From Puerto Rico we returned to Louisiana to explore

New Orleans for two days before finally embarking a

cruise we were to have taken in 2020, but well, you

know, COVID.

This was our third trip to the Crescent City and

by now we have our favorite places and rituals to

observe. This trip we opted to stay in an historic

hotel in the Garden District, which was just a block

from the St. Charles streetcar line. The first morning

we boarded the streetcar and headed to the French

Quarter where we enjoyed a second breakfast at Café

du Monde.

The original Café du Monde coffee stand was

established in 1862 in the French Market. The Café

is open 24-7 and is closed only on Christmas Day

and when the occasional hurricane comes along. Its

specialties are dark roasted coffee and chicory and

beignets, little square French-style donuts, liberally

dusted with powdered sugar. The coffee is served

either black or Au Lait, which means it is mixed half

and half with hot milk.

After wandering through Jackson Square and taking

our obligatory selfie with the St. Louis Cathedral

in the background we walked through most of the

French Quarter and found gifts for family and friends.

Then it was time for another ritual, purchasing a

Central Grocery muffuletta for lunch. Muffulettas

are a Sicilian-American sandwich made of Sicilian

sesame bread split in half and covered with layers of

olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone and


As we approached the grocery, we could see

scaffolding covering the front and were saddened

to see it and the neighboring building had been

heavily damaged in Hurricane Ida last fall. But the

enterprising folks at Central Grocery knew how

important their famous sandwich was to NOLA

visitors and are making their delicious wares off-site

and selling them at Sidney’s Liquor Store in the same

block. So, we chalked off another item on our NOLA

wish list.

That afternoon we strolled over to Bourbon Street

to take in some classic NOLA jazz at Fritzel’s European

Jazz Club and sip on one of NOLA’s classic drinks –

a hurricane. The entertainer that afternoon was a

talented piano player named Richard Scott who did a

near perfect imitation of jazz great Louis “Satchmo”

Armstrong. Our day was complete.

On our second day we headed to the National World

War II Museum. Founded in 2000 as the National

D-Day Museum, the renamed museum covers the

war from industrial efforts on the Home Front to

the combat experience of the American servicemen


The museum is set apart from others because

of numerous immersive exhibits, multimedia

experiences and a wonderful collection of artifacts

and first-person oral histories. We loved how they

introduced people to the museum by walking

you onto a train car labeled “North Platte” and

mentioning the famous canteen there. Each train

rider was issued a “dog tag” that covers the personal

story of one WWII serviceman or woman which you

follow at interactive stations scattered throughout

the galleries.

There is an amazing movie titled “Beyond All

Boundaries” narrated by Tom Hanks that provides

a 4D journey through the war. These tickets are

purchased separately from the general admission but

are so worth it. This museum deserves at a minimum

four hours of one’s time, but we could have easily

spent an entire day there.

We did enjoy lunch in the “The American Sector”

restaurant and bar, which features a menu filled with

Southern and GI favorites from the 1940s. There is

also a soda shop for quick snacks or a great shake.

Capping off our 48 hours was a trip to the Avenue

Bar, just two blocks from our hotel. Frequented by

locals we knew the fare was good and it gave us a

chance to also sample Louisiana-made beer. Because it

was right on St. Charles Street it featured a miniature

streetcar on a track mounted up on the ceiling that ran

throughout the evening to entertain guests.