Our friend from Seattle, Nick, would be joining us in New Orleans for Thanksgiving and then on Highwind for the rest of the week. After work on Wednesday, David and I drove the rental car into New Orleans and we met up with Nick at the AirBnB. We were in a great location on Royal Street within walking distance from everything in the French Quarter. We had a great dinner catching up.
On Thursday, we walked around the French Quarter and grabbed some late breakfast before heading back to our AirBnB to play a boardgame before our Thanksgiving dinner. Since we had made our plans relatively last minute, most of the nice/famous restaurants were already booked up for Thanksgiving Dinner, but I had managed to get some reservations at a distillery restaurant. Sadly the food was not amazing, but we had brought with us a very nice bottle of wine, and we still had a good time.
On Friday, we had booked a walking tour of the French Quarter in the morning. We tried to get beignets for breakfast at Cafe de la Monde, however the line was 2 blocks long!! Our tour guide was decent and shared some interesting stories about the multi-cultural background of the area. We walked along the Mississippi, where we would have come on Highwind had we decided to boat all the way down the Mississippi.
Soon after that ended, we had booked a Food Tour of the French Quarter. Since we had not eaten breakfast, we decided to head straight from our walking tour to the restaurant where the food tour would meet and grab a snack and a drink. Our next tour guide was there early, so we had a chance to meet her. The food tour was amazing! We learned about the history of all the food we ate, including Gumbo, Pralines, Muffaletta, Boudin, Red Beans and Rice, and Bread Pudding. I was worried we would only be getting small samples, but we ate a ton and were really full at the end. Completely stuffed, we headed to an escape room for an afternoon of puzzling.
After brunch the next morning, we walked through some art galleries on Royal Street. We were headed back to the escape room place to do another of their rooms. Along the way, we had some time to kill, and the line at Cafe Beignet was not as long, so we stopped for a treat. At the escape room place, we discovered that a group of 5 others would be joining us in the room – not ideal. They also didn’t show up on time, but instead of turning them away, the escape room place let them join us 15 minutes into the room. This turned out to be a huge distraction, and we don’t think they had ever done an escape room before (they suggested entering “5555” for one of the locks). With so many people, we required a ton of hints to get through the puzzles, but did make it out with 15 mins to spare.
We had booked another escape room at a different place later in the day, but with some extra time decided to find some live jazz music. It turned out to be harder than we thought, but eventually did find a great group in a tiny bar and listened to them play for a couple of hours.
The second escape room place was amazing – one of the best that we’ve been to. You entered through an unmanned room decorated like a 50s detective office where after a few minutes you hear a voice through a Charlie’s Angels speaker on the desk. All of the rooms there are loosely tied together in a narrative of being in a large mansion owned by an eccentric wealthy family. The lobby is decorated like their living room with incredible detail. We had chosen their hardest room where we were warned that the majority of our time would be spent in compete darkness. However, after we solved the first few puzzles and entered the room that was supposed to be dark, we discovered the lights were on! Apparently some other guest had wandered into the room and turned on the lights while trying to find the bathroom. They realized pretty quickly and turned off the lights so that we could finish, and we still enjoyed the experience, but they said we could come back later and do another room to make up for the mistake. Our dinner reservations were not far, so we returned later in the evening.
On Sunday we drove back to Mobile and spent the day doing errands while we had access to a car including picking up some holiday decorations and doing a large grocery run ready for the next week of boating with Nick. Nick has plane tickets out of Pensacola for Friday midday, so we have ~5 more days of cruising and hanging out before he heads back to the west coast.