Day 1 we flew from New Zealand to New Orleans which took all in all about 24 hours, with not a lot of sleep on the plane. We were so excited to be there that nobody felt all that tired so after checking in to our hotel (Country Inn & Suites - this turned out to be an excellent location for us) we set off on foot to have our first glimpse of the Quarter - and loved it. After about an hour the kids were feeling hungry so we found Daisy Dukes and ate there. The food we thought was pretty mediocre, apart from my daughter's Vege po-boy which she said was yummy, but the atmosphere was lively.
Day 2 Had to wake ourselves up with the alarm this morning or we would have slept a good couple of hours more. This morning we ventured further into the Quarter and visited Jackson Square and the french markets. My 8 year old insisted that I buy her a fan from the market - a black and red lacy thing that looked like it was a prop from a brothel circa 1800's!! Visited Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets - delicious. I couldn't believe how much powdered sugar they managed to balance on those things. After returning to the hotel nobody felt much like resting so we walked up to the World War 2 museum - an easy walk from the hotel. This was so well done and very popular with my husband. The 15 year old even found it quite interesting, the 12 year old enjoyed parts of it but the 8 year old kept herself occupied waving her fan and swinging her mardi gras beads. Had soda and icecream in the soda shop afterwards. Drove around for a bit and had a look at some cemetery's but the kids thought they looked too "creepy" to go in. Tonight we ate at El Gato Negro which we all enjoyed, nice food and reasonably priced. Walked back to the hotel via Bourbon St which even on a Monday was busy. We all agreed we liked the quieter streets better.
Day 3 Raining this morning so we flagged the idea of walking to Mardi Gras world and took the free shuttle instead. We all really enjoyed this and I would recommend it whether you have kids or not. Those floats just blew me away. Caught the streetcar back to the french markets and had another wander. Then lunch at a place that had a lot of lights - is it Commerce? - would love if anyone could help me remember the name and then while my husband and two younger children went back to the hotel my older daughter and I stayed to just meander round the streets for a couple of hours. Tonight we got the kids pizza from Papa's Pizza - very nice pizza to eat in the hotel and my husband and I went to Crescent St Brewery where we sat outside and had really delicious food - I had the crab cake on a fried green tomato and it was to die for.
Day 4 Goodbye to New Orleans. Up early and out of the hotel by around 8am to get to Honey Island swamp where we did a tour with Cajun Encounters. This was just fantastic and we saw gators big and small, turtles, wild pigs, herons, a snake and a squirrel (OK, that's unique for us!). Well run tour and they seemed to deal with quite a large number of guests easily. This was a highlight for the kids. Back in the car and then off on our road trip to Alabama.
We had a great time and I think I did almost all the things I wanted to, while accommodating the rest of the family as well. I really hope I get to come back some day, maybe for Mardi Gras one year!