My sister, Lizzie, and I left cold, snowy Salt Lake City on November 17 and headed southeast to New Orleans, Louisiana. Neither of us had been there before, so we were dang excited about our adventure.
We arrived in the early afternoon, got a shuttle to the hotel and it was go time!
The hotel we chose was the Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street in the French Quarter. If you ever find yourself in NOLA, give yourself a treat and stay at this beautiful hotel. I felt like a fancy lady, even in my jeans and sneakers. From the doormen to the housekeeping staff, everyone was friendly and smiling. The lobby, which I'm sure is splendid at all times, was especially gorgeous all decked out in Christmas finery. It was magical.
|Christmas trees in Hotel Monteleone lobby|
|Entry to Napoleon House|
|St. Louis Cathedral|
|note the fleur de lis on top|
That night we went on a ghost tour with French Quarter Phantoms. You might not believe in ghosts - I don't think that's really the point of these tours. Mostly you hear some history of the area and the buildings and if you've got a guide who is a good storyteller, it's totally worthwhile. Our guide, Miss Angela, was an excellent storyteller, so I had lots of fun. You know what else is fun about New Orleans? You can walk around with an adult beverage in your hand as long as the beverage is not in a glass container. We started the tour at a bar, the Voodoo Lounge, and had a halfway stop at another bar, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar.
|such a cool place!|
|one of many voodoo shops I saw|
|the LaLaurie mansion|
After the tour we walked back to Decatur Street and went to Cafe du Monde. EVERYONE says that is THE place to go for cafe au lait and beignets, so who are we to argue? I skipped the coffee and went straight for the beignets. Yeah, they are good. Fried dough covered with powdered sugar? Yes please. I know I said I'd post food pics later, but you gotta see this:
We went back to the hotel, but we weren't quite ready to go up to our room, so we went into the Carousel Bar. You will hear much more about the Carousel Bar in a later post, but I'll just say that it is the bar in the Hotel Monteleone and there is in fact a carousel in there. There's also a lot of other very nice posh seating. A jazz combo was playing and the place was bustling on a Thursday night. I don't know how, beginner's luck, I think, because we found a table and ordered a Sazerac cocktail. The drink is made with Sazerac rye whisky and some other stuff. I didn't like it at all, but my sweet little sister thought it was A-OK. She finished hers and mine. We chatted with a nice couple from Houston (lots of Texans in NOLA) and chowed down on the fine bar snacks (similar to Gardettos but with a slightly different flavor and lots more peanuts). I wanted to ask for a to-go cup of the snacks, but I didn't. They were sure were tasty!
|Inside the Carousel Bar|
We had only been in New Orleans for half a day and we totally crushed it! We ticked off everything on our itinerary for the day and we still had three full days in front of us. I just knew we were in for a great time because the first day was completely wonderful.
Want to hear about our second day in New Orleans? Check back on Friday...well, you won't see if if you check too early, so better to wait until Saturday because I'll write Friday night.