The City of New Orleans
So it's now 10:15am on Sunday, May 5, 2013 & am writing this from the New Orleans Inn in, well, New Orleans! Which by the way, would Highly recommend this Inn as a Great (& affordable & clean!) place to stay in the Big Easy! So. happy to report that Danny & I made it to New Orleans on Friday afternoon after a lovely drive along the Southern Route from Lafayette to New Orleans which passes through Lots of Lush & Low-Lying Louisiana Bayou. Weather couldn't be more Perfect with clear blue skies & not only not too hot, but actually a bit unusually chilly! Coming up out of the Bayou we entered into the more urban setting of New Orleans as we got back on the I-10 & passed the Super Dome & downtown skyline of New Orleans. Pretty much drove directly to the French Quarter (even though we didn't have a map & really didn't know where we were going!) Being that it's the second weekend of Jazzfest, it was, of course, bustling with people! Music was pouring out onto the streets from various small venues, surrounded by the colorful & charming French buildings with decorative black wrought iron balconies. We saw a Mississippi Ferry off to our right & a line of horse-drawn carriages to our left & we knew we a had arrived in the heart of "The Big Easy". Surprised to find a perfect parking space just around the corner, we stopped & took a little walk around the neighborhood, stumbling upon "Frenchman" Street, where Snug Harbor & various other music venues reside. The amount & different types of live music which was coming from all directions was truly Impressive & was just right for our first few moments in one of the most important music cities in the US! The loudest of them all was a ragtag Dixieland Band that had just assembled on the corner & were playing their horns & drums with Passion, Heart & Rhythm! Once back out of the surprising cold & into our warm & cozy eco-car, we begin our search for a place to stay & after putting out a Special Prayer Request to "The Big Guy", AMAZINGLY "stumbled upon" a hidden away place, appropriately named the "New Orleans Inn" for a Great price that had a room available & wi-fi! So after Thanking God for His last minute Provision, we happily entered our home for the night & settled in for a good nights sleep!
Awoke the next Saturday morning to a Beautiful Blue Sky, refreshed & ready for a New Day! After some online catching up, we found out that we were almost walking distance from the New Orleans Fairgrounds which is precisely where Jazzfest was being held & Thanked God again for HIS Perfect Planning! So off we drove along tree-lined Gentilly street towards the Fairgrounds, spotting several lemonade stands along the way! As we neared the Fairgrounds the crowds started to build as well as the number of folks out on the street who were touting for their parking places. Being on a budget, we headed back up the street from where we had come & found a nice shady spot to park for Free! Walked on back towards the Fairgrounds & the walk itself was an experience, full of people, music & all kinds of lemonade stands! Once there, we got in line to get tickets, where we met a nice woman from Tucson & were surprised & happy to actually get tickets! Heading to the entrance I just happen to overhear a security woman say "No Food!", so we decided to make a quick run back to our Motel to drop off our picnic! Then headed back to the Fairground (& our free parking!) & entered into Jazzfest! Had heard there were about 400,000 people in attendance, so Yes, it was Crowded! Weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, but was some mud (a nod to Glastonbury!) as it had rained a few days before! Heard Music coming from several different directions & then recognized the clashing of Chinese cymbals coming from the Children's Tent. Popped in for a peek & saw a yellow & pink lion prancing & dancing around, interestingly enough, much like the white lion I had just seem dancing exactly a week ago in the Bay Area at the party for my niece Bridget's First Holy Communion! Took a few videos & pictures & then headed off to the Gospel Tent, which had a contemporary group performing, the Blues Tent which had a guy playing his guitar behind his head & "The Star-Spangled Banner" on electric guitar. Continued from there to the Jazz Tent with an saxophone-piano ensemble & Lots of Jazz fans from all over the world soaking it in! The main act for the day was Fleetwood Mac, so we headed over to the Main Stage where I think most of the 400,000 people were happily standing in mud in their galoshes waiting for the show to begin! Once again in GPT "God's Perfect Timing", the show began just as we got there & the crowd was enthusiastically greeted by Stevie Nicks & Lindsay Buckingham, who proceeded to play a bunch of their Classic hits! As there were several other bands playing simultaneously, we wandered around a bit having a listen here & there to music ranging from French-Acadien to Blues to World Beat African! At 7pm the show ended & it was time to exit with the other 400,000 people, which was slow, but steady! As we exited the Fairgrounds, we heard some live & lively music coming from a 2-story pink house across the street & stopped to watch for a minute as the singer stood in the doorway with his drummer & guitarist on his porch. One thing that's for sure, is that is MUSIC EVERYWHERE in New Orleans! So headed back down to Gentilly St. & our car, drove the 5 mins. "home" & settled in for the night with Big Travel Plans to head to my 43rd State of Mississippi (& maybe attend a Spirit-Filled Gospel Baptist Service!), my 44th State of Alabama & most probably Pensacola, Florida tomorrow! Until next time, Au Revoir a La Belle Nouvelle Orleans!