Our drive to New Orleans Louisiana was a beautiful drive, I discovered that most of the freeways are built above the swamps so they are pretty much all bridges, those that know me well know how much I love bridges. On a brighter note I’m getting use to them. As you can see above some of the bridges are pretty high, the Astoria Bridge has nothing on a few of the bridges here. New Orleans is a much bigger city then I thought it was, the traffic reminds me of Seattle traffic. As we were sitting in traffic the Folgers plant was roasting coffee beans and the whole area smelled like coffee. It was amazing.

Our first evening in New Orleans we of course had to go to the French Quarter. It was pretty late so most of the shops were closed, we just basically went down for dinner. We only got a couple pictures but not to worry we went back the next day and got tons of pictures. We had an amazing Cajun Seafood dinner, the food here is amazing, I’m sure I gained a few pounds here.

A friend of mine works at a little cafe called Liuzza’s by the Tracks so we went down and had lunch. The place was packed and for good reason, the food is amazing. After lunch we took a little stroll around the neighborhood. It’s in an older part of town and I think the architecture in the older neighborhoods is amazing, I love, love, love the big front porches. The shutters on the outside of a lot of the doors and windows are called hurricane shutters, they are made of a very hard wood and help protect the home during hurricanes. We saw a sleepy little kitty that looked so peaceful. There are thousands of stray cat’s in the New Orleans area because after Katrina, there were so many displaced cats and they have been running around doing what cats do, reproducing.

Bourbon Street, I must say it’s not my favorite part of the French Quarter. It is the biggest tourist destination though so of course we went. There seemed to be a lot of pan handlers in that area and it was very crowded. We walked down it then got the heck out of there. Don’t get me wrong it was neat and I’m glad we went but it just wasn’t my favorite part. If you visit New Orleans though you need to go just so you can say you did.

We did take a walking Ghost Tour of the French Quarter, our tour guide’s name is Kristin and she had tons of history for us. We learned the difference between a balcony and a Gallery. The balconies only stick out to about the half way mark on the sidewalk, the galleries go all the way to the edge of the sidewalk. Balconies are held up with braces and brackets an galleries are held up with poles. The people with more money had galleries and the not so wealthy people have balconies. Another way to tell who had how much money was the number of poles holding up their gallery. The more poles the more the property cost and the more money the owner had. Most of the old home in the French Quarter have beautiful court yards but they are on the interior side of the home and not many are visible from the street. A lot of the upper class homes with daughters inside, had very sharp prongs sticking out from the lower rail of the gallery. This was to deter male callers from sneaking into the daughters bedroom, to leave he would have to crawl over the railing of the gallery and jump to the street. If he was to do that these prongs would catch him at about the crotch and rip upwards as he fell.

One of the “ghosts” of the French Quarter is a 19 year old male that was visiting his girlfriend while the rest of the family was out to dinner. When the father came home unexpectedly he jumped over the gallery rail and bled to death on the street below. People have said they have seen a young man bleeding on the street and a few minutes later he disappeared.

We visited several Voodoo shops while we were in the French Quarter but only one allowed us to take pictures. The above pictures are of actual alters in this particular shop. Most people think of Voodoo as an evil practice but that is not true. Of course there as a few people that practice for evil but in reality the Voodoo religion is used for good. You can read more about the religion here if you like.

The above picture is from what is now a upper class restaurant. Back in the day it was the home of a very wealthy man and his wife. The husband had a gambling problem and most of the time did very well at it. One evening he was gambling with the guys and he was not having a good night. He had ran out of money so he through the deed to the house on the table and lost the hand. He went home and since his wife was sleeping he didn’t tell her he lost the house. The next day a couple gentleman knocked on the door, the husband was upstairs, and the wife answered the door. The men at the door wanted to know how much longer they needed to get out of the house, the wife was very confused since she had heard nothing of this. As the gentleman explained to her what had happened the husband was upstairs and he heard the whole conversation. Instead of facing his wife and what he had done, he committed suicide.

Over a hundred years later the current owner bought the building and opened a restaurant. From the time it opened weird things started going on, the new owner had been warned of the haunting. Thing like dishes and glasses breaking for no apparent reason, doors opening and weird things. The restaurant owner called in a paranormal professional to help him out. He was told that the spirit was very upset to see people eating, drinking and being festive in his home and that they should try setting a table for him every evening. They did this for a few years and the haunting stopped. One day they decided that they probably didn’t have to set the table anymore because there hadn’t been any problems for a couple years. As soon as they stopped setting the table things got real bad. Dishes were being thrown across the room. Guests dinner plates were being flipped upside down or pushed off the table while the guests were still eating. So they started setting the table again and the haunting’s stopped. To this day the table is set every evening. Some guests even get to set at the same table as the spirit. The table is at the end of a gated off corridor so the picture was taken from a distance away.

Have you ever watched American Horror Story – Coven? That series was actually a story about a real woman, Marie Delphine LaLaurie and the above picture was her house, of course it has been re-built since then. She lived in New Orleans in the 1800’s and was a very wealthy woman. She is known for torturing and murdering her slaves. One girl was combing Marie Delpine LaLaurie’s hair and the brush got caught in a knot. The poor girl was tortured so bad and she was so scared she jumped to her death rather then endure any more. Another woman chained herself to the kitchen stove and set the house on fire, she was hoping help would come. She stated that she would rather die then spend another second in the home. The firemen found the attic full of slaves that had been tortured by removing their eyes, sewing their mouth shut with feces in their mouth. It was so horrific that some of the firefighters had to go outside to vomit. You can read the whole story in the above link, just click here.

Nicolas Cage purchased the house in 2007 but it was foreclosed in 2009. The house is said to be one of the most haunted homes in the French Quarter. It is currently owned by a millionaire and sits empty other then when the caretakers come to take care of the property.

The cornstalk Hotel was built the first time in the 1700’s but was destroyed in the first French Quarter fire that burned 80% of the French Quarter. It was rebuilt in the 1800’s by Louisiana’s first Attorney General. A few years later the house was sold to Robert Short and his wife. The story says that his wife was originally from Iowa and missed the “Amber waves of Grain” so Mr. Short so kindly had the cornstalk fence made for his wife so she wasn’t so homesick. French Quarter historians will tell you that this is not true. Mr. Short purchased the fence out of a catalog and he chose that fence because it was the most expensive. People like to show how much money they had back then. The house was built next to an all boys school. Some of the boys were playing with fire one night and caught the school on fire, since the houses are so close together the neighboring house also burned. It is said that a few of they boys died in the fire. Guests of the Cornstalk hotel have heard children running and playing in the halls even when there were no children staying there. It is believed that the ghosts of the boys that were killed in the fire are running and playing in the halls of the Cornstalk Hotel.

If you are standing facing the front door of the house, the window to your right is the room Elvis stayed in while filming King Creole in 958.

Has anyone watched Vampire Diaries or The Originals? Well if you have you know the Michelson’s are from New Orleans. This is the house they used as the Michelson home on the TV Series The Originals. I personally was a huge fan of both Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

This is one of the oldest original houses in the French Quarter, it is currently closed for remodeling. This is the house that was used in the Anne Rice movie Interview with a Vampire. Since that is one of my favorite movies I thought it was pretty cool.

We didn’t get to visit any cemeteries, or plantations. We will have to save that for next time we are in New Orleans because there will be a next time.