New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story

Discussion created by erc on Nov 27, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 3, 2017 by nationwide
A stroll through the Big Easy with a scroll through the photos.
  We scheduled a Thanksgiving week trip to New Orleans challenging my Insiders' input and skills to the test. Our number ranged from a low of five to a group as large as eight some days. We had locals, first time visitors, light drinkers eager to try sazeracs, hurricanes, and local brews (Dixie's Blackened Voodoo, a tasty lager, scored high), slow walkers, marathoners, shoppers, and slots lovers; each with their own list of sights to see and don't even get me started with their dietary preferences!
  We went with the hybrid lodging strategy that has served me well of late, starting with a wonderful VRBO apartment in the heart of the French Quarter which minimized walking, placing us close to art galleries and some favorite restaurants and wrapping up with one of my ol' pals, The New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.
VRBO comes through again - spacious apartment in the thick of things

A quiet patio - great place for the hand rolled cigars from the French Market

We had two balconies - both stared at the JW on Canal

As if to say, "hey pal, what about me?" this was out my bedroom window

Breakfast, courtesy of the know-it-all millennials who lost the bet; Pray-leens vs. Prah-leens

It was an excellent week to visit with highs in the mid-sixties, small crowds (even Monday with the Ravens in town), and pleasant evenings. We enjoyed (as always in NO) terrific meals and great camaraderie to go along with the jazz, blues, and zydeco.
In the kitchen with Chef Clark at K-Pauls - every dish was delicious - all diners pleased
In spite of the "ewwww" criers, the host insisted upon a visit to Felix's; even the club sandwichers were happy
Cracklin' - SoBou style - tasty (and economical/$1)
Craig Tracy Art Gallery - Craig owns the Body Painting Market - a clever way to meet women
Bee Galleries- R. Ichter, this is all painted. He layers resin and paints each layer- remarkably impressive
Our annual "How tough are you?" Hot sauce challenge- I dropped out at Ghost - millennial whipped the ol' man
Southern City Tours (always a Groupon etc) Jackson Sq. - French Qtr./9th Ward/Cemetery/CBD/Garden District - great for rooks and vets
Larger than my college dorm - but they're there longer, so understandable

Riding a wave of good times, fine meals, and excellent family interaction, we finished the back end of the trip with our smallest crowd of five, snagging a can't miss $82 rate for the Canal Street Marriott providing rooms for all (well, three rooms, the millennials can room together, I only get points for three and if they think that's roughing it, well, tough, suck it up kiddies ).
  Staying at the Marriott was a perfect way to wrap up and a nostalgic throwback for me, since I have stayed there dozens of times, starting when I was the age of my daughters. No, it's not the stylish service of the JW, nor the distinctiveness of the Renaissance or Autograph brands in the city, and yes perhaps parts of it may be a bit dated, a major renovation is planned next year; but staying here pointed out to me why so many of us Insiders have such intense loyalty toward Marriott (granted, tested of late). It wasn't always about the excellent service we received, but also that so much of our lives were spent with Marriott, often with wonderful memories attached to the stays.
Great stay - Breakfast buffet - 2 per room! Two corner rooms and a river view - thanks to Michael R. and Cari - great folks
Roosevelt Hotel (Waldorf) - home of the Sazerac Bar - need I say more?
Love and listen to the blues and jazz, but no erc trip to the Big Easy is complete until a dose of great Zydeco
Overall a superb trip with all goals accomplished and a 100 % "customer" satisfaction rating.

   I'm awarding myself the Pat on the Back badge
  As they say in the National rental car ad, "Well done, Insider, well done"