why it’s such a tourist attraction. Between the garden district and the French Quarter, Cory and I both agreed that New Orleans does not feel like a typical American city…it feels very foreign and different. We finished our walking tour at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Thunder started rolling and rain started pouring almost as soon as we walked in, so we high-tailed it out of there to take shelter under the awning of a restaurant across the street. We waited out the storm for over half an hour until the rain let up enough for us to venture out again. We went back to the cemetery to poke around a little bit more, and then took the streetcar back to Canal Street.
Part of the Garden District charm--watch your step!
We came back to our hotel room to make plans for the evening and decided to try an Italian restaurant on the far side of the French Quarter called Mona Lisa’s. The place was cute, with a whole bunch of Mona Lisa variations all over the walls, including some drawn by patrons on paper placemats. We originally thought we were going to get pizza, but we took one look at the specials menu and decided pasta dishes sounded too good to pass up. We had bruschetta, salads, cheese stuffed shells, and meatloaf parmesan with a bottle of chianti. We finished with tiramisu and coffee (served in adorable Christmas mugs). The place was fun, the food was great, the service excellent, and the price was shockingly low. All in all, it was a great cap to our New Orleans experience.