We made a family trip to New Orleans for fun last weekend, and even though I brought back some crud with me (or, I got it when I returned here), we had a blast! We stayed at the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street, just blocks away from everything! There is one thing I noticed this time that I had not before- New Orleans is not kid-friendly. Before when we went, they were in strollers or the Baby Bjorn, so it was easier. This time, both were walking (we are trying stroller weaning), and one of my kiddos can read. Yep- you know what I am about to say next. The shops carry the most inappropriate shirts and items with words like, “B__CH 1″ and “B__CH 2″ and you know it is even worse than that. So, there is my almost 6-year old, with proud mamma, sounding out the words, “show me your ….” on a T-shirt. She asks, “mommy, what does that word say?” It didn’t end there. So, I guess New Orleans is not as kid friendly as I thought. Granted, had we stayed Uptown, or on the West Bank, or Metairie, or near a suburb, it would have been fine but, we were smack dab in the middle of sin city.
All that aside, I wanted to share some fun pics from our trip and tell you more about the New Orleans Marriott. First, it has two heated outdoor pools- need I say more? One is kid entry, so they can stand up in it and just have fun for hours. Second, there is a separate pool for those crazy love birds you feared would end up in the room next door to you. So, your kids can remain segregated from all the “action.” The New Orleans Marriott is conveniently located on Canal Street and Chartres, one block from Decatur Street, and a few blocks from the infamous Bourbon Street. The staff there is amazing. Simply amazing. We were lucky with our corner room on the side which is called “riverfront tower”, and we got an amazing view of the Quarter, and the Mississippi. The Natchez Steamboat tooted its horn daily for our enjoyment, and we could enjoy barges passing by. The city view at night of New Orleans, and the Crescent City Connection were magnificent as well. I recommend the New Orleans Marriott because they do treat you like royalty there with southern charm one can only find in N’awlins. Parking is $35 per day plus tax so that is the only downside, but you can park at Harrah’s nearby if you are planning to gamble for at least 30 minutes a day on a player’s card. That is 0.3 miles away from this location.*
Cafe Du Monde- my favorite place of all, except on weekend mornings when there are lines so long, you will want to scream, “BEIGNET!” I definitely recommend eating there after dinner on a weeknight or after dinner when everyone else is on Bourbon Street acting crazy. Just don’t wear black, and bring your patience because it takes them sometime to serve you (just depends on who you get).
I love, love, love strolling along the river. We did not do the Aquarium of the Americans or Audubon Zoo this trip but they are great places to go especially with kids. If you want to hit the West Bank, take the ferry across and it is a fun ride on the mighty Mississippi. The City Park is a street car ride away, and the New Orleans Museum of Art is super cool. I already visited the WW II Museum on another trip here but it is a must see. A few places we loved to eat at and I had never tried some before- we loved The Gumbo Shop located in the Quarter. They have vegetarian options too and their white beans and rice, wow! To die for. Hubby had a po-boy and loved it. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the Mother’s Day brunch we had at Feelings Cafe located in the Marigny, a quaint, older revived neighborhood. They have vegan options which says a lot to me.
We were blessed because on this trip to New Orleans, my in-laws were with us, and stayed a few feet away, so on Saturday night, hubby and I got a much needed date night in the city while the grandparents spent time with their grandchildren. We had not been to a fancy restaurant like the one we found in the Quarter since before the kids were born! We went to Bayona’s in the Quarter, and it was simply put: superb. I even found a good veggie dish, and the dessert options were yummy-licious. Hubby and I got a chance to explore Bourbon Street and all the craziness of it, dance a little, and I got my hurricane. This drink is quite potent and a few sips and knock you off your …. I did not drink the whole thing at all. The coolest thing about New Orleans is that I could walk with my hurricane to the restaurant, and then take it back to the room- open container? Who cares? I love this city. It is a Libertarian’s dream come true. You can buy a daiquiri and then walk with it wherever you want. Notice I said “walk” – you should not be drinking and driving but, if you happen to “drive-thru” a daiquiri stand, remember to poke your straw through your cup after you get to your destination.
We didn’t get out to eat at half of the places we wanted to. And, the Marriott room service was not that bad either just a tad bit pricey. But sometimes, a momma just needs her room service. Anyway, all in all, great trip except for our minor emergency trip to Children’s Hospital because my little one landed on a table in our room. She is usually the careful one so this was a shocker. But, we were blessed at the treatment we received at that uptown Hospital as well, and in no time, we were back on the road, children’s motrin and all.
*Please note: This is a personal review- I did not get a compensation in exchange for writing this post for any of the vendors above. Again, this was a personal, family trip, and not part of a paid campaign.