Our Hiking Surprise….And A Favor To Ask

In my last post, I mentioned a fun surprise we encountered on our recent sunrise hike.  I know you’ve been writhing in suspense for the last several days, and you’re looking for a good night’s sleep at last, so I won’t keep you in the dark any longer….

Hot air balloons ready to go

We saw hot air balloons preparing for flight.  My younger son insisted we stay and watch, and it didn’t take much arm twisting for me to comply 🙂 When I saw the balloons, it made me think of Debbie at Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom because she recently did a post about her hot air balloon flight.

Younger son wanted to be in one...
...But I'm content with my feet on a mountain taking pics!

So, you’ve seen our hiking surprise, now for the favor part of this post:

On Sunday, I’ll be going to New Oreleans for a few days with a friend of mine.  She’s got a few things planned for us to do, but I’ve got nothing to add.  I would really like to contribute something to our itinerary and I need your help.

Does anyone have any must-see suggestions located around the French Quarter that a non-party girl like me might like?  I’ve promised my older son I’d take lots of pictures for him and I don’t want to let him down!


26 thoughts on “Our Hiking Surprise….And A Favor To Ask

  1. sonsothunder February 20, 2012 / 10:36 AM

    Sorry, I was late finding your post, as it is now Monday, and you are obviously in New Orleans. I don’t have any thing to offer anyway, other than personally would be looking at street musicians, steam boats, Jackson Square, Preservation Hall, and of course…Horse and Buggies…
    Have Fun

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 11:03 AM

      Actually, the post just went up this morning, Paul. I leave next Sunday (2/26). The boys will have several days at home to play while mom’s away 🙂

      Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve started a list!

  2. suzicate February 20, 2012 / 10:50 AM

    Cafe’ du Monde – cafe aulait which is chikory coffee and their famous beignets
    Jackson Square on Sat and Sun to see artists and street musicians (don’t let any kids bet you five dollars where you got your shoes because you will lose, they will tell you you are on whatever street you’re on and demand the five bucks!), River Walk. They used to have a great zoo and aquarium also.

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 11:05 AM

      Ooh, thanks for the suggestions, SuziCate. They are added to my newly started list. Thanks for the warning on the $5 bet – they are sneaky. I’ll be sure to share that with my friend 🙂

  3. pattyabr February 20, 2012 / 11:15 AM

    Glad you stayed for the hot air balloons.

    Happy Mardi Gras. Never been to New Orleans. Enjoy

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 8:50 PM

      Me too, Patty. It was fun to watch them go! I’m glad Mardi Gras is this week and not next week – I don’t think I could handle the crowds 🙂

  4. nrhatch February 20, 2012 / 11:38 AM

    I love watching Hot Air Balloons taking off! Great surprise.

    As far as NOLA goes . . . visit Jeanne’s Blog (A NOLA Girl at Heart) and ask her. She’s an expert.

    But definitely get some beignets at Cafe du Monde. 😀

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 8:52 PM

      We’ve never seen them lift off from there, so it was a treat, Nancy!

      I see that Jeanne left a comment, so I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the input…I appreciate it!

  5. Widdershins February 20, 2012 / 1:08 PM

    By you’re well and truly in New Orleans … so have a blast, and take lots of pics 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 8:54 PM

      I will take as many pictures as I can, Widdershins. My son wanted them on his camera so I’ll just pop his memory card into my camera so I don’t have to learn how to use his (or worry about breaking it.) I’m sure I’ll have sme to share!

  6. newwhitebear February 20, 2012 / 1:09 PM

    I seem into Ferrara, when on September there’s the Ballloons Festival.
    Nice and lovely post.
    My best wishes

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 9:01 PM

      Balloon Festivals are so pretty, Newwhitebear. So many balloons all in one place is a sight, for sure – especially at night!

      I visited your blog last week and discovered it is written in Italian. I wish I knew Italian so I could read it! Thank you so much for stopping by to read my posts and share your comments 🙂

  7. Debbie February 20, 2012 / 5:11 PM

    Ah, Janna, you’re so lucky to have seen the hot air balloons! Thanks for the shout-out, and oh, how you make me want to ride in one again!

    As for NOLA, be sure to bring your appetite. That city is famous for food, all kinds of food, from beignets (like powdered sugar donuts) to Creole gumbo (like spicy soup with shrimp and rice) to fresh seafood to po-boys (like a sub sandwich only spicier and tastier!). Famous chefs like Emeril have restaurants there, too.

    What to do? Here’s a list (http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/attractions/fiftyfreethings.html) of 50 free things to do — can’t beat free, can you?!

    Despite the destruction from Hurricane Katrina, the city is warm and welcoming. They love tourists there! Take your camera so you can preserve your memories. And don’t listen to your calendar. It’s NOT winter there — in fact, it’s probably warmer and much more humid than you’re used to!

    By the way, I’ve been to NOLA many times, so I know of what I speak — Have fun and get ready for a multi-cultural experience!

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 9:12 PM

      Ooh, fifty FREE things…that’s right up my alley, Debbie! Definitely checking that out.

      I’ve actually been obsessing over what to wear. It’s not really winter in here, either, so I have no concept anymore of what I should wear when I travel. I’m leaning toward layers (being mindful that I’m limited to one carry-on). I talked to my friend today and she said it looks like there could be rain. I bought an umbrella today (have never needed one here, since our average yearly rainfall is about 8 inches!)

      I’m a bit of a picky eater, so this trip could be interesting on the culinary front. I will make myself try new things 🙂

  8. philosophermouseofthehedge February 20, 2012 / 6:39 PM

    (Love the balloons.) The post above seems to cover a lot – ride the streetcars just for fun/ photos and you have to stop at Cafe du Monde…there used to be a National Parks Service center on Jackson Square – they may still offered free walking tours – and ideas…lots of old houses and interesting cemeteries. Have fun!

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 9:14 PM

      Thanks for the ideas, Phil. It should be a fun time, but I’ll miss my family. It’s been years since I’ve been gone more than one night. I think the ‘boys’ are already planning the party…I heard something about pizza and nachos.

  9. jeanne February 20, 2012 / 7:32 PM

    Janna, the architecture is incredible…great alleyways and wonderful balconies. Try to eat at Acme oyster house or Deanies Seafood…The riverwalk along the Great Mississippi River, its what gives the city one of its many nicknames, the crescent city! Everyone always says to go to Cafe du Monde but it’s turned into a tourist trap, If you want a good breakfast try Camilla Grill or Oceana’s. I will think about it a little bit more and get back with you.

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 9:17 PM

      Thanks for the tips, Jeanne. I’ve been told (by Nancy) that you are the expert 🙂

      I booked a Garden District tour today, as that was the one thing my friend wanted to do. Should get some good pictures there.

  10. Greever Williams (@GreeverWilliams) February 20, 2012 / 7:51 PM

    At the risk of sounding a wee bit creepy, I’ve always wanted to check out those old cemeteries with the big gothic statues and wrought iron fences. I think the architecture seems so striking and timeless. It always seemed so ironic to me to build something so elaborate for those who have passed on and have no use for it here. Plus, every one of those markers has a mysterious backstory that would seem very inspiring to me. But then again, I do the speculative fiction thing, so that might just be me. Have fun – take pics!

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 9:31 PM

      Funny you should mention cemeteries, Greever. I booked a garden tour (thankful my friend said not to do the haunted garden tour) and it departs from a cemetery. At least it’s during the day so my imagination might not get the better of me! If it was on a breezy night, with a full moon, then I’d probably imagine all sorts of eerie sounds and give myself a heart attack 🙂

      You are right about the ornate markers…there’s a lot of history there. Maybe they’re so ornate because the ghosts need something to enjoy? (They have haunted tours, so that’s why that came to mind.)

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your comment. I’m sure I’ll have at least a couple posts with pictures once I get settled in back home!

  11. pattisj February 20, 2012 / 10:13 PM

    Don’t know anything about New Orleans, but I hope you have a great time. I imagine that was something to see, the hot air balloons. I don’t know if I’d want to ride one or not. I’d like to think I would do it.

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2012 / 10:54 PM

      I don’t think I’d like to ride in one – I prefer my feet on the ground. I get nervous standing near the top of our 10-foot ladder, so I know better than to embark on a hot air balloon adventure 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Patti. I’m sure I’ll do a post (or few) about New Orleans, since it’s bound to be so different from anything I’ve ever seen.

  12. Connor @ Citiesofthemind.org February 21, 2012 / 8:43 PM

    Art Museum is worth a gander, the cemeteries are impressive, and the Auduban Sanctuary is supposed to be really cool. Lake Pontchatrain is pretty cool to see, and so are the canals.

    • jannatwrites February 21, 2012 / 10:29 PM

      Thanks for offering your suggestions, Connor. I’ll do some research over the next couple days to see what’s within walking distance. I appreciate the input 🙂

  13. mairzeebp February 22, 2012 / 11:46 AM

    Love the pics!! Never been to New Orleans but, I’m sure you’re being there is considered contribution, right? Have fun!!

    • jannatwrites February 22, 2012 / 11:53 PM

      Thanks, Mairzeebp! This will be my first vistit there, and I know I will have fun 🙂

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