Travelogue: New Orleans

January 2024
Where We Stayed: The Four Seasons

  • This trip was supposed to be one for me and Mike, but the demands of Mike’s judicial campaign needed to take priority and he had to bow out.  So I asked Jeanne to tag long!  I was a little nervous because my mom does not like warm weather, spicy food, seafood, jazz music, drunk people, etc.  Sooooo. Hmmm. How would she get along with a city like New Orleans?
  • Lucky for me, she LOVED it and would like to go back someday.
  • Admittedly, I tailored the trip to be very Jeanne-friendly. We took walking tours of the city, so she could get a feel for the history and architecture. I let her choose where we went to eat (and she chose the restaurants at the hotel). I didn’t push my luck.
  • So, what did we do during our 2.5 days in the Big Easy?
    • On our first day, we were tired from traveling, so we really just walked around and did a little shopping. Stopped at Cafe du Monde for a beignet, which Jeanne enjoyed except for the messy powdered sugar situation.
    • The next day we did the Hop On Hop Off tour of the city, the World War II Museum, and the tiny little Civil War Museum across the street.  Why is the WWII museum in New Orleans of all places? I’m glad you asked. It’s because New Orleans is home to the LCVP, or Higgins boat, the landing craft that brought US soldiers to shore in every major amphibious assault of World War II. We spent about 3 hours at the WWII Museum, but man, you could spend days. It was truly phenomenal and I would recommend it to anyone.
    • Our final full day brought two talking tours — one of the French Quarter and one of the Garden District.  We booked our tours through Two Chicks Walking Tours and had an excellent experience. We did both tours in one day, which was a lot, but we didn’t have the luxury of time. Each tour was about 2-2.5 hours long, the walking pace was easy. I would highly recommend these tours as a way to see the city and learn about all its history!
  • We were in New Orleans during carnival season and it was so cool to see the city all decked out for Mardi Gras. This trip changed me forever and I am now a huge Mardi Gras person. It’s part of my personality now. LOL.
  • Other points to mention:
    • We had COLD weather! What a delight! It was sunny and in the 30s/40s the entire time we were there — couldn’t have asked for better weather, IMO. I would take cold weather over sweltering heat any day.
    • Our hotel, the Four Seasons, was nearly perfect. I would stay there again and again. Centrally located — we could walk along the river to the French Quarter or easily Uber to our other destinations.
    • Speaking of Uber, Jeanne took her first Uber ride on this trip! She is now a converted fan of all things Uber.
  • All in all, we had just a lovely time. I’ll never take these years and these experiences with momma for granted.

Ahh, our serene hotel room after a long travel day.
Headed to the shopping mall next door; bought some beads for the kiddos.
Jeanne with her first New Orleans beignet.
A hurricane, my favorite alcoholic beverage, after a long travel day.
The next morning, we went to the restaurant at the hotel for breakfast.
The lobby bar at the Four Seasons.
We walked along the river to the French Quarter and passed this memorial.
On the bus for our Hop On Hop Off tour.
We made it to the WWII Museum!
It was a wonderful, though heavy and sobering, museum experience. The only criticism I have is that the layout was a little counterintuitive — I had to use the maps quite a bit and still never really knew where I was!
Up next: the Civil War!
Jeanne, upon entering, announced, “We’re Yankees.”
We passed this statue on the way back to the bus stop.
We needed to lighten the mood a little, so we spent the rest of our day shopping near the French Quarter. I didn’t buy this, but the rainbow made me smile.
We decided to stop for more beignets on the way back to the hotel. This time at Cafe Beignet (which I think is better than Cafe du Monde!)
The end of a tiring, but good, day.
The sun was shining the next morning and we were on our way to the French Quarter yet again!
It was COLD.
Our first walking tour of the day: the French Quarter
This property, the former LaLaurie Mansion, is allegedly haunted to the max.
Dead bodies swaying in the wind. Nah, just covered flower pots.
Lafitte’s, supposedly one of America’s oldest bars.
We stopped inside for a bathroom break.
Mardi Gras isn’t ONE day or ONE parade. It’s a season. Look at all those parades and celebrations!
Corn cobs!
Our next walking tour took us to the Garden District. I enjoyed both tours! The French Quarter and Garden District are so different – apples and oranges!
The famous water meter covers.
The cutest little coffee shop, where we waited for our tour to start.
Betsy, our guide, was fantastic.
Anne Rice’s former house.
I’ve wanted to eat here forever! Next time!!
Fun fact: you can’t be buried in New Orleans because of the water table. So you go into these crypts of sorts. And you cook in the Louisiana sun like you’re in a crock pot. After a year, what remains of you is swept out to make room for a new body. Fun, eh?
Our final morning brought us one more breakfast at the hotel. The biscuits here were the best I’ve ever had — I would go all the way back to New Orleans solely for those biscuits.
I took one more walk around the French Quarter – soaking up that nice morning sunshine.
Back at the hotel waiting for our ride to the airport.
New Orleans agreed with Jeanne.
Had to bring a King Cake home!
Plane viewing! My favorite movie.
One of my favorite souvenirs. ’til next time, NOLA.