NEW ORLEANS PHOTO DIARY


"America only has three cities: New York, San Fransisco and New Orleans. Every where else is Cleveland" -Tennessee Williams


WHERE WE STAYED 

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE HOTEL


We were so lucky to have stayed at the beautiful International House Hotel. The photos and reviews online blew me away I knew it was the hotel for us. Once we arrived to the hotel, I realized the photos and reviews I saw online didn't do any justice to the beauty of the hotel. 



Although you immediately see the elegance of the building, you find cool, laid back sophistication slipping through with the art work, their furniture and relaxing bar, Loa. 


We stayed in one of the panoramic king rooms and the view from the room was so pretty. The first thing you notice are the big windows letting the light in. We hardly wanted to leave the room because we felt so comfortable.  

The best part of the International House Hotel is the location. The hotel sits tucked away next to Canal street. Making it easy to walk just about anywhere or even catch a bus or streetcar. The first day we arrived there was some heavy  rain and it was so simple to just go back to the hotel and wait out the rain all the while being comfortable in bed. 


The hotel bar, Loa is such a great spot to relax with friends. I fell in love with all the decor, especially the lights hanging from the ceiling. It was such a fun detail. 
 


WHAT WE DID 


WALK AROUND THE FRENCH QUARTER



The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans. Nothing short of spectacular you can find everything The Big Easy has to offer. Beignets, Jazz and ornate cast iron buildings to name a few. I recommend to put on your walking shoes and really take the time to explore the streets. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner in any of the amazing restaurants. Grab beignets with hot chocolate from Cafe Du Monde and sit at Jackson square and people watch with the view of the St. Louis Cathedral. Hear Jazz music from the bands playing on Royal Street or even step into one of the many art studios around town. 

















TAKE A RIDE IN A STREETCAR TO THE GARDEN DISTRICT

The Garden District is my favorite part of New Orleans. We rode on the streetcars down until we started to see the gorgeous antebellum mansions. Every single home is breath taking and most of them still had Christmas decorations up which made it even more special. 

We left the streetcar and just started walking around the neighborhood. We saw the home where the film Benjamin Button was filmed. walked through the Lafayette cemetery, had some lunch and found the best antique shop.  



World War II Museum

I wasn't expecting to enjoy the World War II Museum as much as I did. To be honest I wasn't looking forward to going. However, Chase's grandfathers both serviced in the military during World War II and were stationed overseas. We thought it would be a great day to go to a museum and learn more about the tragic war. Before I give you a review of our day, I have to say, I found myself very emotional throughout it. Not only did I feel sadness for the lives lost and struggle of the war but I was angry and frustrated about how our own Americans were treated at the time by the United States. The museum opened my eyes to the hypocritical nature the United States then stood for. Allowing Native Americans, Blacks and Hispanics fight for the country but not give them representation. Racism was alive and well at the time. All the while fighting Hitler who- in a more drastic measure was killing Jews and others who didn't fit the mold of a perfect world in his eyes. 

One of the many reasons I enjoyed the museum is because it didn't keep anything from you. It wasn't biased, which I thought it would be since it is in the United States. However, the museum does a good job at showing the faults of all the countries involved all the while respecting the memory of of those who died and served. 


You can purchase tickets online to skip the line. When you do you'll have 3 options. You can purchase the museum ticket or upgrade to purchasing 'Final Mission' and 'Beyond All Boundaries' both of which cost $7 additional dollars each. We purchases the entire package because we wanted the experience. Please take my advice and don't buy the 'Final Mission' experience unless you might have small children. The 'Final Mission' lets you inside the heroic story of the USS Tang, the most successful submarine of World War II. We thought it was going to be an interactive activity. It wasn't, you basically enter a submarine simulation where you will be handed a card with a station number. That station is where you stand and the job "you're in charge of". You just stand while a video plays above your head about the story that took place with the USS Tang. After the video (which is short) you step outside the submarine to watch a short video about the men who survived the attack. Honestly, not worth it, don't buy it. 


However, 'Beyond All Boundaries' is a total must see! 4D cinematic experience, narrated and executive produced by Tom Hanks. It is a true experience and well worth the money. We got lucky and found a time slot with open seats but the theater was full. Make sure to check the time and seating. 

Our Dog Tags for our journey


When you begin the experience in the museum you'll have to locate a volunteer for your 'Dog Tag'. It is a card in which you will register with your name to find a service person you will go through the experience with. There is a catalog of names filled with history and stories of their personal lives. It gets you excited to hear more about their life through the war. 



The museum is filled with different exhibits to show you the different sides of the war. Each exhibit is decorated to take you on a journey and illustrate the situation. Through the exhibits you will find memorabilia of soldiers and videos diving in to more explanation of the wars at war. From how we got involved, to the other countries involved, Stories about Bod hope and so much more. The videos at each exhibit is what I enjoyed the most.   




WHERE WE ATE 


Fun Fact: New Orleans is one of the top culinary destinations in the world; it combines Caribbean, African, Spanish, French, Italian, Creole and Cajun culinary traditions. 


BUTCHER 


WILLIES

PALACE CAFE




JOEY K'S










SOUTHERN CANDYMAKERS
            


LA BOULANGERIE
PIZZA G'S
FELIPE'S MEXICAN TAQUERIA 
CAFE DU MONDE 
THE ORIGINAL FRENCH MARKET RESTAURANT 



HOW TO GET AROUND


My one tip would be NOT to rent a car while you're in New Orleans. It is a complete waste and total hassle. New Orleans has excellent public transportation and also offers Uber, Taxi, shuttles and lift accomodations. Not to mentioned, New Orleans is meant to be walked. You can get all over the city by walking. (of course if you need to get of the city, by all means, rent the car). 


City Bikes: You can also rent city bikes, you'll notice station racks along the Streets. 



Street Cars: For just $3 a day the street Cars will take you just about anywhere you need to go. Make sure you ride it from Canal Street to the Garden District to see all the beautiful homes. The day pass lets you jump on and off as you please.You can purchase a ticket from the driver. 



Fun Fact: New Orleans' St. Charles streetcars  and the cable cars of San Francisco, California, are the nation's only mobile national monuments. 



Public Buses: If you need to be realistic and don't want to be squished into a street cart (they are often full-NO SURPRISE). Look for a bus! They are clean and semi reliable. There is an app available that will let you know when they are due. We found it to be a bit slow in its accuracy but it worked. You can actually use your day pass (RTA Card) with the bus as well, so no need to purchase anything else. 



       



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