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Trip Report New Orleans Trip Report - January 2010

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I’d like to thank everyone who provided great recommendations and itinerary feedback! My husband and I had a wonderful time in New Orleans, despite the freezing temps! We’re looking forward to visiting the city again!

Accommodations: Hampton Inn New Orleans on Carondelet St. This chain hotel may seem a little sterile to some, but it worked well for us because it was within our budget, conveniently located, and very clean. Plus, our room was huge and offered free wi-fi!

Thursday Night:
We flew into New Orleans around 9:30 pm and took a taxi to our hotel. After dropping off our luggage, we jumped into another taxi and went straight over to Vaughn’s Lounge to hear Kermit Ruffin. What a fun night – listening to live music, people watching, drinking Abita for the first time, and eating jambalaya!

Friday: We made a beeline for Café du Monde. The beignets and coffee were everything I expected – absolutely delicious! After breakfast, we dusted ourselves off and toured the French Quarter using the recommended stroll itinerary from the Frommer’s book. For lunch, we got a muffaletta from Central Market. My husband loved the pickled dressing so much he bought two big jars to take home. After lunch, we rode the streetcar to the Garden District and spent most of the afternoon walking around the neighborhood and touring the gorgeous homes. After walking around the Garden District, we were thoroughly chilled to the bone, so we made a quick pit stop at Acme Oyster House. The guys behind the oyster bar were very friendly and had the funniest stories to share. We had dinner at Cochon, which my husband loved. We wanted to listen to jazz at Preservation Hall, however, by the time we got there in the evening, all the tickets were gone. Instead, we grabbed a Hurricane and came up with a plan B at Pat O’Brien’s. We decided to walk over to Frenchmen St. where we had a fun evening listening to music at d.b.a.

Saturday: We had brunch at Brennan’s. My husband booked the Cemetery/Voodoo Tour with Historic New Orleans Tours. We both found the organized tour to be very informative and enjoyable. After the tour, we stopped by the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Unfortunately, we had just missed their Saturday afternoon music/education event – however, we had a GREAT time speaking with the park rangers about the music scene in New Orleans. They provided us with quite a few recommendations. For dinner, we stuffed ourselves silly at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. The portions were huge! K-Paul’s was my husband’s favorite meal of the weekend. After dinner, we went back to Frenchmen St. to listen to live music.

Sunday: The park rangers had kind words for the church choirs in the area so we decided to attend Mass at St. Augustine’s, the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the US. Wow - what a phenomenal experience! The choir was fantastic and the church was welcoming. After Mass, we walked over to Johnny’s Po Boys. I got the shrimp and my husband got the roast beef. The shrimp po boy was delicious but the roast beef po boy was a big mess to eat. After lunch, we took the streetcar to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. I really enjoyed the collection and exhibitions because it was the first time I had been exposed to the Southern Art genre. We also visited the National World War II Museum. I’m so glad we made time for this museum. The exhibits, theaters, and oral history stations were excellent. I highly recommend this museum to all who visit New Orleans. For dinner, we went to Emeril’s. Many of my friends actually advised me to skip Emeril’s. I’m happy I didn’t listen to them, for a change. I had an amazing meal – it was my favorite of the weekend. After dinner, based on another recommendation from the park rangers, we walked into the Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel and were treated to live music by Shannon Powell. My husband also thoroughly enjoyed drinking sazeracs that night.

My husband and I had a really special and memorable weekend in New Orleans. We’ve already started planning our next trip! There is so much more to see, to do, and to eat!

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