If you go on a long college tour you’ll inevitably hit a Sunday – a day where colleges (at least the one’s I’ve researched) don’t have tours. If that’s the case, try and plan it so the day off happens to be in a place you want to spend time. For the first free Sunday (our tour is long and so we get two!) I chose New Orleans. New Orleans might be my second favorite city in America (NY is #1 natch). That being said, Sunday morning might not have been the best time to walk through the French Quarter on the way to breakfast. The smell and the street remnants were overwhelming and not in a good way. We started the day with eggs benedict poboys and a horse drawn carriage ride around the quarter. Afterwards, we walked the long aisles of the French Market and by the end Sophie needed Motrin and wanted to go back to the hotel (maybe don’t try to pack too much into one morning?) I sometimes forget that not everyone is insanely crazy about seeing every corner of every city like I am. While she napped, I spent some time perusing the Tulane Admissions site, preparing for our tour tomorrow. One thing that struck me right away was this: The Admissions Staff had blogged about their top 15 places to eat in New Orleans and they were SPOT ON. Now this is the kind of school for me and my offspring! http://tuadmissionjeff.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-fifteen-best-restaurants-in-new.html After Sophie’s much needed respite, we went to Domenica for a late Italian lunch. While sitting at our table I happened to notice an extremely cute Dad walk by holding his baby but didn’t think anything of it. Midway through our pasta course, Sophie turned her head and almost choked on her Rigatoni. When she was finally able to put two words together she told me that the one famous person on the entire planet that she wanted to meet was sitting at the table behind us: Christian Bale. Yup, the handsome Dad. Seriously, I had no idea. We spent the rest of the meal debating whether or not she should approach him. He was with his wife and kids (and nanny) and she didn’t want to bother him BUT COME ON – it was Batman!. In the end, she was brave enough to go up to him, apologizing for disturbing him and asked for a picture. He said no – he was with his family. Fair enough. After lunch, I wanted to show Sophie that New Orleans was more than just a LOT of drunk people stumbling around the French Quarter so we hopped on the St. Charles Street Car, paid our $1.25 fare in exact change and took it to the end, winding our way through the Garden district with the incredible southern architecture and the myriad trees filled with hanging mardi gras beads. We passed Tulane and Loyola and got a feel for the college neighborhood. We rode it to the end and then got off and took it all the way back to the quarter. By this time it was late afternoon and the streets had been cleaned and for the most part, the smell of alcohol had wafted away. There were still many people stumbling around who had had too many Hurricanes but it was definitely a better time to be out and about. One thing Sophie was amazed by was the city’s total love and support of the arts. Everywhere we walked there were galleries and street artists, bands and dancers. A city where an artist could definitely find inspiration.
An interesting sidenote: The front desk rang up and said there was a package downstairs for me. I asked him twice if he was sure it was for me. Yes, definitely Lisa Jardine. Sophie and I went down to find a fedexed freezer box of chocolate covered strawberries from… Expedia. With a hand-written note thanking me on their 4 year anniversary for being one of their best customers. I have to say I wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing. Travel much? When I told Tom he said those were some very expensive strawberries.
Dinner was at our favorite this trip: Le Petit Grocery. The turtle bolognese (snapping turtle to be exact) with a whole fried egg on top was ridiculous and the famous butterscotch pudding was definitely famous for a good reason.