Sunday, November 25, 2018

Solo Time in New Orleans Part Two - Is it Safe?

November 11-13, 2018
New Orleans, Louisiana

Last time we were in New Orleans there were a few things that I didn't make the time to do. Even with the weather roller coaster, I get out and make it happen.

Sunday morning is chilly but nice and sunny. Tessa and I visit several of the old cemeteries in town. I say old, but they are still active. They've been here for decades, and family members continue to be interred in the above-ground tombs and the wall crypts. 

Most have interments from the 1800's, some are as recent as 2016. All have "room" for many more names.
Not all are still in one piece.

Very few have any space around them like this. This beautiful crypt is definitely showing its age.

The unused wall crypts are bricked off. Only some of them have a shelf for flowers.

Unlike the more famous Lafayette Cemetery #1 that is only open for paid tours (the place of many famous interments), the rest are open to walk through. 
A few of the blocks have other people strolling through the monuments, even a couple sitting on them with a brown paper bag bottle. All are friendly. I pay attention to my surroundings, but never feel I'm in any danger. 

When in New Orleans.
Late afternoon I watch football, and Tessa and I walk around the park a few times. After the sun sets we take a couple "potty breaks" close to home. Again, paying attention, but feeling very safe.

Some sites back up to this pretty marina - there is water between the dock and the park so not accessible.

About 4 AM I step into the bathroom and I'm suddenly wide awake! Cold water over your feet will do that. Apparently the last time I got up the paper blocked the flapper just enough to keep the water running :-(  Spare towels sop up the lake, and the rug goes in the shower. I flush a full bowl of water.

Could have been worse, some went out under the slide so hopefully no water damage there. The next flush gives me the dreaded "glug burp" so I know the black tank is full. A quick dump takes care of that. Soooo glad it didn't overfill back into the house!!

Monday I check more off the list under cold and cloudy skies. Marie Laveau's Voodoo Shop is closed, but the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is open. And I find a free parking spot on the next block!

There are several altars to different saints and goddesses, all have offerings of tobacco, dollar bills, candles and other items of meaning to those who leave them. Tessa is very fascinated with the whole place.

Powerful ritual art throughout the museum.

A small tour comes in and I learn about the carved altars depicting the moods/emotions of different Loa.

Marie Laveau was a hair dresser by trade, and known as the most powerful Voodoo practitioner in Louisiana. The Voodoo Queen died in 1881.

You can't study Voodoo without Voodoo Dolls. Locked in a glass cabinet, I could not get a clear photo. Hmmm....
With a good parking spot in the French Quarter, it's a great chance to see more of this historic area. You have to be careful on the uneven sidewalks and watch for cars in the narrow streets, but it's a fun place to walk through beautiful architecture and the ever present joyeux energie.

Aging ad in rich colors.

One of few detached structures. A beautiful vintage B&B.

Wrought iron and hanging ferns everywhere.

Happy colors.

Many haunted buildings in the Quarter.

Magical gardens tucked behind dark walkways.
I plan to walk through Jackson Square to Du Monde's for beignets, but the clouds have gotten darker and the smell of rain is getting strong. 

The Cathedral-Basilica of St Louis King of France watches over Jackson Square.

Andrew Jackson rides through the palms.

Gray spikes glow in the corner of the square.

This young man is very talented - I hope he got his equipment covered before the storm!!
These huge Live Oaks add to the magic.
After spending time enjoying watching street musicians and other interesting people, Tessa and I head back to the Jeep. A couple wonderful stores draw me in. I find an awning to stand under to take a call from Bill (he's leaving the desert, headed back to Valencia for the night), then make a mad dash as the skies open up. 

A little sparkle at an art gallery.

Friendly front porch invites you to visit.

A color for everyone.

Yes, please!

Tessa sees something she likes.

Buckets and buckets.

The RV park is already a river!
At 1 PM it is nearly dark outside. Tornado watch, small craft warning, flash flood watch, and lightning within 10 miles - yahoooo!
Tessa and I venture out whenever it lets up a little, but spend the rest of the day and evening inside where it's dry. 

Back in California, Bill is visiting with three of the boys and their families.

With Travis and Emily

With Corey and Kristy

Jillian and Nick with Baby Mason and Maximus
The rain continues Tuesday. Bill is due back at 5:30, but after visiting with Ezra and his family, a combination of things get him to the airport too late for his flight :-(((

Ezra is so excited to see his PopPop!

Jeff, Bill, Ezra and Brian
Shalise, Bill and Ezra unhappy about good-byes.

Sad face not wanting to leave PopPop :-(

Instead, I pick him up at 11:45 when the rain has finally stopped. It's so good to have him home!!!

After five days on my own, I definitely feel safe in New Orleans. Not being in the city after dark was a big part of it. There is a lot of poverty here, but it is a proud city filled with friendly people. 

Wednesday we move a few miles over the river to visit with old friends.


  1. Dang it, I keep forgetting your blog is written in the present about things you've all ready done--of course you were safe in New Orleans if you were writing a blog about it! I bet you were really glad to have Bill home again!

    1. LOL - messing with time :-) It was definitely good to have him back home!

  2. Those old crypts and wrought iron facades look like the backdrop of the Netflix show The Originals. I highly recommend it as a series. Also those are some interesting museums :-) Great photos and tour of the city. I bet PopPop was a little sad to say his good-byes too :-(

    1. It is an amazing city for exploring.

      Oh yes, he was sad!!

  3. So glad you took me to New Orleans another place I haven't gotten to. Love the Voodo shop and the wonderful architecture. Sometimes it's fun to go solo and just do whatever you want without need for consult. Close call on the black tank. I shudder to think. . .

    1. It is a very spiritual city with very deep roots. I think you'd really love the quarter and the square. I did have a good time :-))

  4. Oh, my...that could have been an ugly water situation, had you not been home to discover it. Glad it all ended up ok.

    Interesting tour of New Orleans, Jodee! As you pointed out, a key factor to being safe anywhere is to be aware of your surroundings. Love the old cemetery! I wonder if the Schmitt’s are a relation, as that was my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Wouldn’t that be something?

    1. The cemeteries are pretty amazing - lots of history to be discovered (maybe your family's!).

      You're right about being home for the water fiasco. It could have been a lot worse!

  5. Looks like you had a great time solo. Loved the Andrew Jackson picture in the palms! Pretty buildings and plants.

  6. I've never been to New Orleans, it looks like a wonderful place to explore. Great photos!

    1. There's so much to see and do that it's a must if you come east.

  7. Oh nooooo!!!!! We had exactly the same thing happen with our toilet—a piece of paper got stuck and fresh water kept flowing in to the toilet and overflowing. It went on for several hours, and ended up flooding our entire trailer. It was a nightmare. We had to replace flooring and all of our insulation beneath the trailer. :-((( It is not a pleasant memory. That happened several years ago and I'm paranoid about it happening again. Eric installed a ball valve on the toilet line and we shut it off at night to be safe.

    Other than THAT, it sounds like you had a lovely time in New Orleans. We've always felt safe in the city, too, and love walking and exploring. Kudos to you for doing it on your own.

    1. I was so, so lucky that I caught it within a couple hours! I'm hyper aware now :-)

  8. You are such a brave person. There is no way I could have stayed alone yet travel around any city by myself. Glad all went "almost" all right! Stepping in cold water at 4:00 AM was not fun. You made it sounds like no biggy. I love your so very positive attitude about life:) NO is an interesting place. I'm sorry we didn't get to see the cemeteries. We only tried the pay tour one. Darn!

    So sweet that Bill did get to spend time with some of the boys and grandchildren. Great photos that he brought home. Enjoy having your family together again:)

    1. I've always enjoyed doing things by myself, and after owning a ranch with two kids and livestock on my own I feel pretty confident in most circumstances :-) It was still great to have Bill home!