French Quarter Fest


Apr10 20

New Orleans. Ali and I talked about coming down here way back when we were living in Chicago. It’s just one of those places we never seemed to make it to (New York City being the other glaring stand-out). Today we made it, and after a very full day I’ve realized two things: One, we really should have made a better effort to come here before we had kids—the place is made for drinking. And two, it would take quite a while to even scratch the surface of this very cool city.

We started the day off by driving to a nearby Home Depot and leaving the bus parked there while we jumped on a bus into the city. That went off without a hitch, and before long we were wandering the streets towards the French Quarter. It’s French Quarter Fest this weekend, with tons of music and food happening all over the place. We found a grassy spot, ate, drank, bopped our heads, and wrestled the kids for a while before they were ready to move on.

The rest of the day was spent simply strolling around, eating some more, hanging out in Jackson Square, having SnowBalls in the French Market, getting face painted, and getting balloon animals from clowns.

When we were all beat we made the long walk back to the bus stop, watched our bus pull away when we were a block away, and then spent an hour in the sun waiting for the next one which arrived at the height of rush hour. The experience of returning to the bus via public transportation put a serious damper on our plans to return the next day.

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I’ve never seen my kids so squeamish as they were when they spotted these crawfish making a run for safety.

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Poor Lowe tried to throw his dollar in the box, but missed. Then he scrambled around, picked it up, and missed again. Damn wind. He gave up then and came running back to us upset, to the point he was just fighting back tears. Times like that remind me that he is still just two years old—a baby boy despite how grown up he can seem.

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16 Comments on “French Quarter Fest”

  1. Victoria

    I can’t wait to make it to NOLA, that is my most anticipated stop, and I have been told the same thing about ‘Nawlin’s- drinking capital of the south! Glad you guys enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Andy von Busse

    If your still there, don’t miss going to Mother’s a 1920s style restaurant cheap good and visited by all sorts of celebrities. It’s one of those have to go there kind of place. If your into antiques or history, Royal street is great.

  3. Sara

    I’ve been hoping NOLA was going to be a stop. My husband worked in Mobile for a few years. Whenever I visited him we would ultimately make it to New Orleans. So far, my favorite place in the US! Mardi Gras was amazing as was spending Halloween there. We’ve thought about moving to the French Quarter someday…maybe. Ah now I’m feeling nostalgic!

  4. Andreas

    Love New Orleans. During my twenties I lived in London, England, where I promptly fell in love with a girl from NOLA who was studying there on a guest semester.

    When she had to go back home I went to stayed with her for a while. It was a brilliant time, summer, love, drinks and music.

  5. Anna

    Don’t leave before seeing the Garden District, cemetaries, etc.! There are nice walking tours available.

  6. Bette

    Hi guys! Been following for awhile but this is my first comment. I don’t know if this is your jam, but I had an EcoSmart Razor, which is an electric scooter, but it’s for grown-ups. Since Pat is so handy, he could make a seat for a young ‘un on the standing board. I got tons of compliments on mine. Might come in handy for the times when walking is kind of a drag.

    Plugs in to a regular wall socket. We loved ours. Charge time was about 1.5 hours; top speed is I think 18 mph? You can ride it on sidewalks and on streets. It’s really fun, too.

    I got mine with shipping for $300. you just gotta shop around.

    Best wishes!

  7. Gail

    Ask the park rangers for info to the ferry. Its a 20 minute drive from Bayou Segnette, cheap parking, then a free ferry cross the Mississippi dropping you off almost right in the French Quarter. The ferries were running constantly so no long wait. Much more fun than the bus ride!

  8. Greg

    I was in New Orleans earlier this week for the national school board conference. If you want some great cheap food, Daisy Dukes for the 3.99 breakfast and Warehouse Grille for lunch or dinner. Both within walking distance of French Quarter or cheap trolley ride from anywhere.

  9. Pam

    That face painter should take lessons from you. Cool butterfly but yours was better. She forgot the butterfly’s face.

  10. Rebecca


    Remember that there is no rush hour on the weekends, so Saturday should be a lot better. Also, as one of the earlier posters mentioned, you really want to check out the garden district. So why not find a place to park the bus on St. Charles and take the Streetcar from there to Canal St.? Then you just need to cross the street and you are back in the French Quarter. It’s a much nicer ride than the bus. I live in the Quarter, just a few blocks down from Jackson Sq., although I’m working on Saturday. But if you have any questions, or are still here on Sunday and need anything, just shoot me an email and I’ll send you my phone number.

    I want to just mention, in case you aren’t aware, that there is also a trolley that runs from the Quarter to Canal Street. So if you end up using the St. Charles streetcar, and the kids are too tired to walk the ten blocks or so to get to it from the Quarter, you can just take that trolley and ask for a transfer. It’s only an extra 25 cents, and you can use it for the streetcar that would take you back to the bus. The St. Charles streetcar only goes as far as Napoleon Ave. these days, so you would want to park it between there and Lee’s Circle. But there is plenty to see, especially Audubon Park, on the other side of Napoleon, once you are back in the bus. Loyola and Tulane Universities have interesting old architecture, I think, and they’re right across from Audubon Park, so you don’t have to go out if your way to see them.

    In case you were considering going to the Insectarium, I’ll just offer my opinion that it’s ridiculously overpriced. The Acquarium has some nice exhibits and play areas for kids, but I think it would be something like $75 for the four of you, so definitely not a must see. After checking out St. Charles Ave., Magazine St. makes for a nice stroll, just a few blocks over. There are a lot of nice outdoor dining places, and a good grocery store at 3233 Magazine, Breaux Mart.

    Anyway, let me know if you have any questions or need anything.

  11. Trent

    They are some of the most precious kids that
    i have ever seen. If i could i would give them
    the world. 😉

  12. Robert Cowan

    Greetings from Southport, NC
    I have been following your adventures for years in the stealth mode. Just wanted to say that as interesting as your story is the photography is the bomb. Absolutely beautiful work over a long period of time. Congrats to the picture taker. Hey, if any of you decide to play guitar drop us an email and I will hook you up with strings and other necessary stuff.
    Future Minimalist

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