My husband and I took our 3 year old to NO for a one night stay a few weeks ago in order to visit the aquarium. We drove over after a week in Gulf Shores and spent a Sat. night at the Country Inns and Suites on Magazine. We had a 1 bedroom suite (an okay place to stay). We got lucky during the weekend we arrived b/c the weather had cooled down some and wasn't unbearably hot and humid. We walked easily from our hotel to the French Quarter and to the aquarium and back. Sure, it was a bit hot but we've been before when it was much worse.
Our first priority after checking into the hotel was a late lunch, and we walked to the Gumbo Shop for that. On our way, we encountered an interesting mix of people. I never see drunks so early in the day except for in NO! We ran into some ladies who wanted their pictures made in Jackson square, but it was like their cameras were drunk too and just wouldn't work. It was funny b/c every time one camera didn't work, they would pull yet another out of their purses. Crazy...
Back to the Gumbo Shop--it was fabulous! This has become a bit of a tradition for us when we visit NO, and we are never disappointed here. My husband and I both had the price-fixed meal that allows you to choose an appetizer, entree, side, and dessert. I went with a salad first--skipped the gumbo b/c I'd been eating it all week in Gulf Shores--and then had an entree with a bit of crawfish etouffee, shrimp creole, and jambalya, side of mashed potatoes, and dessert was bread pudding. It was delicious--hated that I couldn't finish it all but it was too much food. My husband had gumbo, maqcue corn (raved about it!), can't remember his entree--maybe red beans and rice or etouffee--and the praline sundae for dessert. He loved it all too!
Next we walked to the aquarium, and when we saw a very long line, we almost decided to skip it. I'm so glad we didn't--we figured out that we could go get tickets in the Imax area and this sped things up quite a bit. I just have to say that the aquarium is really great--our son loved it! This was his 2nd trip to NO but the first time we made it to the aquarium (and we hope to get back down there and see the zoo next time). We were impressed with all there was to see and also the size of it--we thought it was much smaller. We were there for several hours and enjoyed every area. We all petted a nurse shark (did this twice) and my husband petted sting rays while we watched. We had no idea those creatures were so friendly--they were jumping out of the water to be petted. I highly recommend this place for families--it's well worth it.
Our dinner that night was beingets from Cafe Du Monde--terrific as always! I would weigh 300 pounds if I lived down there!:)
We had to leave town fairly early the next morning but drove by Croissant Dor and picked up some croissants to bring home. Yet again, another delicious food found in NO! This was our first time to actually find this place, and I have plans to go back the next time we visit. There were so many tempting pastries in the cases---can't wait to try them out. We had a nice treat when we arrived home that evening!
It seems like I can't talk about NO without talking about food. Our son had a great short trip to NO, as did we. Looking forward to our next visit and hope we make it to the zoo and some other great restaurants as well.