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New Orleans -- 2 evenings, one full day.

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I know, this is nuts. But it's my husband's 60th and last minute I decided it would be cheaper (and a lot easier) to give him a surprise weekend in a city he's always wanted to visit rather than throw him a big birthday party at home. Since we only have Friday - Sunday off work, this was the best I could do in terms of timing.

So with points, and whatnot, I actually was able to secure a nonstop flight from LAX to New Orleans, landing the evening of Jan. 25th and returning on the 27th. His birthday is actually on the 26th. Got a nice room at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter.

Good news is I learned the Mardi Gras parades are starting a week early due to the Super Bowl intervention the following week. And my husband has always wanted to be there during Mardi Gras festivities, so this will work well, since a number of the parades will take place on the 25th and 26th!

Looking for absolute "must do" kind of places in such a short period of time.

Husband likes parades, especially the bawdy variety that New Orleans is famous for, parties, drinking and music (everything OTHER than Jazz, lol) -- huge blues and rock n roll fan. He likes spicy food, and I know Creole and Cajun will keep him busy, but rather than high-end stuffy eating places, he'd be happiest eating street food, or hanging in a place with live music and spicy food and good drink.

So you see, New Orleans will be perfect for him!

He's also a fan of Mark Twain, so if there's anything like a specific short boat tour on the Mississippi, I'm sure he'd dig that too.


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