21 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2014 1:40 PM by jakeal RSS

New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story

erc Platinum
Currently Being Moderated
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.
  
masterbdrm.jpg
VRBO comes through again - spacious apartment in the thick of things

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

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

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

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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.
  
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In the kitchen with Chef Clark at K-Pauls - every dish was delicious - all diners pleased
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In spite of the "ewwww" criers, the host insisted upon a visit to Felix's; even the club sandwichers were happy
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Cracklin' - SoBou style - tasty (and economical/$1)
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Craig Tracy Art Gallery - Craig owns the Body Painting Market - a clever way to meet women

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Bee Galleries- R. Ichter, this is all painted. He layers resin and paints each layer- remarkably impressive
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Our annual "How tough are you?" Hot sauce challenge- I dropped out at Ghost - millennial whipped the ol' man
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Southern City Tours (always a Groupon etc) Jackson Sq. - French Qtr./9th Ward/Cemetery/CBD/Garden District - great for rooks and vets
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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.
  
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Great stay - Breakfast buffet - 2 per room! Two corner rooms and a river view - thanks to Michael R. and Cari - great folks
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Roosevelt Hotel (Waldorf) - home of the Sazerac Bar - need I say more?
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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"
  

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc,

     

    Great report and wonderful photo's!

     

    Been looking for just this kind of trip after the 1st of the year!

     

    Your choices in places to stay, dine, and relax are exactly like mine, and I may want to get more details on the trip including some "People recommendations" before booking certain activities!

     

    Thanks for sharing, and please have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc, I glad you and your entourage had such a wonderful time in my "home away from home".  This was such a creative way to showcase "The Big Easy".  Thanks for taking the time to post it.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    sg1974 Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Good stuff.

    That food looks appetising.

    Brings back some good memories.

    New Orleans is a great city to visit.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    erc Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    jerrycoin - It was a lovely property (3 BR- huge floorplan) and it fits well with your style of living - you'd enjoy it, as it's right in the middle of things - safe, secure, and pretty quiet (330 Exchange Alley - next to police station, across street from La. Supreme Court) - VRBO #442078, there's several others there also - check it out.   As far as Marriott, I sent you the name of the Guest Relations Manager who took such terrific care of us.   

      razorbackfan - Great hearing from you, hope all is well and you get back in the swing of things on Insiders. I actually mentioned you as we walked by the Convention Ctr. Marriott (nice looking property) and told the fam about how you hit the Superdome (Monday night football was going on), so you were on my mind. Your Hogs are coming back. foxglove and I need them to continue their hot streak and beat Missouri so Georgia can get into the Conference Championship - Go Hogs.  

      sg1974 - Yeah man, you're right about the food. Great food and because of the diversity of my guests, we went beyond just cajun, but we had excellent choices all throughout the week. Actually, the Marriott Concierge (on the 21st floor of the Quarter Tower - end of next year M Lounge will be on lower level) put on a fine spread - seafood gumbo, salads, nice desserts, and lobster mac and cheese (and they weren't stingy with the lobster - deeelicious).  Good times had by all. 

    20141123_134248_resized.jpg

    Millennials have most of the food shots, cajun, gator, rabbit etc (I just eat)

    Squash soup and gumbo with smashed potatoes instead of rice - both hit the spot

      Ok gang - just back from my 15th annual Home Depot 99 cent poinsettias and my Black Friday is over -

    20141128_053735_resized.jpg


     
      I'm now preparing for CyberMonday  This is the guy who makes a. Remember Insiders, check the regular Marriott Matrix using the code, don't just rely on the CyberMonday site - there's deals all throughout that evil grid. Go man, go. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

     

    Mrs. Erc said I should expand upon the art photos above and I do what I'm told. The first photo below is from Craig Tracy and is painted on three bodies (the trolley car I used was just to show the process, he then trims and frames).

    20141123_143722_resized.jpg

     

    This gives a better idea of what R. Ichter does in painting each level of resin to form a very 3D type finish.

    The rocks are painted - not rocks, but even staring at them, you think they are real rocks.

    Very impressive (and if the resin is not crystal clear, he must start all over)

    20141123_130526_resized.jpg

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      @erc,

       

      Got the name, and thanks!

       

      Got the appetite to go with the trip!

       

      Love the additional photo's and information, so, "Thank-you for all of your work, in making this available"!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Another Erc special, both trip and report.  The great food and music is to be expected of course, but the art is incredible!  Thanks for sharing with us (and for doing what you're told. )

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
      razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hey, erc.  I'll get back into the swing of things on Insiders when I can really travel again and have something to report on.  Because my knee replacement went so well in June, I decided to go ahead and have the other one done sooner rather than later.  So three weeks ago, I had the left one done.  Recuperation has been somewhat slower because my knee cap cracked during surgery and they had to build a wire cage around it.  Thankfully, it is not any more painful, but PT was delayed.  I'm already riding the exercise bike at PT and plan on being back on my real bike by summer.  Sooooooo, our travel since June has been very limited.  We did make it to a Saints game (before their home losing streak started)  and saw the Hogs win at home for Homecoming and you could just tell they were on the brink of something great.  I sure hope they beat Missouri today for all Razorback fans and will be okay with Georgia going to the conference championship so that you and foxglove will be happy. If we win, we will go to a better bowl game and our players definitely deserve that.  WoooooooPigSooie!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Yet another in the fine works of erc with a wonderful report and equally lovely pictures of Nawlins'!  Well done as usual, but I didn't see the rest of the dozen beauties on the half shell, or had you already consumed them over a few Dixie's Blackened Voodoo?

     

    Great looking trip and VRBO is growing around the world due to your diligence, thank you for sharing it with us.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, social pressure kept me to a half dozen, I didn't want to hear the screaming mimi's wail.  Back in the day (as The Boss would sing, "when I could throw that speedball by you") yours truly easily slurped down three dozen at a sitting. I love the fact that you make your own cocktail sauce (ketchup, tabasco, horseradish, and worcestershire) like a Japanese tea ceremony, when properly executed, a very mindfulness sort of gluttony .

      Along with VRBO, I've had good luck of late with single or double night experiences with TravelZoo. The rooms are priced so attractively, that just about anything short of disastrous, makes for a good night. I haven't even come close to a bad outing yet (knock on wood), so that's where I go for variety and a walk on the wild side, counterbalancing it with the consistent performance of my good pals at Marriott.

      vaboywnder - just got word from my travel buddies - Along with some Tampa and Bradenton Marriotts,  we're staying at the Cypress Harbour (near SeaWorld) Vacation Club; but you just say the word and I'll head over to the Grande Vista (along with your $50 photo) and give those guys "What For"  .

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
        vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        erc,

         

        Sounds like a great get away.  One of these days I'm going to try my luck with a VRBO rental.  Have fun in Orlando...you don't have to make a special trip to the MVC Sales office for me but if for some reason you find yourself there you are welcome to give them hell on my behalf.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    taxman193 Platinum 11 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great report. Loved reading your post and seeing the pictures. Love New Orleans and I haven't been back there in awhile. May have to schedule a trip there soon. Thanks erc

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    After Chicago, New Orleans is the best city for the Pained team.  Thanks for the pics and running account, erc. It's been a few years and your thread has us planning.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      painedplatinum

      Great rates (and airfares, gee, I wonder why ) in Chicago in the wonderful month of January. I'm headed there 1/7 to 1/12. Fairfield Inn on Ontario, $85 then switching over on the weekend to Residence Inn Chicago River North $102 (401 sq. ft) or if you prefer a 10 point per dollar room, the attached at the hip SpringHill Chicago River North $102 (330 sq. ft).

       

                                                Come on up, we'll take a dip (or be one ).

      http://cbschicago.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/extreme-cold-getty-13.jpg?w=620

                              Love me some January Lake Michigan - it's cool man, cool !

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        @erc,

         

        You will enjoy the FF on Ontario!  Try to get an upgrade, as the rooms are very clean, but small!  This lady may be able to help, she was very nice to my group:  I just can't remember her name, she is the front desk manager, and she will remember me, she took great care of us.  Likewise, the best place I have ever dined in Chicago, is right next door.  Les Nomades, is a relaxing upscale place you will never forget.

         

         

         

        IMG_3293.jpg

         

         

         

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        Likewise, if you go, or even walk over to check it out, seek this lady to help you for a memorable time!

        IMG_3299.JPG

        Mary Beth, seems to run things at Les Nomades, and is very pleasant to help her guests!

         

        BTW, That RI, is a wonderful hotel, next to The Drake, and you can enjoy walking "The Miracle Mile" from there!

         

        Have a wonderful trip!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
          erc Platinum
          Currently Being Moderated

          This is good stuff jerrycoin thanks. I was actually originally staying at the RI on Dearborn, but like you, am also a big fan of the RI on Ontario (and it's easier for my daughter to get to - she's got three shows, thus the crazy time of travel; it seems like the more she makes, the more it costs me ), so I switched over after my one night at the Fairfield (where I'll tell 'em jerrycoin stories ), snagging an even more attractive $88 rate and will try to check out Les Nomades. As a dog lover, I actually enjoy the guests at the RI bringing their pets - so all is good (now, if the January weather holds up, I'm all set).

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
            jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            erc

             

            Thank-you!

             

            One place you will want to visit, if you have not been, is The John Hancock Building, and the wonderful place to dine on The 95th Floor.  You can easily walk there from either hotel.

            IMG_0937.JPG

            This is the kind of view you will get in Winter!  The place is reasonably priced, good service, and good food!  They have a wonderful lounge, and you can see a long way away from the JH, on a clear day.  Do make a reservation for a window table if you decide to go!

             

            erc, two other historic inexpensive places for lunch are:

             

             

            Mr. Beef, a favorite of Jay Leno!

            chicago2.jpg

            chicago 3.jpg

            Perry's Deli, has been featured many times on The Food Channel, and is worth a visit!

             

            Have a wonderful trip!

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
              erc Platinum
              Currently Being Moderated

              Thanks - good stuff.

               

              Signature Room - John Hancock Building   John Hancock Building Chicago Signature room restaurant 95th Floor - YouTube

              been a couple of times, and had a good time (also went to the Lounge, which is a less expensive way to enjoy the impressive view - especially on a crisp, clear day in winter)

               

              Les Nomades - all juiced up about hitting the spot....and then I read, jackets required - oops, don't pack jackets

               

              Perry's Deli - lookin' good, depending on weather may give it a shot - thanks

               

              Mr. Beef - Jay's hangout - looks like a doable stroll (weather permitting) down Ontario

                and for Thread purists (although I started the Thread, so no holds barred) Mr. Beef is on Orleans St.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
                erc Platinum
                Currently Being Moderated

                And before Mr. Coin politely informs me that I can purchase a houndstooth blazer at Bloomies at the 900 North Michigan Shops, here's my obligatory erc beer sampler shot from Crescent City Brewhouse on Decatur (across from Jax Brewery Shops) New Orleans
                 
                  20141123_194457_resized.jpg
                  Decent food (not great, but not bad), decent beer (not as good as others), good music - live jazz trio, and fun people watching views on the  outdoor balcony, make this a worthwhile drop by (but not a trip killer if missed).

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Orleans Travel Challenge - Photo Story
    jakeal Gold 15 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc - another fantastic write-up.  I'm loving me the beer sampler and beignet pictures! 

     

    Have not been to NO, though you jumped it a few spots on the future list.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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