Our third day in the Crescent City was my sister's birthday. We had a big fun day planned and it started with a New Orleans tradition - brunch. We went to Muriel's Jackson Square and promptly ordered mimosas to start the day properly.
The meal was delicious, so rich and filling that I couldn't even finish mine. The restaurant brought out some bread pudding with a candle on it for Lizzie's birthday and I had to give it a try. Yummy.
After brunch, we took the streetcar up St. Charles Avenue to get to the Garden District. That neighborhood is so different from the French Quarter, it's like it's in a different city. I guess technically it was a suburb when the French Quarter was the city. The Garden District is full of big old trees and beautiful mansions. We took a walking tour of the area and learned about the history of the neighborhood and highlights of some of the mansions.
The sidewalks in the Garden District, like most sidewalks in New Orleans, are not flat. There are a lot of tree roots growing under those sidewalks, so there is a lot of uneven ground. Another interesting note, the roads are actually higher in the center because there is so much rain in the city that the roads are sloped so the water runs off into the drains.
Another part of the tour took us to Lafayette Cemetery #1. As with all cemeteries in New Orleans, all the tombs are above ground. I thought it was because New Orleans is basically below sea level and can flood easily, but the guide said that was an urban myth. I don't remember what reasoning she gave for the above ground tombs. No matter. It's pretty interesting. By the way, there are lots of cemeteries in New Orleans.
After the tour, Lizzie and I walked through the neighborhood to get over to Magazine Street where we stopped at a sweet shop called Sucre. It is a lovely shop and we enjoyed a nice treat (which I will include in my food post!) After the snack, we strolled back to St. Charles St. to get back on the streetcar and go back to the French Quarter.
We hung out in our hotel room for a little while and watched some TV, then it was time to go out for dinner. That night we went to a restaurant by James Beard award winning chef Emeril Lagassse and we chose NOLA.
The restaurant seems pretty small from the outside, but it is three stories tall with lots of seating. The decor is warm and quirkily elegant. We were seated on the third floor. We had a nice table and an excellent server named Paul who was tall, so we called him Tall Paul. He was quite patient with us. We were a little giddy with the whole experience.
The food was amazing, the service was wonderful and it was so fun to be there with Lizzie on her birthday. I can't say enough how delightful everything was that day. And look how cute and happy Lizzie looked!
I didn't want the meal to end, but I was so full that I couldn't even find room for dessert, so it was time to go. We decided to stroll back along Bourbon Street because it was Saturday night and it seemed like the thing to do. It wasn't great. As I mentioned before, there is not a lot of charm to Bourbon Street, in my opinion. It just felt like something we had to do, so we did it.
Even so, I thought it was a great day. I hope that Lizzie had fun and that she will remember this birthday fondly.