Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Big Easy

We worked our way across Louisiana the next morning (really cool elevated highway through most of the swamps...no alligators sighted though, sigh) and reached New Orleans mid-morning.

First stop..."our" cemetery. In Louisiana, they have parishes (from the French, "paroisses") which are identical to "counties" in any other state (except Alaska...they don't call them counties or parishes!). That was a total digression but cool tidbit, nonetheless. 

The "St. Roch" area to which we were headed was simply a neighborhood within the parish of Orleans (as is New Orleans, just down the road...). Whatever the parish, I felt drawn to this place because, well, he is one of our Patron Saints...that and it is a reasonably famous, extremely cool cemetery. (You read the blog...you know we are cemetery people!) The "famous" part are the many prosthesis, crutches and canes that are left behind from pilgrims who prayed to this Saint of Miraculous Cures and were relieved of their affliction.

This was another "we're not home" moment. You see, New Orleans is built on a swamp so no one there can be buried underground. Everyone has a crypt or is in a mausoleum...some are very impressive. Definitely not like the one we visit in Braddock!

I love this one...so many things happening, it's like Where's Waldo

National Shrine...even though it was closed, we could still pray!
Happy to be heading out for food

A short drive away, we queued up for the local snack...beignets! They are light, fluffy, and robed in powdered sugar. Just the thing for some quick energy to propel us around the French Quarter. Again, God blessed us with a magnificent day in which to explore.

mmm...the coffee was yummy as well

We had about an hour to walk around the French Quarter. As suspected, it was beautiful French architecture combined with a drinker's paradise. I didn't get a photo but one of the shops on the street was lined with machines (think froyo) that dispensed frozen drinks of every shape and size. I did capture the sentiment...

There were also entire shops full of Mardi Gras masks. This place must be hopping during the pre-Lent festivities!

It seems I've filled a whole post and haven't even gotten to the church yet! So, I'll leave you in suspense and return soon with The Big Easy, Part Two...the Catholic stuff ;0)

We are blessed.

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