We recently spent three days in New Orleans.
We have not been to New Orleans for several years. A couple months ago, J decided he wanted to go there to celebrate his birthday and I began to plan the trip for the first of October, a perfect time to visit as the weather is still warm.
We had an early flight out of BWI and were in NOLA by 10:30am. We took a taxi to our hotel, the Country Inn & Suites on Magazine Street but our room was not ready. We checked in and they advised us they would call when the room was ready. We changed clothes and gave our luggage to the bellman to hold until we returned. When we left Baltimore it was 50 degrees, it was now 88 degrees and climbing, a drastic difference.
We grabbed a bottle of water and made our way to the French Quarter. We quickly noticed how warm it was as we soaked up the sun knowing we would be returning to colder weather in a couple of days.
We were hungry, but the restaurant we wanted to go to was not open until 11:30. We figured by the time we got there it would be open. We walked two blocks to Canal Street, and then another couple blocks to Jackson Square. We got a little side track stopping off and trying samples along the way. Who is going to pass up free pralines.
When we finally reached Jackson Square the horse and buggies were lined up and waiting.
This is where we got our first glimpse of the St Louis Cathedral. What a spectacular view against the blue sky.
All around Jackson Square is where you see the local artists.
Jackson Square is a great area to sit on a bench and people watch. We did not have time for that as we were going to Muriels Restaurant to celebrate J’s birthday.
Muriels Restaurant sits on the corner of Jackson Square. Parts of the building dates back to the 1700s.
We read its easier to get in at lunch than dinner. Since we got there when it first opened, we had no problems getting a table in the Bistro room with a prime table by the window.
We ordered the two course lunch special along with the $4 glass of wine. Our servers could not have been more attentive. Before our water glass was empty, they would be there to fill it up, always checking on us without being intrusive.
J ordered Wood Grilled Pork Chops and I ordered Stuffed Mirliton. This was served with a warm loaf of bread and butter. Both of our dishes were delicious.
While waiting for our meal, I got up to speak to our waiter and told him we were celebrating J’s birthday. They took care of him by bringing a slice of warm Pain Perdu Bread Pudding with candid pecans and rum sauce after our meal. This was the best bread pudding we had on our trip. We were stuffed when we left.
As we were getting ready to leave they invited us to check out the rest of the restaurant upstairs along with the balcony overlooking Jackson Square. Muriel’s is believed to have ghosts and they have set up a table for them that we passed by as we made our way upstairs.
When we got upstairs, there was no one around. They did a great job keeping the looks of the room during that period with stunning chandeliers and lavish furnishings.
We started to look for the door to take us out on the balcony only to find them locked. After several tries we found a door that was unlocked. Out on the balcony which runs along both sides of the building there are tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy a cocktail and relax while overlooking the square in the evening.
Our hotel called while we were on the balcony and told us our room was ready. I was surprised as it was only 1:00 p.m. We made our way back to the door we came out of, only to find it was locked. We never saw anyone around, I wonder it if was the ghost playing tricks on us. We tried every door and our last door we tried was unlocked. I thought I was going to have to call the restaurant to come get us. That was very strange. Must be the ghosts that live in the building.
Mardi Gras World
After checking in at the hotel, I called Mardi Gras World to find out where they picked up for the tour. They do free pick up at certain locations. I purchased tickets to Mardi Gras World through Living Social before we left. It was a buy one get one deal. They told us they would pick us up at the Marriott on Canal Street. It was only a two block walk to the hotel. When we got there several people were waiting for the bus.
After being dropped off, we made our way into the gift shop to exchange our voucher for our tickets. We had to wait about 15 minutes before the next tour.
Since 1947 Blaine Kern has created parade floats for Mardi Gras. The tour allows one to see firsthand what goes on behind the scene to create the floats.
The tour takes over an hour and they give you plenty of time to take pictures. After the tour we went to wait for the shuttle to take us back, which took about ten minutes. The shuttle gave us an option for drop off and we decided to go with the others on the bus to a pub and tavern named Port of Call instead of the Marriott. This allowed us to see a new area without walking to it. 😆
We were not hungry as we were still were full from our large lunch, so we just ordered some drinks at the bar. The drinks were strong, they don’t skimp on alcohol. As the waiters went by we noticed the food portions looked large. We looked at the menu which was not large. As we sat at the bar we mostly saw hamburgers and baked potatoes go by. The food looked good, and will have to put it on the list for places to try next time. This is a popular place with the locals and during certain times there could be a long line to get in.
We left and headed to Frenchmen Street, a couple blocks away. This street has several bars/bistro where you can dine or have a cocktail and listen to jazz. It’s not unusual to see locals enjoying an evening out. It’s a much quieter ambiance and slower pace with great music than Bourbon Street. We stopped and listened to some jazz for a while before moving on. We would return to Frenchmen Street several times before the weekend was over.
Next we made our way to the Mississippi River and sat and enjoyed the view for a while.
By now the sun had set and we went to Bourbon Street. Since it was a Thursday night it was not as crowded as it would get during the weekend.
We were getting tired as we had been up since 3:00 a.m. and headed back to the hotel for the night. It was pretty quiet on Canal Street.
NOLA is a walking city. Our first day we must have walked over 15 miles. I made the mistake of wearing sandals and by the end of the day my feet hurt. I wore better shoes the next two days.
TIP: Wear comfortable shoes as New Orleans is a walking city.
If you don’t want to walk, use Uber to get around. It’s fast and cheaper than a cab. Here is a promo code kathyj2083ue (worth up to $20) to help you get started using Uber. We used Uber to take us to the airport. We stayed on Magazine Street, called at 4:00 a.m. and they responded that he would be there in a minute. As soon as I got the notice the vehicle pulled up. It took about 25 minutes to reach the airport. Our ride only cost $33 vs $36 plus tip using a cab. So if you don’t want to do as much walking as we did use Uber to get around. It’s pretty cheap.
Our three days were jammed packed with strolling the streets of New Orleans and of course eating good southern food. Do you have a favorite place to go in New Orleans?
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