We came to NO for a meeting my husband was attending. He was busy, but I wasn't and had a wonderful, relaxing long weekend.
We arrived at about lunchtime on a Thursday. If there are 2 of you, cab ride is essentially the same price as the hotel shuttle. After we checked in and unpacked, we headed out. The weather was beautiful and just walking around the French Quarter is wonderful. We had an underwhelming lunch. We then walked along the River to the Riverwalk. There are many more stores open than a couple years ago, but it's still not really a destination. We were beat and went back to the hotel, and slept thru dinner!
The next day, we walked over to the Hertz across from the Convention Center. The price had actually gone up $30 overnite-should have made the reservation! We headed East on I-10 in search of Mississippi (the only state I'd never been to). We had a wonderful lunch on the water in Pass Christian at Shaggy's Bar and Grill. The food, service and weather couldn't have been more perfect. We drove a bit further east and stopped at some of the beaches toward Gulfport. We walked out on the piers and watched people fishing, and sat on the beach watching kites and reading books. Could have spent all day, but hubby had a meeting, so we drove back. After I dropped him off, I drove to the Garden District and just checked out the houses while I had a car. That nite, we had a pleasant meal on the balcony at the Crescent City Brewhouse.
Saturday morning, I headed to the National Park building on Decatur (?) at about 9:10. I was able to get one of the limited passes for the FQ walking tour at 9:30. There was an interesting display on the history of NO that I looked around while I waited. The tour was great (and free) and took an hour or maybe 90 minutes. Afterward, I meandered around and thru Jackson Square-a little shopping, a little watching the performers, a little sitting. I went into the Cathedral. I was disappointed that all the brochure holders were empty. There were a couple things on display from a Pope's visit that had explanations and were interesting.
I went back to the hotel, sat outside and read while enjoying all the wonderful music from the street.
That evening, we walked over to the Warehouse district for dinner. The first Sat of each month, there is an Art Walk. We enjoyed walking thru all the galleries and seeing lots of interesting art.
On Sunday, I slept in, and then went to the Presbytere. This is the building to the right of the Cathedral in Jackson Sq. It is part of the Louisiana State Museum. I went because of the Katrina exhibit, which was phenomenal, and also enjoyed the rest of the building. (wrote a review if you're interested in specifics). I went to Cafe du Monde and found a table after a few minutes (mid-afternoon) and finally got to enjoy a beignet.
Back to the hotel, for more sitting and reading outdoors by their pool.
On Monday, I headed out to St Charles Street to catch the streetcar. I went to the first stop on the westbound route (one block in from Canal). Waited close to an hour, as the crowd swelled to probably close to 75. One streetcar just went by and shouted that another would be by soon. We all somehow packed onto that one. Lots of people got off in the early Garden District, and I could then enjoy the ride. I took it all the way to the end, where you have to get off. Rather than get on one going the other way, I started to walk the route. I found a nice cafe for a casual outdoor lunch. Then I walked another little while till I found an ice cream place. I turned back onto St Charles St and headed toward Loyola and Tulane. I walked around their campuses a bit. Then more walking St Charles till I saw a crowd ahead a stop, and walked back to the previous stop to await the car. They are great to ride, but NOT a reliable mode of transportation. There can be none for 45 minutes, and then 3 in a row. The ride back was packed and not too pleasant, but quick. Back in the FQ, I looked around in some of the galleries and shops, but really didn't buy much.
Because my husband had so many meetings, including in the evening, we hadn't made plans for any serious dining. We definitely could have taken better advantage of the cuisine, but had some nice meals by chance. The best part for me was just wandering and enjoying the sights and sounds of the FQ. I had planned to go to the DDay museum, but relaxing got in the way, and it will have to wait for another visit. I also think the day drive to MS was well worth it, especially if it's beach weather.
NO is in much better shape than it was a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.