I owe a trip report as I benefit from a lot of useful info and tips from reading posts and thoroughly enjoy reading trip reports for fun. My thanks to all of the posters who contribute to the forum especially the NO experts and regular posters. A little background, couple in early 50s who visit 1-2 times a year for the past 8-10 years.
This really was one of our best trips ever - one of those great ones where everything just fell into place (welcome relief after this past summer's visit when both of us got hit hard with the flu). Being with DH (love of my life), outstanding accommodations, great weather for the entire trip, a majority of friendly servers and cab drivers, and for us, most importantly, much great food and drink. I won't bore you with the our day to day activities as they pale in comparison to many of the great adventurers whose trip reports I live through vicariously.
Our days are spent without a plan, leisurely wandering through the quarter, stopping for a cocktail wherever strikes our fancy, strolling through the market, in and out of shops that catch my eye, cards at Harrhs, and visiting the cat napping in the window on Royal. Days with nothing on the agenda for us is a true luxury as it is something we do not get to experience when at home. I will give the highlights of our trip along with details on our dining as we truly enjoy dining out in general and specifically eating and drinking our way through NO.
Highlights of our trip include blueberry margaritas from El Gato Negro and the cherry lime fizz from the Original Pierre Masparos, bought a small cinnamon King Cake from the market and got the baby in the first piece I cut - tasted like a cinnamon roll to me; made daily visits to the bar at the Original Pierre Masparos as it was close to our accommodations - the bartenders were always fun and friendly and we met a lovely couple from Michigan with which we shared cocktails and great conversation. We rode the ferry to Algiers for fun (boy did he get close to that huge barge in my opinion); however, the bartender at the Dry Dock was rather sour. Enjoyed our usual drinks and ride at the Carousel Bar as well as visiting with the bartender. Enjoyed the Krewe of Cork parade through the quarter (very small parade with no floats but fun none the less). Really got a kick out of the Barkus Parade - made me quite homesick for my "kids" and greatly appreciated the advice from this forum about watching parade at the beginning of the route as it tends to disband. Caught the end of one of the bigger parades on Saturday night on Canal - looked like great fun but have to confess that we really aren't parade people. However, I loved the vibe of the time we visited as I have seen some call it Mardi Gras lite, as well as all of the decorations. Would definitely return for this time frame. I have to admit that I hated to see all of the CBS Super Bowl set up in Jackson Square. I'm glad what the game means for the city financially and liked the buzz of the anticipation for the game and crowds, just like to see Jackson Square in its beautiful, natural state. Our celeb citings were John Gruden and Shannon Sharp playing blackjack at the next table in Harrahs and Neil Patrick Harris (he'll always be Doogie Howser to me) checking in at the Monteleone. Had a great little shopping spree at the New Orleans School of Cooking picking up a copy of John Folse's Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine (now out of print) along with other kitchen gadgets and food stuffs. Staff was wonderful and shipping rates were very reasonable (they knock off tax when you ship). Finally, have to acknowledge the front desk staff at the Omni Royal Orleans. We did not have access to a printer for our boarding passes at our accommodations. I went to the Omni and asked if I could pay to use their business center. Without missing a beat, the man said "No problem, I'll be happy to print them for you right here." It doesn't get any better than that. Will definitely look into staying here in the future (but have heard most of their rooms are really small). We have stayed in several of NOLA's high end hotels and this was some of the best and friendliest service we have encountered.
Back in a few to fill you in on our many great meals!