New Orleans

This is a city that we have visited a couple of times and the last time we left with no desire to ever return and yet here we are moving to New Orleans for a three month winter stay. Our winter stays have always been the most problematic as we are not attracted to the usual winter beach resorts and we do our best to keep our year round temperatures between 15-25℃ or 55-75℉. We also need a fairly large urban center so that we can walk, learn and explore. Our friends all collaborate with us on our difficult decisions as most of them want to come and visit us during the cold winter months. Our friends Neil and Audrey came up with New Orleans as they and their family have spent significant amounts of time here and they understand what we are looking for in a city. So we have been here for one week now and every day has been over 75º.

On December 1st we arrived at our winter destination.
We were greeted with delightfully warm sunny weather.😎 And no prediction of snow.
Our furnished rental is located on Second Street in the Garden district of New Orleans. The house faces Magazine St. which has a plethora of great shops, markets and restaurants. Our unit is on the top floor with a balcony off of our bedroom and another off of the Living room. It is one the the best stocked places we have ever stayed at and the host is lovely. A widowed woman lives below us but we have yet to meet her.
This is the swimming pool which we have access to but doubt we will ever use it.
The living room is nicely furnished and we have decorated it for Christmas with wreaths and poinsettias.
Dining room seats 6-8 people
One of the best stocked kitchens in any Air BNB we have stayed in and spotlessly clean.
Super comfy bed and ensuite bath with great shower. Lots of bed linens and towels.
Nice outdoor balcony overlooks Magazine St. Lovely space for dining al fresco or having drinks.
This is our neighbor’s house across the street which we can see at night from our living room windows. It was reportedly one of the best decorated houses for Halloween.
On the morning of our very first full day here we went to a coffee shop just a few blocks away and had the best coffee and amazing beignets. We were both covered in powdered sugar by the time we finished them. They always come in minimum of three.
Ain’t that the truth!
Barmacy is the treatment of choice here in NOLA.
We took a Two Chicks two hour walking tour of the Garden district. Our tour guide was Karen who said she was a chicklet not a boss Chick! Sandy thought she was very good and learned a lot. Jim got tired of her side remarks about being a native Orleanian.
This home was once owned by Ann Rice before she moved to California. A native of New Orleans she was best known for the Vampire Chronicles which was a series of novels, two of which were made into films; Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned.
Above and below are photos of Sandra Bullock’s Gothic mansion built back in 1876. Although she owns many other properties this is her primary residence. It has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths.
This home is the home of American actor John Goodman best known for his role in the comedy show Roseanne for which he won a Golden Globe Award.
Much of the filming for the Brad Pitt movie Benjamin Button took place in the Nolan house above. The owner initially rejected having the filming here as she did not want to disrupt her neighbors however when they offered bit parts to any neighbor who wanted it she was convinced to change her mind. Two of her neighbors were assigned to sit on the porch and rock in the rocking chairs for hours. They said it was very boring and would never do it again.
This is the home where NFL’ers Eli and Peyton Manning grew up.
This is the Buckner Mansion built in 1856 as the residence of cotton kingpin Harry Sullivan Buckner. The filming of Miss Robicheaux’s Academy from American Horror Story series took place here. We have never seen this series but now feel like we should watch it while we are here as it is about a family from Boston who move into a house that is haunted by demonic ghosts. So far our condo is ghostless.
So many homes in our neighborhood have beautiful and fun Holiday decor.
This is Commander’s Palace Restaurant located in the Garden District which has been a New Orleans landmark since 1893. It is the go to destination for Haute Creole cuisine and Jazz brunch. At lunch customers can have up to three 25 cent martini’s. 😮🍸🍸🍸😴
Located in the Garden District Lafayette Cemetery No.1 is one of the oldest city governed cemeteries. There are 1,100 family tombs and over 7,000 people buried here including Mayfair witches. It is has been closed to the public for two years because of needed repairs but may not ever open because it has been used as a place to party at night disturbing the neighbors and disrespecting the dead. Get you Guide is permitted to do tours here.
New Orleans is at or below sea level, resulting in a high water table in the soil. If a body or coffin is placed in an in ground tomb there is a risk of it being water logged or even displaced from the ground😲. For this reason, the people of New Orleans generally use above ground tombs.
Note in the above photo the vault has a step. The inside floor of the vault opens up to empty the coffin’s contents of the deceased’s bones into a below ground vault where family bones are all mixed in together. They wait exactly one year and one day before emptying the bones as not to “dump” them out on the anniversary of their death. The coffin is now empty for another family member. Now that takes recycling to a whole other level I would say.
This is an example of home owners displaying their wealth with elaborate and expensive wrought iron fencing around their property.
They have preserved these horse hitching posts in the Garden District.
Tree roots will always win the battle over sidewalks here making it a pedestrian challenge for walking/running here.
Above photo is a good example of tree vs cement. Mother Nature will always have her way.
A better photo of the former home of author Ann Rice.
We picked up a trolly on St Charles Street to take us to the French Quarter. With our senior discount it was only 40 cents.
We decided to visit the Christmas decorations of the Hotels in the French Quarter. We first went to the Ritz and were blown away by this Ginger Bread Steamboat that was fully edible. A sign nearby encourages you to eat any of the confections. It is also filled with peanut M & M’s some of which Sandy enjoyed.
Front Door Holiday entrance of the New Orleans Ritz.
This is another fully edible New Orleans Cable Car decorated with photos of local natives who became celebrities.
Registration Lobby of Ritz.
Roosevelt Hotel Holiday entrance. We stayed here many years ago when we came for an Emergency Medicine convention.
Preservation Hall in The French Quarter.We have been here once but will return again.
Bourbon St always provides for an interesting walk.
New Orleans Cathedral and Andrew Jackson Monument
Main Altar of Cathedral, meh! Sorry not to be a snob but it is hard to impress us with American Cathedrals after walking the Camino in Spain.
We did a taste test and surprise surprise we feel our beignet at PJ’s, a chain coffee place near us has better beignets.
Okay I really think this guy is a celebrity that was not on my radar but people were recognizing and approaching him. I tried to take a discreet photo but as you can see he caught me in the act🥴. So who is he? There are tons of actors in town filming now. Does anyone recognize him?

After spending the afternoon in the French Quarter we walked back to our accommodations in the Garden District giving us a total of 10 miles for the day. Our take after our first few days here is that we have chosen well for the winter so thank you Audrey and Neil for the recommendation and we look forward to hosting you and others soon.

7 responses to “New Orleans”

  1. Love your blog. We felt exactly like you used to on last visit to NOLA (no desire to return) but now are sorely tempted. You always seem to have so much fun! Your apartment looks fantastic. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. Looks absolutely charming and so festive. Those hotel lobbies were AMAZING!!
    Look forward to rediscovering NOLA with you!

  3. These photos and captions are amazing! Thank you!

  4. Christina Larson Avatar
    Christina Larson

    Beautiful pics of the architecture – gives us a real feel for the area. And the hotel lobbies were gorgeous! Enjoy!!

  5. So glad you two are loving NOLA!! Try the beignets in the piano bar at the Ritz–they come with dipping sauces (as long as you are in the hunt for the best beignet!). We can’t wait to explore with you XXOO

  6. After your photo tour I now remember why I like New Orleans so well, gorgeous historical architecture,great food, and Dixieland Jazz! Yea!
    Enjoy, Bill

  7. We love your new apartment and were struck by how nice the red light fixture is in the kitchen compared with the hanging fixture in your Madrid kitchen! Enjoy your Christmas there!

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