So, we went to NOLA for our HM over June 26-July 3. Had a blast, except for the last few days our visit was really ruined by the Essence Music Festival. Will NEVER go back during that weekend again.
Sunday, June 26:
Got in fairly late from the airport, checked into Ritz. They upgraded us to the Maison Orleans for part of our visit, which was truly unbelievable. Went out to grab a bite and foolishly hit Bourbon street. Finally found some PoBoy place down aways, had a sandwich (pretty tasty, actually) and headed back to the hotel.
Monday, June 27:
Got up, had breakfast in the club lounge at the Maison, excellent. Can't recommend it enough. Walked down to the riverwalk, explored the french market area, discovered the wonder of the $5 all day RTA pass. Went back to the hotel in the afternoon for a shower and a nap, back out in the evening. Did some window shopping and further exploring and had dinner at the Alpine restaurant. Dear lord, I have truly never had better chicken fettucine in my entire life. Our waiter (Johnny) was excellent and the experience was fantastic. After dinner wandered around that area, went down by the cathedral and found a guy right in front of the square who played water glasses. He was really impressive. Then we walked about ten or fifteen blocks down the street that runs along the River, what is that? Found a little coffee shop and ducked in for a bit and read while we drank. Backtracked and made our way back to the hotel.
Tues, June 28:
Breakfast at Petunia's. I thought I was in heaven when I had their Pain Perdu. Spent the day out in the Garden District. Took the Frommers self-guided walking tour. The extra information was kinda interesting but it was hot, and trying to stand there in the sun figuring out when to cross over the street and look at some house so and so died in or Anne Rice wrote a book it really didn't add much to the experience. My husband is a huge photography buff so I mostly stood around while he tried to capture shadows and doorknobs. Chased down an ice cream truck and had a bomb pop right there in the middle of all the chichi houses. We headed back to the Quarter and had a late lunch/early dinner at Mother's. Mmmmmm. We had a Ferdi poboy and an order of beans and rice, with bread pudding for dessert. Wandered past Bourbon Street again. Hung out at the Funky Pirate for a little while. The music was okay, but sparse among all the color commentary from Big Al and the wait staff were kinda obnoxious and their minimum drink policy was annoying. I'd much rather pay a cover charge.
Wednesday, June 29:
Had breakfast at Cafe du monde. Beignet were excellent, nice and hot. Iced cafe latte was just the thing to wash them down with. Spent another day just walking around downtown, through the quarter, out toward Faubourg Marigny. Went to a bunch of really nice antique and jewelery stores, bought a charm for my charm bracelet. Cheated and bought chicken and bisquits and Popeyes and took it back to our hotel for lunch because we were hot and exhausted. After siesta went back out and wandered around. Back in town had dinner at Mother's again. Wandered down toward the french market
Thursday, June 30:
Had a quick breafast at a cafe near our hotel. Utterly unremarkable and can't even remember the name, Irene's maybe? Did the early pickup Pearl River Eco Tour with transportation from our hotel. The bus driver was friendly and a great driver and gave us a running commentary on our surroundings and the history of the area. Did the actual tour with Brian (at least I think that's what his name was). He was extremely entertaining and the trip was relaxing and interesting. It rained a bit so they took us on a covered boat, which I really appreciated because it kept some of the sun off and kept us really comfortable. Had 'dinner' at the little cafe near the cathedral, across from La Madeleine I think, sorry, can't remember the name. We were still full from lunch so we just had a sampling of pastries from their case. The tiramisu was awful, but the strawberry napoleon was a huge hit. Then we went to Flaherty's Irish pub (someone stop me if I"m butchering the name) and stayed for hours listening to their live music. Nice atmosphere, ordered some irish soda bread and cheese sticks to munch on, both tasty. Went back to our hotel, which at this point we had been transferred to a room at the Ritz overlooking Canal, specifically the Sky Bar because the Maison was totally booked for the weekend. Was kept up all night by the noise 8 floors below us on the street, between the car stereos and the screaming and the music from the bar and the portable spotlight van they parked in front of it.
Friday, July 1:
Walked all the way out to Faubourg Marigny to Elizabeth's for breakfast. Thought it was highly overrated, but the praline bacon was very good. Found a bus (morons that we were, would've taken us within two blocks of the place) back into the city and got on the St Charles Streetcar and rode it all the way to the zoo and park. Walked around the park and the surrounding neighborhoods, taking more photos, then walked part of the way back shopping our way along, um, Washington St? Found a neat pottery place, handful of bookstores and antique stores and one nice stationery store but overall thought that the guidebook had WAY overhyped it. Hopped on the bus and went back to town. Had dinner at Voodoo BBQ and was highly impressed. Wish we would have had time to go back before we left. Repeat of the same situation at the hotel as the night before. Repeatedly requested an inside room or one overlooking another street but the whole place was totally booked. Starting to get extremely cranky.
Saturday, July 2:
Breakfast at Petunia's again. Had to wait in line FOREVER because of a party of 32 who sent one person ahead and then all straggled in over the course of an hour. Hung out around town again, shopping for some souvenirs for our families and some artwork to take home. Found an awesome street vendor who did a pencil portrait of the two of us near the Cathedral. Had dinner at the Alpine again. Decent crawfish etouffe, great greek salad. Went back to see the water glass guy one more time and took some photos down Pirate's Alley of the back of the cathedral. And again with the noise and the not sleeping at our hotel.
Sunday, July 3:
Spent the morning packing and checking out and heading for the airport. Had to get up ungodly early, when we made our reservation the limo company said they'd pick us up outside our hotel at 4 am. They hadn't shown up by 4:30 and we were getting nervous. Called them, were put on hold FOREVER and they were really snotty on the phone because we didn't have our confirmation #. Seriously? How many people were you picking up at the Ritz at 4am that you need a confirmation # to figure it out? Finally they said the guy was waiting for us at the Iberville St entrance. I knew of no such thing so I one of the bellstaff and asked him. He had to take us on a tour through the middle of the hotel, through the kitchen, down a freight elevator, etc all the way around to some other side where we went down and were met by . . . nothing. The guy wasnt' there either. So we had the bellman get us a cab and the guy took us straight to the airport, with plenty of time to spare, thank goodness. Never did find out what happened with the limo company. It was one recommended by the guidebook but I can't remember the name or I'd STRONGLY recommend against using them.