Today pretty much continued in the same vein as yesterday, soaking up the atmosphere and taking in some fantastic music. We started with a saunter down a very sunny Royal Street (the somewhat more refined sister to Bourbon Street, full of antique shops, galleries and nice restaurants) and we saw three spectacular jazz combos in as many blocks. We spent a little more time lounging in Jackson Square with the throngs of tourists and street performers and then pottered across to Armstrong Park. This is technically just on the “wrong side” of the streets but we didn’t get mugged or anything so that was nice. In fact the most dangerous thing we saw was a group of people on a Segway tour. Armstrong Park is really lovely, full of nice lakes and fountains and also some fantastic statues of Louis Armstrong (no surprise there) and some other historical figures.
Crossing back to the “safe” area of town, we then embarked on the Steamboat Natchez for an afternoon’s cruise on a proper paddlewheel steamer. It started with a performance on the calliope, which is a steam-powered organ. If you’re not familiar with this, just imagine the sound of the fairgrounds of your youth, Tales of the Unexpected, the soundtrack of those strange Children’s Drama Workshop TV series of the seventies and all of your worst nightmares about clowns all rolled into one. Yes it really was that creepy. I think it was supposed to be entertaining. Luckily, for the rest of the trip we listened to a live non-scary jazz band. We also had a live commentary, from which we learned lots of interesting facts about the Mighty Mississippi. I’ve forgotten them all now. Except that the river is 200 feet deep on the hairpin bend in the heart of the city. After Day Two’s excursion into the land of the Hurricanes, we felt it only right to revisit and so we sipped a few more of the traditional cocktails as we sailed along the river. It’s always fun to have a drink while at sea. You can blame your gradual loss of balance on the waves lapping at the boat rather than on any alcohol consumed.
So, another day of relaxing and soaking up the sights and sounds of this fantastic city. The husband says he is saturated now. Time to go home then?