Just got back from the States so I have got out my diary and decided to start my trip reports.
Firstly may I say that I have always wanted to visit New Orleans and was not disappointed - was a great city, everyone was so nice, and thanks to everyone on TA for their valuable advice!
Arrived at about 5pm on the 17th, took a taxi to the Sheraton on Canal Street (see review). After this we headed off to have a quick look round Bourbon Street and get some dinner - well, we got all caught up in the atmosphere of Bourbon St didnt we!!
Met a couple from Colorado and they asked us if we wanted to go on a carriage ride with them - I had seen the mules and carriages and contemplated it but thought it might be like other tourist things and just abit of a rip off.
I was so wrong and so glad we did it - it lasted about an hour and our guide was so knowledgeable and we got to see so much of the French Quarter - was definately worth it and I would recommend it! It is so beautiful when you get out of the main tourist drinking areas.
After this we had a few more drinks and a look around and then decided to head for Harrahs for a look. Played on some of the machines you dont get back home and drank lots of watered down beer then headed back to the hotel. Ended up having an average room service pizza and getting to sleep at 2.30am.
Got up about 6.30 am because we had a fan boat tour booked. This was a great experience because it is not something you can do just anywhere - very very hot in the swamp and my fiancee ended up getting very burnt because he forgot to put sunscreen on! Saw some gators and just enjoyed the scenery. Some horsefly thing bit me and the bite has only now healed - some weird critters in the swamp!
After this we got back to the hotel and then went for a walk down Decatur Street as we had a walking cocktail tour booked for the afternoon. We ended up having lunch at Bubba Gumps (I know, terrible, but we just felt like something seafood related and we were hot and exhausted!). After lunch we went and met everyone for the cocktail tour.
We thought it would be quite a sedate event but by the time everyone had worked their way through Pimms Cups, Two Jacques, Absinthe (yuck), Mint Juleps, Bayou Bashes, Sazeracs, Martinis and Hurricanes you can imagine the state of us all. My poor fiancee suffered the most - lots of alcohol and lots of sun is not a a good combination!
We ended up having the Martinis at the Bombay Club and stopped for Hurricanes on the way to Layfettes Blacksmith Bar. Such a great atmosphere with all the candlelight and met lots of great local people who were really nice!
The next day we headed up to Acme Oyster House and joined everyone else in line for lunch. I got some fried oysters and the tasting plate cause I wanted to try the local food. Didnt like gumbo, liked the red beans and rice and absolutely loved jambalaya, even went so far as to by myself a packet version to bring home so I can make it here.
After this we just spent the day sightseeing and shopping. I tried a hand grenade from Tropical Isle and got my fiancee another Hurricane from Pat O'Briens as he couldnt remember having one the night before. We ended up just grabbing something quick for dinner and heading back to bed.
Went to Cafe du Monde for Beignets and Cafe au Lait. Massive line but it moved pretty quickly - couldnt get over the amount of powdered sugar on the floor - they must just hose it down at the end of the day!
Enjoyed both the coffee and the beignets - very filling though. After this we had a look around all the stalls round Jackson Square (love this area) and ended up buying a little painting by a local to bring home. After this my fiancee had to go to a conference for the afternoon so I went to the Riverwalk Mall and had a look.
Got some perfume oil for myself and my mother in law and then headed back to the hotel for a nap.
After this we went to Bourbon Seafood/Steakhouse for dinner - I got a steak and my fiancee got fish stuffed with crabmeat - both were really fantastic. We would definately go back there again.
After this we just had a final beer and wander down Bourbon St and we had to be at the airport very early the next morning.
Absolutely loved NOLA and we didnt want to leave - will definately be back again!