I am about to embark on a series of entries- yes, a series- about New Orleans. Why is that? It is quite simple really- there is too much to write in one entry.
On that note, I would like to begin by saying that we visited New Orleans this past November. My husband had been “voluntarily” bumped on an over-booked flight and we had a flight voucher to use. After some consideration, we decided we would like to escape for Thanksgiving, but where should we make our escape to? Four years after Katrina, New Orleans was ready for us and we were quite easily convinced. Decision made.
Now if I could ask you to visit anywhere in the U.S. that you had never been, I would beg you to consider California and New Orleans; I guarantee you will fall in love with both. New Orleans is currently crying for tourists to grace the city limits- since Katrina, it has been very difficult for NOLA to attract tourists.
That being said, here are a few trip planning recommendations, should you decide to visit NOLA. We booked our trip at the perfect time- for a flight in November during the week of Thanksgiving, I booked at the very end of August; it was the lowest flight to New Orleans that I came across (about $200 round trip each). With our voucher, we didn’t spend a dime on flights, save taxes: my mission accomplished.
My next step was to find an affordable place to stay there (being that we spend most our livelihood on student loans, we are very much “Budget Travelers”). Since we had a flight voucher, a combined package was not feasible; plus, I knew we really wanted to stay at a B&B. So I did a little bit of searching on Hotels.com and BedandBreakfast.com and I found the Creole Gardens B&B. I booked our room over the phone with Creole Gardens directly and I got a great deal on our room- $89 per night (even on the weekend nights) and that included a southern breakfast every morning!
As for my review of Creole Gardens, all I can say is that for the price, the hospitality far exceeded my expectations. The staff was incredibly stellar and the breakfasts were scrumptious- they even made Thanksgiving dinner for any of the guests that wanted to eat there, at no extra cost! The rooms are each unique and the whole property is colorfully decorated. Honestly, if we find ourselves in NOLA again and the Creole Gardens is still in business, there is no need for us to stay elsewhere, even if we have more money to spend on accommodations. It’s right on the edge of the Garden District and Financial District and a very short walk or trolley ride to the French Quarter.
For more information, visit their website: http://www.creolegardens.com
That concludes my introduction on New Orleans. Next stop in NOLA: the restaurants and food.
In the pictures above: on the left is a glimpse of the colorful lanterns and paint at Creole Gardens; on the right is the common breakfast room in the Mansion.