We attended a 2-day blues concert for free, tasted Cajun food, walked up and down the French Quarter until our feet hurt, visited the cemeteries... Just wow!
Regarding the Absinthe culture of Nawlins and what I could discover...
I had hoped I could visit the Absinthe Museum of America, but much to my dismay, when we arrived the museum was closed. Not closed as in "we are done for today, please come back tomorrow", but close as in "we don't know if we will be opening again". So sad! We peeked though the windows, and actually could see some stuff, but for the most part everything was packed and the place full of boxes. Maybe they are moving elsewhere, or maybe they just closed. It was quite a bummer, because just some days before I had been reading online reviews of the place (some as new as of July 2010), and they pointed out they had a souvenir shop full of Absinthe memorabilia which I was hoping I could peruse. I didn't even took a picture of the place, it looked so abandoned that I couldn't bring myself to it.
We also saw the Old Absinthe House in Bourbon St. I wanted to taste some Absinthe over there, but my guide said that they actually did not serve real Absinthe; instead, they serve herb saint :( We finally did not go in.
I had also hoped I could buy some Absinthe. They have less alcohol restrictions over there than here in Virginia, and you can buy booze almost anywhere. Funny thing, we went into several shops and did not find Absinthe. However, we found an enchanting vintage-looking grocery shop in Royal St. that had some Pernod bottles; and another shop in Decatur St. that had a lot of variety; they even had Absinthe spoons, but everything was way too overpriced. However, it was a delight being able to look at the selections.
Regarding the dollhouse world...
We found a toy store in Jackson Square that had some dollhouses, as well as miniatures, but they were mostly from Reutter and there was nothing there that could not be found online. We also found a miniature shop for collectors in Royal St., but we did not go in.
Also, we visited the Beauregard-Keyes house in Chartres St., and the owner did have a beautiful and huge dollhouse. The guide told us that it was fully furnished, but he did not open it for us (although I am sure it could be, for the position of the outside walls), but I looked through the open windows and could actually see some of the furniture. I took some pics:
Regarding the vampire world...
We walked through the Garden District, where the former house of Ann Rice was, but we did not see it. It was out of our route, and the blues concert was about to begin. But we visited Lafayette cemetery (where Lestat was said to wander) and St. Louis cemetery N.1. (where voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is interred). I deeply enjoyed Lafayette, but I found St. Louis very care-forgotten and practically in ruins.
We also found a "Boutique Du Vampyre" in Toulouse St. They had t-shirts, period clothing (both costumes and quality material), some jewelry and other curios. They even had a station to make you some customized fangs! So fun!
But now back to every day reality! I am already working on some new Absinthe fountains for the shop, and I'll have to order more supplies for Absinthe sets. They are becoming popular!