On Monday we walked around the French Quarter of New Orleans. It was very hot very early, one of those situations where the humidity was nearly overwhelming. We walked down to the Cafe Dumond and had the French donuts and coffee.
Afterwards we took a carriage tour of the French Quarter. We learned that all of the architecture is Spanish due to a fire in the 1780s that burned down the old French buildings. Our tour guide first took us to the cemetery. The tombs in New Orleans
are all above ground, so they are like little buildings and the graveyard seems like a town of small houses. Many members of families are buried on each site, and if nobody takes care of the sight the Catholic Church will remove the bodies from the little family mausoleum, place the bones in the cemetery wall, and then resell the original site. Weird.
About 10,000 people live in the French Quarter. Brad Pitt has a house there, as did Nicholas Cage. Cage actually had two houses. One of his homes is supposedly the most haunted house in America. Ironically it has been "repossessed" by the bank.
After our tour, we shopped in the Open French Market. There Molly bought a great Mardi Gras mask and Brooke got her name painted on a paper with the letters printed artistically. Then we ate wonderful Cajun food before wandering though stores back to our hotel and van.
We left New Orleans in the late afternoon and headed east.
We quickly went through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and reached the Florida border. At Pensacola we decided to stop and
spend a night on the Gulf Coast. We decided to stay at the newly opened Margaritaville Hotel, part of the Jimmy Buffet empire. We have rooms facing the Gulf, probably the nicest rooms we will ever have at the beach. The water here
is incredibly warm, warmer than most pools we have ever been in
and about thirty degrees warmer than the Pacific water we were in last summer. We ate a cheeseburger pizza beside the pool, then headed to our rooms for the evening.