Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas in New Orleans - December 2011

My husband and I combined some Christmas shopping and vacation with a weekend trip to New Orleans.  We took advantage of the Papa Noël deals available this time of year and stayed at The Roosevelt Hotel on Baronne Street near the French Quarter. 

The Roosevelt is a beautiful old hotel that was decorated to the max for Christmas.  There even were people visiting the lobby taking family Christmas pictures with professional photographers.

Our king suite was the nicest hotel room I have ever stayed in.  The bedroom and sitting room were beautifully decorated with two baths and three televisions.  There was a rooftop swimming pool and hot tub with a great view of the city and for us the rising full moon.  There are several restaurants in the hotel, and we tried to go to the John Besh restaurant, Domenica, but we were unable to get a reservation.

Of course New Orleans has many other wonderful restaurants to choose from.  We ate at the Red Fish Grill nearby on Bourbon Street that never disappoints us.  This time we did not order one of their wonderful redfish entrees.  The BBQ shrimp and grits and the grilled pork rib eye were delicious!  We also tried out Bourbon House, which is across the street from the Red Fish Grill.  The food was good and the service excellent, but I prefer the Red Fish Grill instead for the better food and ambiance.

While Christmas shopping on Magazine Street we tried out The Rum House, a Caribbean restaurant, for lunch at the insistence of my daughter.  It was fun and delicious.  We people-watched at a window table, and in better weather would have loved to sit outside on Magazine Street.  Though we typically stick to Cajun fare when in NOLA, I’m glad we tried something new.  There were several interesting shops nearby including Storyville, a tee shirt shop known for its inventive designs.  My daughter was shocked when she found out we didn’t try out Sucré, a pastry and chocolate shop down the block—we will have to try it next time.

We made a rather fast visit to the WWII Museum—it’s hard to fit everything into one weekend!  The museum is divided up into four sections: The Pacific Theater, The Normandy Invasion, The European Theater, and The Home Front.  There is a wealth of information that could be perused for hours.  I really appreciated the Home Front Section that showed how everyone—even little kids—helped with the war effort.  I would recommend re-watching the movie “Saving Private Ryan” before visiting the WWII Museum.

As standard for our trips to New Orleans, we made our rounds at our favorite French Quarter shops.  You shouldn’t miss Vintage 329, a shop with autographed memorabilia from rock-n-roll bands to sports celebrities to presidents.  We also make a point to visit the Rodrigue Studio and the Gallery Rinard on Royal Street.  We always enjoy going to the French Market, the surrounding shops, and watching the street performers that are so classically New Orleans.

We ended our weekend trip with breakfast at Mother’s on Poydras Street.  On previous trips to New Orleans, I noticed a long line of people waiting to get in this rather plain looking restaurant.  Now I know why there was often a long line.  The food was great!

We did a little shopping and had a lot of fun.  It was definitely worth a weekend in December to visit New Orleans during their Papa Noël promotions.

Christmas 2013

 This Christmas season we added a visit to New Orleans' Celebration in the Park at City Park while in New Orleans during December.  Walking through the huge lighted  oak trees listening to Christmas music was the perfect holiday evening.  I can see why this would become a family tradition for people who live in the area.

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