I never had any doubts that I was going to love New Orleans. There are few places that I’ve been that I don’t develop an affection for (ahem, looking at you Louisville…), but the way I feel about this place, well that’s something far beyond affection.
My husband and I were in town with friends to embark on a cruise to Progreso and Cozumel, and we worked in both a day and a half before and a day and a half after to make sure we had time to enjoy the city.
The day of the cruise, we didn’t have to be to the port until 4pm. So, we were up and out the door quite early with no real destination in mind. We just wanted to explore.
After a quick bite, we found ourselves on Canal Street, studying the maps, not sure which direction to go. A homeless-ish man strolled up and gave us a quick primer on what we needed to see – including the bit that we were too old for Bourbon St, and we’d probably enjoy Frenchman St. more. (He was correct, but more on that another time.)
His number one piece of advice was to just jump on a streetcar and ride. He suggested the St. Charles Line – headed toward the Garden District would be a nice place to start. We slipped him a five and thanked him for his wisdom.
Off on our first streetcar ride, I’d say we rode for maybe ten or fifteen minutes…until we decided that the neighborhood was too gorgeous and we hopped off to walk for awhile. We didn’t walk a block before we happened upon what ended up being Lafayette #1.
Lafayette #1 is the one of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans, and it is gorgeous. It’s been in continual use since 1833. Something like over 10,000 people are buried there.
The first thing I should note is that I *love* (with a capital L) anything old. And old + creepy is even better. This cemetery fits the bill.
Anyway…we were walking along, and there were tons of stones buried in the ground. I walked on several. For reasons I cannot recall, I noticed one that was brighter white than the rest, and said aloud, “Oh, I can’t step on that one…”
Only to have our friends notice that the surname listed was Arthur…my maiden name.