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The Real City That Doesn't Sleep

  • Jul 14, 2000
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Lots to do! Great food! A lot of history. Very interesting place.

Cons: Horribly hot weather

My mother and I just returned from an all-expense paid trip to New Orleans. How was it paid for? I won the trip in a Mother's Day writing contest from LiteFM (WLTW - 106.7), a radio station in New York. Rather than write everything about New Orleans in one review (which would turn out to be an epic), I'll break them down, so you have a lot of detailed little posts. This one is my New Orleans overview.

After arriving at New Orleans International Airport, Mom and I took the Airport Shuttle to our hotel. We stayed at the Fairmont, which is located on the corner of University and Canal and adjacent to the French Quarter, in the Business and Warehouse District. This was such an impressive, elegant hotel! Let me tell you, I am so cut out for a life of luxury. We found out that many U.S. Presidents have stayed here when visiting New Orleans.

Once settled in, Mom and I decided to visit Harrah's, located about eight blocks down Canal Street from our hotel. This is probably the best casino I have ever been to. It is so clean and the people are really nice. The buffet, however, wasn't that great. I think Mom and I managed to visit Harrah's every day we were there. (I won FOUR jackpots!!!)

There are lots and lots of little cafes in New Orleans, especially in the French Quarter. We went to a quaint cafe (can't remember the name) for a small breakfast, then walked around Jackson Square. There you will find fortune tellers, street vendors, and all sorts of performers. I had my palm and tarot cards read by one of the fortune tellers there for $15. I'll let you know if she's right!

We did the tourist thing and had lunch at Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Cafe during our time there. We even had breakfast at Cafe du Monde, the first and oldest cafe in the United States. As a matter of fact, it's rumoured that the coffee break started here. Emeril Lagasse's restaurants (Nola and Emeril's) are located in the French Quarter and the Business and Warehouse District - be sure to call in advance for reservations if you're interested in dining there.

Museums about in New Orleans. Mom and I went to The Cabildo and The Presbytere, both located next to the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Do not miss The Presbytere - that's the Mardi Gras Museum! You can also visit the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the Olde Mint (which houses the jazz museum), the Audobon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas, and lots more.

There are so many different tours available in the Big Easy! From City Tours to Vampire Tours, there is something to meet any interest you may have. Mom and I went on the Ghost Tour (Haunted History Tours), which met right outside Planet Hollywood. It was so creepy! I even saw an apparition, and I don't mean one that was staged. If you enjoy walking and creepy stories, this is the tour for you! If not, maybe you'd prefer a bus tour, or even a short cruise on the Mississippi River.

No matter what time of day or night, the streets were busy with people. Even when we were walking up Canal Street at 2 in the morning, people were wandering all over the place. Burboun Street is always hopping - many of the bars are open 24-7. If you're the type of person that loves bar-hopping, be sure to visit the Cat's Meow and Pat O'Brien's. Jean Lafitte's, where you stop when on the Ghost Tour, is pretty good, too. It's the oldest building used as a tavern in the United States. If you go there, have a VooDoo Daquari!

I wasn't aware of how much history New Orleans has. To tell you the truth, I thought the place was going to be one big party and I was very skeptical of going with my mother. Needless to say, I am so glad we did go!

I need to mention the St. Louis Cathedral somewhere in this review, so it might as well be here. This Cathedral is the oldest practicing Catholic Church in America. They offer Sunday Mass (7:30, 9:00, 10:30, 12:00), which Mom and I attended. It was absolutely breath-taking! The ceilings are painted, the statues are incredibly intricate, and the stained glass is magnificent. Even if you're not a Catholic (Mom and I are), I recommend you go here just to take some photographs and look at a piece of our nation's history.

The only thing I don't like about New Orleans is the weather. It is so hot and humid that you feel like you're just melting. A blanket of sticky and oppressive heat surrounds you like a blanket as you walk from place to place. The air is so thick, you can almost cut it with a knife. Around 1:00 every afternoon, thunder can be heard from an impending storm. Luckily, it didn't rain while we were there. I don't quite know when the best time to visit would be, although a local resident said the early spring.

I'm looking forward to returning to New Orleans in the near future. We did so much, yet have so much more to do! If you ever get a chance to go to New Orleans, you really should.

And, yes, I got some beads.



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review by . July 14, 2000
Pros: Lots to do! Great food! A lot of history. Very interesting place.     Cons: Horribly hot weather     My mother and I just returned from an all-expense paid trip to New Orleans. How was it paid for? I won the trip in a Mother's Day writing contest from LiteFM (WLTW - 106.7), a radio station in New York. Rather than write everything about New Orleans in one review (which would turn out to be an epic), I'll break them down, so you have a lot of detailed …
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Candice Cain ()
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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