New Orleans (Part II)

Our house sat at the end of the street and on the edge of the bayou.  A double deck wrapped the house making it an ideal spot for all of us to hang out and watch nature at its best.  EXCEPT, nature comes with bugs.  The mosquitoes, or as I call them “key toes” were big, fat, and ready for blood. 

Couple of times when we took the kids out for a walk in the neighborhood of Venetian Isle, I came back with really big bites some of which made the area swell up like I had extra organs under the skin.  It was truly scare and I kept asking Devang if there is a chance that the “keytoes” laid eggs under my skin (happens in scary movies all the time right!?). But thankfully I was just over exaggerating and the swelling went back to normal in a day or two.

We had three rental cars which made it perfect for all the families to make the 25-30 minute trip to the city of New Orleans. We could all come and go as needed per the kids nap schedules.

**Something you can do in NOLA with children if you are feeling a bit cooky is have a 11:30am lunch reservation at one of the fanciest places in town.  I am not sure how, but we all managed to get dressed in our best and get out the door in time to keep our date at Commander’s Palace.  It is right across from the Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District making for a great spot to explore away from the French Quarter. But we got caught in really bad storms and had to go home afterwards.  Thankfully (or not!), lunch lasted nearly three hours so I guess the trip was not all wasted.  Also I am so proud of the kids who managed to make it through the three hours without too much trouble.  Everything on their menu is incredibly good. Oh and they have 25 cent martinis if you care for such things!

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**French Market by Jackson Square was perhaps our most visited spot. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs, eat, and to people watch.  Even our giant party of 12 with strollers in tow found tables and chairs each time and there was never a need to rush. I ate the customary corn on the cob (something I have done eat visit unintentionally) in addition to some gator nuggets (they were really good), crepes, BBQ sandwich, and smoothie. Later we also ended up walking on Frenchmen Street which has a ton of Jazz bars.  Rare (outdoor patio) and Bonboulas were the two that we explored and they both allowed kids. I didn’t think we would get a chance to listen to live Jazz band in a bar but I suppose because of Jazz fest many places were offering great music even in the middle of the day which worked out perfectly for us. Frenchmen Street is a bit grungy with an interesting smell, but it was still worth the trip.  A few years ago Devang and I had a really great time there listening to Jazz at the Blue Nile club.

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**Kids being kids at the house.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She writes about everything from travel, food, books, and family. Her current project includes a series of children's books to teach Hindi. She is a native Tar Heel who has also lived in Washington DC and Chicago.

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