N’awlin’s. Settling in.

Day one: travel day. Even when air travel is uneventful it is a grind. “Moo!” Treated like cattle. Ottawa is a snow covered, balmy -2. Pretty hard to take since it is nearing the end of March. Not sad to be leaving winter behind for a short time.

We arrive in New Orleans in late afternoon. It is sunny and 70. Aahhhhh. After arriving at our French Quarter hotel, we settle in and head to a favourite haunt to kick off our New Orleans trip, Acme Oyster House. The line is long but we are tired and hungry, so we hang. The wait is always shortened by striking up a conversation with fellow hungry patrons in line. After about forty minutes we are led to a table. A pitcher of Blue Moons is delivered, glasses are clinked and we are officially on holiday in the Big Easy.

This is our third trip to Acme. We both order their excellent Po’boy sandwiches, shrimp for me, for Rob, the Fried Peace Maker Po’boy, oysters, shrimp and tabasco infused mayo, all dressed of course. We also ordered a side of Boo Fries which are akin, dare I say as a proud Canadian, to our beloved poutine. Acme’s are excellent fries topped with their extremely rich, tasty roast beef gravy and mediocre cheddar shreds. Not bad. The gravy is the star here.

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Grilling Oysters at the Acme Oyster House.
Grilling Oysters at the Acme Oyster House.

As we fill our bellies we realize that our plans of people watching on Bourbon Street and late night drinks are fading with the daylight. It’s been a long day and we are just happy to be here.

It’s sunny and cool the next morning, our first full day in the city. Expected high in the seventies. Perfect day for strolling and getting reacquainted with the French Quarter. We decide to head on down to the famous Cafe du Monde, a tourist trap in its own right but with the distinction of actually serving excellent beignets and coffee despite that rap. The quarter is beginning to hop despite the chill in the air. The Cafe is bustling. Freighters cruise along the Big Muddy. Live music mingles with the clatter of horse drawn buggies, trucks making deliveries, streetcars and the locals starting their work days and some just getting home.

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Working the line at Cafe Du Monde.
Working the line at Cafe Du Monde.

We sight see for a time and just soak up the Quarter, and grab a quick drink. The day is fresh and we are deciding on somewhere new to try for dinner tonight.

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