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TR: A Large Time

Schulenburg, Texas
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1,893 posts
42 reviews
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TR: A Large Time

This will be an abridged (yes) version of our Flokin' experiences during our 4-night stay. Since I wanted to take whatever and bring back whatever, DH agreed that we should travel by vehicle...the biggest one we have...his Ford F-150 Crew Cab. We arrived just in time to go to Ashton's for a crawfish boil hosted by the proprietors of this drop-dead gorgeous Bed and Breakfast. It was so great to finally meet the flokers (and to see KCK and her DH and VeraBlue and Lou again)! A lavish feast of boiled crawfish and corn, potatoes, etc., brisket, and turkey was spread along with drinks....thoroughly enjoyed and many, many thanks to the gracious host(s). I also want to mention our heartfelt gratitude to Herm for organizing the events for the Flokfest....she could give any cruise director a run for his/her money! Because of her efforts, we were able to participate in such special activities that otherwise would not have been possible. Okay, now it was time to get ourselves and the truck squared away. Our hotel was The Marriott on Canal and because of the advice given by JLR51 (thank you, my new friend:) a couple of years ago, we decided to park at Harrah's garage and do a daily 30-minute play to validate its fee. This system worked beautifully for us because a daily stop at Harrah's is usually part of our itinerary in NOLA. We then set out to wander around and absorb The Quarter. As we strolled down Bourbon, we poked our heads into The Funky Pirate and saw some familiar faces near the stage where Mark Penton and the Pentones were playing. We joined KCK and her DH, Cajunyank and his DW, porelly, cate 15 and her DH, and another lovable floker who may or may not want to be identified. We enjoyed great music and had a fun time! We left before Willie Lockett and the All-Purpose Blues Band started up but they sure looked promising.....putting them on my list. After a shared appetizer of blackened shrimp quesadillas at Huck Finn's, it was time to validate our parking and then back to the hotel to our comfy bed.

Schulenburg, Texas
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1,893 posts
42 reviews
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1. Re: TR: A Large Time

Day 2: Did I mention that we had a Mississippi River view room at The Marriott? Watching the sun rise over that water with ships/barges slowly maneuvering up the river is a perfect way to start the day, IMO. Our big event was a Kings/Queens Luncheon at Muriel's. We have been to this restaurant before and it is our favorite upscale establishment, but this experience was beyond expectations. dgratia gave us a tour, hosted a reception on the balcony (overlooking Jackson Square) with drinks and passed hors d'oeuvres, and coordinated a special Flok menu (with options). We initially gathered in the Seance Lounge for a group picture and when I walked into that setting, it was one of those rare moments that I wanted to suspend in time. Thank you, dgratia, for your graciousness, warmth, and generosity! The lunch was scrumptious....I had New Orleans Seafood Gumbo, Wood Grilled Beef Tenderloin Salad, and Pain Perdu Bread Pudding. DH had Crawfish and Goat Cheese Crepes, Blackened Mississippi Catfish, and bread pudding also. I would like to add that this was a very special occasion indeed for another reason as well. Cinnimin's mom's birthday is May 14 so she had the pinned dollar bill thing going on and we sang "Happy Birthday" to her. That was another one of those moments in time.....it was touching to witness the mother/daughter relationship between these two beautiful women.....tears of joy overflowed at all three tables in that dining room on Chartres St. that day.

For an "after-lunch" drink (only in New Orleans:), several of us accompanied Cinnimin and her mom to Pat O'Brien's patio to again toast while the birthday girl had her complimentary drink. It was then time for DH to grab a nap while I went to LUSH for bath supplies. That evening we got validated at Harrah's and then shared an entree (Shrimp Tempura Kabobs and Grilled Chicken Breast with Jasmine Rice) at Gordon Biersch's (coupon) along with Apple Bread Pudding and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Yummy!

Willington...
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for Curacao
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2. Re: TR: A Large Time

It has been a pleasure and so much fun reading all these trip reports, keep them coming.

Schulenburg, Texas
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1,893 posts
42 reviews
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3. Re: TR: A Large Time

Day 3: We had a 9:00 tour with Southern Style Tours. Billy was our guide and we thought he was great.....enthusiastic but not annoying. We did a brief cruise through The Quarter (saw Brad and Angelina's dwelling), some Magazine Street, some St. Charles Avenue, and back down to Esplanade and stopped in front of Ashton's Bed and Breakfast while Billy talked of its grandeur, stopped at St. Louis #3 Cemetery for @ 15 minutes, a 25-minute visit at the City Park where we loved going through the Besthoff Sculpture Gardens, then the lower and upper Ninth Wards where we saw Brad Pitt's Make-it-Right Project homes and Harry Connick, Jr.'s New Orleans Habitat Musicians Village. It was during our drive-through of the lower 9th Ward that I decided that a technologically-challenged person like myself should probably not have an iphone. After I inadvertently sent a picture of Fats Domino's house to a total stranger, within earshot of my fellow tour-goers, I had to answer the queries of said stranger (who called me immediately) as to "What is this?" and "Who is this?". I know just enough to be dangerous with that contraption.

Anyway, it was a great tour and Billy dropped DH and I off at Jackson Square. We wandered up to Red Garvy where we lunched on delicious fried chicken (DH had biscuits with cranberry habanero jelly with his and I had waffles with maple syrup with mine). VeraBlue treated us to a large serving of Rodent's specially made raspberry bread pudding and divine sauce. Absolutely delicious! We then rolled ourselves out the door and across Canal back to the hotel for a nap for DH and a resting period for me. After validating at Harrah's, we joined a group of Flokers at Pat's patio for some more camaraderie. This was our last official gathering and many hugs were shared before we departed. Dinner was at Red Fish Grill....shrimp and grits and yet another bread pudding (somehow Rodent must be rubbing off on us:).....the to-die-for Double Chocolate after which we were finished off for the night.

New Orleans...
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4. Re: TR: A Large Time

The lunch at Muriel's sounds wonderful!!!! I'm so happy you had fun and look forward to seeing you again in the fall!!

xoxoxo from Lou and I

Schulenburg, Texas
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42 reviews
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5. Re: TR: A Large Time

Day 4: Our last full day started with a bus ride up Magazine Street. We stopped in several places, namely Sucre, one of my favorite dessert shops. We had a couple of macaroons and a raspberry Italian soda.....a very unorthodox breakfast but hey, we're in New Orleans! After purchasing some macaroons for gfting, we proceeded on Magazine. As I was looking down (got into that habit through trial and error) at the sidewalk and street names embedded on them, we came upon one that rang a TA bell.....Peniston (thank you, Loopwhole, for previous info). I remembered that one could get to the Columns Hotel via this cross street. So we hung a right and after several tree-lined blocks in that direction, we came to St. Charles Avenue and the hotel. Sitting on its porch has been on my bucket list for a long time and I absolutely loved sipping a very good Bloody Mary and watching the streetcars go back and forth. The weather was perfect and this was a wonderful part of our trip. We took the streetcar back to The Quarter and had lunch at Johnny's. They now have a malt shop upstairs with lots of additional seating and it has a really cool retro feel....but it wasn't Johnny's as we know it, so we went back downstairs amid the crowded mayhem that we love to enjoy our po-boys. More shopping followed and then I had a complete meltdown while sitting on a stool on Dumaine Street.......a pineapple cilantro popsicle and DH had the salted caramel....thanks to KCK and others who mentioned this great place: Meltdown Gourmet Popsicles....go there! We took a Pedicab back to the hotel to drop things off and briefly regroup. Then we headed to Lafayette Square for the Wednesday event . It was only a few blocks up Camp St.....a free concert (The Dirty Dozen Brass Band was playing this day) with vendors selling food, drinks, and crafts/merchandise. We enjoyed stroliing, listening to the music, and visiting briefly with VeraBlue and Lou. There were lots of people on blankets, in chairs, with and without doggies, etc......a very nice atmosphere indeed. After leaving, we validated (and it took a little longer to validate because we were having a good time at Harrah's) and then decided, due to sheer convenience, to grab a bite across the street from our hotel at Daisy Duke's......nothing wrong with that but in retrospect, we could have done better. Anyway, it was the end of a very lovely day.

Schulenburg, Texas
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42 reviews
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6. Re: TR: A Large Time

The Last Day: We were up very early and after making a final stroll through our area of The Quarter, we went to Red Gravy, our favorite cafe, for breakfast. I had a meatball with red gravy and grits (where else could I possibly get this combination????) and DH had the Alba Omelette...eggs, mushrooms, goat chesse, and pancetta......all fabulous! I want to add that VeraBlue made time to prepare some red gravy in jars for us to take back after I asked its availability the previous day. She had an extremely busy working schedule yet managed to do this....she is unbelieveable......her culinary skills parallel her qualities as a thoughtful, gracious lady.

It was sadly time to gather our belongings and head home.

We've been New Orleans afficianados for nearly thirty years, and this was one of our best trips ever. We enjoyed meeting the wonderful Flokers who share that common bond. Thanks to Trip Advisor for making this all possible, and again, thank you, Herm, for all you did to coordinate the activities. It was a perfect balance of organized sports and free time on the playground!

BTW, I have a living social coupon for $20. to spend on drinks at Cosimo's that we just didn't get to use....expires on June 24......it's up for free grabs....just send a PM and I'll put it in the mail.

Bethlehem...
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7. Re: TR: A Large Time

Thank you so much for the wonderful trip report, Lil. It sounds like a fantastic trip and your descriptions gave me those wonderful happy flutters I feel when I think about New Orleans. Thank you for sharing! I envision my husband and I will similarly be 30+ year afficianados give us enough time :). Thank you again!

Cape May Point, New...
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8. Re: TR: A Large Time

Lilli, thanks for brightening my evening with your trip report! 6 weeks to go for me, and I'm dying to try those popsicles! So glad you had such fun -when is your next trip? :)

Orlando, Florida
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for New Orleans
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9. Re: TR: A Large Time

Remember Meltdown is closed on tuesdays.

New Orleans...
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10. Re: TR: A Large Time

I've got to get one of those popsicles!!! Figures they're closed the same day I am...now I'll have to get in there after work. I've heard lots of great things about that place, too! Glad you're home safely. xox