2018 was a trippy year

We had a pretty trippy year in 2018. We began the year in Kona, swimming with the mantas, and returned to Kona in December and met some octopuses. In between, we went to Scotland to hang with Son1 on his sabbatical, and I even made it wool-related. We stopped in Barcelona along the way. And in November, we had a weekend in New Orleans to meet up with friends who have moved away from PDX.

Another friend just asked me about our NOLA trip, since she’s headed there next week. That reminded me that I never posted! So here’s the scoop on NOLA and a bit of Barcelona which was also lacking a post.

Music: We stayed in the Marigny near Frenchmen Street, which was a great location. We used AirBnB, and had a really cute semi-attached shotgun house. Frenchmen Street has lots of live music venues, and isn’t as grossly alcohol focused as Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. We enjoyed music at the Spotted Cat and the Three Muses.

Food: The standouts were a breakfast at the Ruby Slipper Cafe, with huge fluffy biscuits and outstanding benedicts. (Bonus: You can get in line, online, before you arrive. No waiting!)

And a dinner with no pictures at all at Pêche Seafood Grill. Lots of fun flavors, locally sourced fish, delicious.

We had beignets and café au lait at the original Café du Monde in the French Market, the venerable original purveyor of these tasty bits. No picture until after we inhaled them.

Stuff: The best thing about NOLA is walking around and running into things! Jackson Square in the French Quarter feels like the center of the universe.

The architecture is distinctive, lots of verandas and narrow houses.

New Orleans is home to Mardi Gras festivities, and there’s a museum exhibit at the Presbytère, Museum of Louisiana history right on Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Lots of great costumes.

And one of Fats Domino’s two pianos, rescued from his flooded house after Hurricane Katrina. (Really interesting story of the two pianos here.)

Music in the street? Why not? There are buskers everywhere, including this group outside Café du Monde.

This is Tuba Skinny. Loved them!

I don’t know if it’s a weekend thing, but we saw several Second Line processions. These can be celebrating weddings, funerals, anything that needs it. This one was my favorite.

Somehow we ran into Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine in a hat shop. She’s a costumer!

I got into the hat thing, just for a moment. New Orleans is great for a quick weekend, and probably even better with more time. Alas, I had to go home, and DH had to go to his next gig.

Here are a few photos from Barcelona. For me, Barcelona was all about Gaudi. We visited Sagrada Familia, of course.

Casa Batllo was really interesting, too.

We did the tourist picture!

DH was bemused at the Picasso Museum.

I was, too.

Overall, we liked Barcelona, but didn’t love it. Maybe because we didn’t feel connected? We stayed in a hotel because we were using points, so we never felt part of a neighborhood. When we went from there to Scotland, I felt at home, especially at the B&B in Oban.

2018 was a big travel year, and probably the last one for a bit. DH has taken a new job here in PDX, so he won’t be traveling all the time, racking up all those points and miles. Back to being a regular Joe!

(DH and la girafa coqueta on the Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona)

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