When we go on adventures, we like to start by exploring. So, we set out on foot, headed down elegant Rue Royal, and wove our way through the vibrant French Quarter, past pretty galleries containing sculptures and paintings from famous artists, and fashionable shops, filled with crystal chandeliers and exquisite antiques. Hudson was especially mesmerized by the world famous "Blue Dog" in the George Rodrigue studio.
We took a quick walk down Bourbon Street. It gets pretty bawdy there at night, due to the burlesque clubs and party people. But, in the daytime, this famous street is steeped in history and folk lore. In addition to a wealth of the most beautiful architecture, the area is rich in entertaining characters. In a period of ten minutes, we saw a dog wearing shoes and shades, a man wearing a bra with no shirt, two brass bands, a breakdancer, a mime, and a person dressed as a transformer that actually rolled around the street in the form of a bright, yellow Hummer. Can you guess which was Hudson's favorite?
We passed through beautiful Jackson Square, where Hudson got a balloon sword and hat, and we caught our first glimpse of the amazing, awe inspiring St. Louis Cathedral. With it's lush gardens, open air artist colony, and talented musicians, this area feels a little bit like a scene from Mary Poppins. Practically perfect in every way.
We winded through block after block of charming neighborhoods, and I loved watching Hudson take everything in. He loved looking in the shop windows and watching street performers. During that first walk through the city, he discovered the old fashioned mail slots that are on every French Quarter door. Having never encountered such a thing before, he was absolutely positive that they were there to serve one purpose: to allow him to sneak a peek into the interior of each home and boutique. It took a little explaining, before he stopped flipping those metal flaps and peering inside with those big, curious eyes of his.
We decided to try the Royal House Restaurant for dinner. The seafood and oyster bar had lots of character with it's open air windows and view of Royal Street. You could hear a jazz band playing from the corner, which made the atmosphere absolutely dreamy. Will said this was his best meal of the trip...plump Louisiana oysters, topped with parmesan and chargrilled to bubbly perfection.We also shared the fresh crab claws sauteed in a lemon garlic butter sauce....they were so savory and delicious. Hudson loved dipping his french bread in the sauce, in between big bites of gourmet Mac & Cheese.