My husband is a sales rep and his territory includes Louisana. I managed to convince him to let me tag along with him when he went to South Louisiana and Mississippi so I could take a little break from work. He sweetly agreed.
Since my husband would leave me most of the day with the car as he worked, planning took some careful consideration. We booked a hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans so I would have places to go on foot while he was away. I also made sure we booked a hotel with amenities such as a pool in case I got tired of walking. This is a blog about lolling about after all, its one of my chief interests.
So we booked a room at the Hotel Provencial on Chatres St. We had actually stayed here a few months ago and had a great experience. We highly recommend it.
On my first day I had booked a class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. The class was from 10 am – 1 pm and included a demonstration, lunch, and beer. It was well worth the price. While I wouldn’t suggest it if actually wanted a hands on learning experience, I did enjoy it. Our chef/teacher taught us more about Louisiana history and the history of their food culture than about the recipes.
I also strolled along Royal and Chatres streets quite a bit, ducking into shops and admiring the architecture. My absolute favorite store is The Kitchen Witch on Toulouse. Its a whole store devoted to cookbooks. I browsed the books and chatted with the owner. He told me about his 9 day road trip to Memphis in which he and his girlfriend tried all the barbecue they could find between Memphis and New Orleans. He’s pretty much my hero. I can spend hours in this store.
Another favorite shop is Faulkner House Books in Pirate Alley. It used to be William Faulkner’s house, but is now a quaint little bookshop. I could stay here for hours too.
Besides shopping and strolling, I enjoyed the awesome pool at our hotel and read. Here are some other ways to enjoy New Orleans by daylight:
– Visit City Park. There is an art museum there, but we weren’t feeling very museum-y. Instead we decided to climb trees.
– Visit the Abita Tasting Room. This is just outside of New Orleans and we stopped on our way into town. Not the most educational brewery tour, but we did get to enjoy all the free Abita beer we could drink in the alloted hour.
– Ride the streetcar through the garden district. We took the streetcar one night to dinner. It was a great way to see outside of the Quarter without having to worry about watching the road. I also picked out a couple of houses for Allyn when she decides to move down there.
– People watch at Jackson Square. We enjoyed breakfast at Stanley one morning (food and drink post coming soon). Our table was against the window right on Jackson Square. We enjoyed watching the people almost as much as our food!
– Live music! You can’t visit New Orleans without taking in all the live local music. Its a must. More on our favorite music venues in the next post.