Main streets across the country have designed themselves into one-stop destinations, luring us in with fancy sidewalks and nice landscaping and then keeping us there with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and coffee shops. Uptown New Orleans has several of these main streets–Magazine, Maple, Freret and the newly overhauled Oak Street (home to the New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival).

Feeling a burst of energy Friday evening, we picked the kids up from daycare and took them out on the town to Oak Street. First stop was Rue de la Course coffee shop, which looking back was probably the source of our energy burst. Housed in an old bank building with ultra high ceilings, the shop offers interesting views of gargoyles and owls, which always manage to catch Charles’ attention while we enjoy the first few sips of coffee.

Hard decisions at Blue Cypress Books

Then we were off to stroll the street, peaking in a few used clothing stores before visiting Blue Cypress Books. The kids and I sat on the floor by the children’s section, rummaging through the second-hand books. The resident cat decided to join us for a while until August, crawling and dragging along a jack-in-the-box, chased him across the store. We bought an interesting paperback and sat on the nearby corner bench, listening to the streetcar rattle by while we read about a frog and his adventures in the city.

Across the street, Skip N’ Whistle displayed an array of New Orleans’ themed t-shirts. Before we could shop around, though, Charles had escaped up the roped-off stairs and we had to drag him off to our next destination–recently opened Tru Burger. The burgers, hot dogs and fries were perfect for an evening meal with the kiddos, but anyone out for an adult meal might want to venture farther down the road to Jacques-Imo’s or Cowbell.

So many choices at Adventure Ice Cream

As if we hadn’t eaten enough for one night, we crossed the street once again to Adventure Ice Cream. Made with milk from Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, the creamy ice cream was a big hit with both kids and Paul and I snuck a few bites as well. The perfect ending might have been a walk along the Mississippi River levee just up the street, but relaxing on our couch before an early bedtime was divine as well.

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