Return trip to Nola & just in time...

Oct 11th, 2008, 05:58 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Return trip to Nola & just in time...

As a belated 15 year anniversary trip, my Wife & I decided to go to Nola for a few days (Sat. - Tues.) She cashed in an award ticket, I cashed in miles, & her co-workers generously chipped in the hotel (Chateau Lemoyne). Of course my flight was half empty but she was unable to get on it, so I had about 5-6 hours in Nola sans wife, to start. The Hotel was in a nice location & we had a corner/King w/a shared balcony (2nd Flr.). As soon as I got in, my nose (or stomach) mysteriously led me to Acme. Since there was no line (amazing), I felt inclined to eat @ the bar. Had some red beans & rice, & a couple of Dixies while watching some horse racing & the Tulane football game. All the while idly chatting w/the 'shuckers' & other bar patrons. It was good to be back...
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 06:07 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
I mostly meandered until the wife arrived & then we walked over to Cafe Maspero for a quick bite. She had beans & rice while I decided on a muffaletta (yes, a whole one). It was likely the best one I had during our stay (or was it just because it was the first one ?) Whatever the reason, it was awesome. Not much else happening as we were both pretty spent. Wandered back to the hotel after a couple of Abitas & called it a day. Started early the next morning @ Cafe Beignet for some beignets & drinks. Since it was Sunday, not much was opened (as yet) so we bided our time until our reservation for the jazz brunch @ Mr. B's. An excellent meal ! A couple of mimosas for both of us, & she had shrimp & grits, while I went w/the frittata. The trick to their shrimp & grits ? Red-eye gravy...doesn't really sound good, but it is. After that gorging, we decided to walk off some of our already gained excess baggage since all we had done so far was to eat, & drink. After a change of clothes, we're off to Frenchmen St. & the Market, on foot...
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 06:22 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Happy 15th Anniversary to you two SAnParis2. Celebrating an anniversary by taking a trip is always wonderful. Your wife has nice co-workers!
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 06:42 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
She does, & it was a surprise as well. She was told once we had the dates to let them know, they thought they could get us a 'deal'. Well, they did !
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 02:00 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
The Market, while being upgraded, is now just full of junk. All of the food vendors, ice cream shop, the hot sauce shop, etc. are gone. There is really no reason to go there, at all. We did some window shopping en route, w/the intent of picking things/trinkets up on our return trip. Which we did. Frenchmen St. is much the same, we did stop at the Spotted Cat for a few minutes to listen to some music & down some water. On the way back we stopped at the place on Decatur (?) that always has the oysters in the window (I can never remember the name) & had some oysters as well as some Dixies. After doing a bit of shopping, we stopped into Sterling Gallery (formerly Touchstone)on Royal, where we have purchased several paintings in the past. The new gallery owner was kind enough to catch us up on happenings as well as some of our since relocated gallery friends. We also missed Ms. Flo, who tends bar (still) @ The Court of Two Sisters and is a Nola legend to say the least. Stopped by Royal Tea for some refreshments, and headed back to plan the evening.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 03:58 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Since we had grazed all day, neither of us were hungry so we thought we would seek out a wine bar. W.I.N.O. The Wine Institute of New Orleans was our choice - http://www.winoschool.com/. It was a great find. So we had a little meat & cheese plate there (w/more than a few samples of wine) which ended up being dinner. Back to Bourbon St. for some music. We ended up listening to a lot of 60's/70's covers in the Krazy Korner & Famous Door as well as a little jazz here & there. It was fairly crowded, as the Saints were hosting Monday Night Football the following night. But still, no cover, anywhere. That would be the end of our Sunday...
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 07:35 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,203
I was scheduled to go 3 days after Gustav hit and cancelled my trip.
My friend did go, and stayed with friends.
She said aside from the obvious hurricane trash, NO was a sad mess.
She claimed that it was very dirty with trashy/drunk (not fun) crowds after dark.
She claimed Bourbon was to be avoided at all costs, even during the day. Finally, she said she could find very little reason to return.
Anyway, now I am trying to decide whether to reschedule my trip.
We have choices of cities to travel to... I just loved the history of NO and used to go frequently... I WANT it to be the NO I remember from the 90's.
It is VERY, VERY hard to get objective information about NO.
People who have always had a fondness for it, are very forgiving now. People who have never been often give reviews like my friend.

SA... can you PLEASE give me some real insight? If you could go anywhere in the lower 48, would you go to NO?
PS... my host hotel is the Royal Sonesta.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 02:21 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,540
TxTravelPro:

We were there, for the second time this year, in September and had a fantastic time. I didn't notice nasty crowds at night and it was a two game weekend - Tulane on Saturday and Saints on Sunday - so there were quite a few fans in town.

The food was, of course, wonderful. Enough said.

We rode the streetcar once and wish we had gone again. Remembering wandering through Jackson Square and hearing the clomp of donkey hooves during the day makes being at home seem dull.

I'm ready again for watching barges and tugs on the river while eating beignets in the morning, good street performers, oh so many shops and more gumbo!

Should you go to New Orleans? Hell yes!

Go and have a great time.
ccolor is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 03:21 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 700
I was in New Orleans in early June with a wind ensemble that was performing at a conference there. Our hotel was on the east side of New Orleans, due to the conference location/rehearsal space, but we drove into the French Quarter daily. This was my fifth trip to NOLA, but my first post-Katrina trip. In some ways, it was heartbreaking. The area where we stayed was part of the hardest hit by Katrina, and while there was rebuilding going on, each day we passed lot after lot after lot that had been abandoned. It was very sad. However, when we got to the French Quarter, things were pretty much as they had always been. If anything, I thought the French Quarter was cleaner and quieter than it was before Katrina, and to be honest, I sort of missed the noise. At any rate, New Orleans still needs your tourist dollars, and I would go. There is plenty of good food and wonderful music to be had!
BetsyinKY is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 06:55 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Having been a frequent Nola visitor for a long time, & having visited there probably in excess of 15X, I would have to wholeheartedly disagree w/your friend. But you may be correct in your assumptions if she is/was a first time visitor. We were saddened that we didn't have enough time to visit the 9th Ward & some other areas. However, I did see a vast improvement in & around the FQ, Canal St. etc. from when I was there 2 years ago. There are many new businesses, but there are still some boarded up businesses as well. There is still no cover to get in places. There are probably twice as many strip clubs open as before (now that's progress). Magazine St. & Frenchmen St. are very active. The galleries & antique shops are open normal hours & Jackson Square is full of artists and other 'entertainers'. The food (as always) was beyond description. It is unfortunate that we are bailing out banks & not bailing out Nola. As Betsy stated, if anything, they need us now more than ever. Please go, you will not be disappointed.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 07:10 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Since we did a lot of walking on Sun. it was our intent to relax a bit more on Monday. So, after breakfast we decided to ride out St. Charles on the streetcar & cut over to Magazine St. We timed things pretty well as most businesses opened @ 10 or 11 which was about when we arrived. http://www.magazinestreet.com/ We did stop into the Chef store to browse & pick up a chef's hat for our daughter. The lady working there was awesome & she threw in an apron as well ! At that point we were also planning our last dinner & were deciding between Luke, Emeril's Delmonico (which has a trolley stop right at its front door) or Cafe Marigny. More on that later. We cruised back to the FQ, wandered around Jackson Sq. a bit, talked to some of the artists and grabbed a bite at The Rivers Edge (right across from Cafe DuMonde). Then wandered back down Royal St. towards the hotel & gallery/antique shopped a bit.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 05:31 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
So after much debate & my Wife spotting the La Divina Gelateria (www.ladivinagelateria.com) we decided to forego the big dinner & find something more simple. We landed @ http://www.orleansgrapevine.com/ What a great find ! A great wine selection & we both had a salad & appetizer which was plenty. Excellent food & service. It has apprently been there for 6 years, I don't know how we missed it. The space is awesome as well. After that, gelato, of course & that pretty much wrapped up our extended weekend trip. Thoughts & summary to follow.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 07:47 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 8,296
SAnParis, your TR makes me want play tourist! Looking forward to the closing statement.
BayouGal is offline  
Oct 14th, 2008, 04:01 AM
  #14  
Dan
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,630
There's absolutely no way (none) that anyone who's been to New Orleans more than once would say the Quarter is not MUCH cleaner than it was several years ago. There are literally people cleaning it 24 hours a day now and it even smells better, which is no small feat.
Dan is offline  
Oct 14th, 2008, 07:42 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,540
Dan is absolutely correct - the change in the cleanliness of the Quarter has been absolutely amazing. SDT works very hard to keep it looking (and smelling) pleasant.
ccolor is offline  
Oct 14th, 2008, 09:18 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Indeed, it appears the cleaning of the FQ has been taken over by the city, rather than leaving it to individual shop-keepers as before. I'd really like to go back during the week, to get a better feel, but it is coming around. Is it anywhere close to pre-K crowds ? No, not even close. I'm not sure how good a feel I got w/the Monday night football game going on also. Nola IS still Nola. Even though I've lost some hangouts (like O'Flaherty's) I've also found some new ones (Like W.I.N.O. & the grapevine). The next trip we'll take the kids along & just avoid Bourbon @ night. My 6 year old now knows a little too much, & the questions would be never-ending. If you love Nola, you have to go w/the flow & they now need us more than ever. Please help it re-invent itself as the still great city that it is. Sorry I didn't have more time there...& I'll be back sooner, rather than later.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 06:34 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
topping for Scrap.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 07:20 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
PLEASE GO TO NEW ORLEANS!!!!!

As stated, I can see how a 1st time visitor might have a problem (most do!), but anyone who has been there before will be able to appreciate how the city has come back!

Now that we are living back in the US and the boys are old enough.....we are trying to figure out a way to "justify" taking them out of school for a day to go to Jazz Fest!!! I just can't handle it on the weekends!

Both boys will love the music, love the food, and hate the crowd (as do I), but I want them to experience it! Of course, I remember the days we used to stroll in with wagons filled with ice chests and tents!!!! (dating myself now!)
Grcxx3 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 07:27 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
Author: SAnParis2
Date: 10/14/2008, 01:18 pm

The next trip we'll take the kids along & just avoid Bourbon @ night. My 6 year old now knows a little too much, & the questions would be never-ending.

--------------------------

We went this past summer with the kid (ages 16-1/2 and almost 15) during the day. QUITE INTERESTING!!!

DH and I debated beforehand about walking down Bourbon St., but in the end decided that it was no different than walking in Prague or Munich or Paris or other places!

It was so funny watching my sons trying NOT to look at the various billboards and signs.

As could be predicted....my younger son commented on the number of "inappropriate signs and pictures" along the street and my older son said he can't wait to be older!!!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:19 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
The last time my Daughter was there she was maybe 2 1/2. Her favorite spot on Bourbon was 'the Apple' which is, of course, Temptations strip club. I think there are even more such establishments now, than Pre-K. She has also been to Paris & Munich so maybe we've just been lucky so far. My son is just 3 1/2, he'd probably just be asking why all those people in the pics are naked.
SAnParis2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:13 AM.