With Cruising at a standstill, I talked my sister into spending a few days in one place. She choose New Orleans. New Orleans has been on our list of places to visit. Susan was waiting to put it together with a cruise. Even when we first booked the trip she was continually looking at cruises still scheduled out of the port of New Orleans. She even adjusted the dates of the trip in case cruising began before we went and we could get on a ship while we were there. Cruising is still not started again and we wait. But we went off to New Orleans excited to just be going on a Sisters Travel Adventure finally after more than a year.
This was our first trip to New Orleans, we stayed in the French Quarter and did a lot of walking around and exploring.
We stayed at The Provincial located within the French Quarter, The location was perfect for us. We were 2 blocks from Jackson Square, two blocks from the river front, and two blocks from Bourbon St.
The Provincial Hotel
is located on the
National Register of
The main entrance of the hotel is located on Chartres St. the courtyard has two separate areas, a seating area with a fountain and tables to sit and relax and the second courtyard area behind with a pool. The main rooms surround these courtyards with other rooms in a separate building off to the side of the driveway entrance. We were in the pool area but did not find it too noisy, though at times people were out enjoying the pool. The pool closes at 10 pm.
If you want to stay in the French Quarter and location is of importance to you, along with a small quieter setting in a historical building away from the high rise hotels and can Canal St. the hotel Provincial is an excellent choice. It does not have all the amenities of a big hotel but it is a wonderful alternative. We were very happy and content with our choice.
After settling into the hotel we headed out to explore the area, walking around and around to get the lay of the land. We headed towards Jackson Square. It became our foundational navigation point. From there we began our exploration. Headed first to Bourbon St. It was fun to walk down Bourbon St. And see all the places we have seen in pictures of New Orleans. It was a Wednesday afternoon, people were scattered about. I didn’t think it was too busy though there were people about and many of the restaurants and bars had people in them. My sister couldn’t believe how many people were out and about, in restaurants, bars, and traveling in general.
We both have had very different experiences during this past year of covid restrictions. She has been home in a state that is more locked down than others. I live in a place even with restrictions was crowded and full of people from the very beginning of lockdowns. I live in a beach community and everyone and anyone who could came to the beach so they could be outside at a place they could at least enjoy.
On our first full day we spent the day enjoying the river front area and cruised on the Riverboat City of New Orleans.
It felt good to be on the water on a boat even if it wasn’t a cruise ship on the ocean it was like almost being home again. It was our first time seeing the Mississippi River and it made me even more wanting to someday cruise the Mississippi from top to bottom. It’s on the bucket list.
To see more of New Orleans and get a better overall understanding of the communities and different areas of the city we took a City Bus Tour. I am not fond of bus tours but it was the best way to get a wider look around than what we could see walking. The tour focused on the damages and changes from Katrina. I didn’t take any pictures from the bus. We only made two stops. One at the Park which was a short stop for beignets and a drink. It also included a cemetery tour.
Food and drink were a big focus of our trip.
Dinner our first evening was at The Court of Two Sisters Restaurant. The The Court of Two Sisters is located on Royal St. but has an section on Bourbon St. as well.
I had the Veal Oscar, Susan had Crab Cakes and Salad. For dessert I had the Bananas Foster and my sister had the Bread Pudding.
Our first breakfast in New Orleans was at Toast on Decatur St.
Cafe Du Monde was around the corner from our hotel. One doesn’t go to New Orleans and to the French Quarter without making a pilgrimage to Cafe Du Monde for beignet and coffee. I am not a coffee drinker so I didn’t have any coffee. Still we had to have beignets. So about midmorning on Thursday we mad our way to get in the line. Well everyone was in line for the main window and no one was in line on the outside window so we didn’t have to wait. We had our beignets. By the weekend the line was always down the street.
Muriel’s was recommended by the hotel staff. It is located in Jackson Square. We were interested in the restaurant when we say it wondering the Square and probably would have tried it even without the hotel’s recommendation.
As is most of the French Quarter architecture, Muriel’s is steeped in history. they even claim to be ghosts there! We didn’t see any, and I didn’t feel any presence of any spirits but I didn’t explore the whole building.
Within the building the restaurant contains a bistro, a bar and courtyard, private function rooms, a wine room and a séance room. Our table was located downstairs inside the first dining room.
I enjoyed the Crispy Onion Salmon.
The food was excellent, our service that day was a little off, as I believe we had someone who was training. Service work is hard and learning takes time. Everything was taken care of and corrected. I would definitely enjoy Muriel’s again if I return to New Orleans. (which I very much hope to)
We had reservations at Commander’s Palace for lunch after our City of New Orleans Bus Tour. This was one of our fancier upscale restaurants we went to. We were warned about the dress code before we went. People were dressed up a little. Most of the customers were celebrating a special occasion.
Here I ventured out a little and tried the catfish. It was corn fried served over tomato, avocado, corn with a light dressing. The catfish was excellent. Susan had a special vegetarian linguini they prepared for her.
For dessert I had their famous strawberry shortcake while Susan had cheesecake.
Susan was wanting to have a Po-Boy. I never realized she had never had one. It was on her list to do. And I hadn’t yet had any crawfish. As we had been wondering she had seen many places advertising P0-Boys and a place had been recommended to us. When she say this place on Bourbon St we got in line outside.
She finally got her Shrimp Po Boy. I had the Crawfish Etouffee, that way I had crawfish without having to mess with the crawfish! It was a little spicy for me but otherwise I enjoyed it. I think Susan enjoyed her Po-Boy.
While we were walking around heading to Frenchman’s Street. I say this restaurant on the corner just past the French Market before heading over to Frenchman’s St. It caught my attention one because it was an Italian restaurant but also because it specialized in Italian Wine. On our way back, I stopped in to check it out and made dinner reservations for the next evening. I love everything Italian.
Our table was outside allowing us to people watch between the French Quarter and Frenchman’s St. Our meal was simple spaghetti with a veal meatball but delicious and elegant. After much looking over the wine menu I ended up with an Italian Pinot Noir that was one of the best glasses of wine I have had in a long time! Smooth and elegant.
Brennan’s located on Royal St. It has been in business since 1946.
Originally, we had brunch/lunch reservations for Saturday but my sister changed them to Mother’s Day Brunch for something special since it was our last day too.
She didn’t realize that Mother’s Day they were doing a different special menu. I did tell her after she changed the reservations but she never looked at it. So she was in shock when she saw the price for Mother’s Day Brunch.
For our appetizer we both had the Strawberries and Cream. For our entrees Susan had the Eggs Hussarde and I had the Grilled Pompano. For dessert Susan had the Chocolate Sheet Cake while I had the Lemon Merinague Tart.
But despite the price tag, Enjoying a meal at Brennan’s was a highlight of the trip. The food was good but the ambiance was stunningly beautiful. the experience was well worth the extra price. Next time though I want to dine there for dinner.
Brennan’s Mother’s Day Brunch price
At The Court of Two Sisters, of course I had to try one of the house specialty drinks. On recommendation from our waiter I had a Flamingo which is the house twist on a Hurricane.
At Muriel’s I had a glass of Pinot Noir from Oregon.
At Commander’s Palace I had a glass of Italian wine.
At the Italian Barrel I had a glass of Pinot Noir, Bottega Vinaia,
At Saint’s & Sinner’s we both had Hurricanes
At The Carousal Bar located in the Hotel Monteleone I had a Rev. Stiggin’s Pineapple Daiquiri and Susan had a Handshaken Pina Coloda At the Carousal Bar a few minutes after we sat down, Susan says, “Are we moving?” Well of course we are moving we are at the Carousal Bar that’s why we came.
At Brennan’s I had the Caribbean Milk Punch.
The picture in the bottom left hand side is cleaning up Bourbon St. Sunday morning after a Saturday Night.
Oak Alley Plantation
We also did a carriage ride around the French Quarter, Listen to music in Jackson Square and many of the wonderful street musicians, walked and listen to Music on Frenchman’s Street, had our tarot cards read, went into St. Louis Cathedral, and explored the Louisiana State Museum and of course did some shopping.
the weather was sunny and warm the whole time we were there. Thunderstorms moved in on Monday morning and our flight was delayed taking off to return home. And the end of another Sisters Travel Adventure until next time….