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Old 05-30-2006, 02:01 AM   #1
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Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21-- COMPLETED!!! 6/3

<font color="purple">Well, this trip was meant to have happened something like, oh, 2 ˝ years ago . . . but, of course, we have just never planned the trip. Little did I know, it was going to take my 4 friends in 30 Seconds to Mars to get a trip to New Orleans planned! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img]

On April 1st, the guys announced that they added a tour date to New Orleans for May 20th . . . only a 3 hour drive from here . . . how was I supposed to NOT go? [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] As soon as I got the e-mail, I booked a room for the weekend at the Parc St. Charles Hotel then started getting info on what we’d be able to do that weekend. I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale on April 10th (it’s true! My ticket numbers were 6, 7 and 8!), added myself to the list of promotion team members who were going, contacted the record company to have them send me some “goodies” to promote the show with and we were set to go!!! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/woot.gif[/img]

About a week later, it was announced that nearly all shows at the House of Blues in New Orleans were age 18 and up only now . . . so Emilie would not get to see the show. This REALLY upset her as she adores the guys. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] Mike was OK with the fact that he wouldn’t get to see the show, as he has never really been into the band’s music that much. Thankfully, there were quite a few other “Echelon” (promotion team) going, so I wouldn’t be at the show alone. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

So, the weekend of our trip finally rolled around, and luckily, Mike had been given the day off of work. It was also the last day of school here in Pensacola, so as soon as we picked Emilie up, we headed home, loaded up the car and pointed the car west on I-10!

We stopped by Spanish Fort, AL at the Build-A-Bear Workshop for a few minutes so that we could get Emilie’s monkey “Ginger” sewn up. He has had a rip in his side for a few months, but we have just never gotten over to BABW to get him fixed (it is about a 40-45 minute drive over there). After his little surgery and a quick air bath, and then a quick stop through McDonald’s for some lunch, we were on our way again. We made really good time all the way there and before we knew it, we were driving over the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain (from Slidell into New Orleans). We were honestly both shocked at the amount of abandoned houses, stores, apartment complexes . . . there were just entire neighborhoods left behind. Every so often we would see a FEMA trailer in a driveway and someone out doing some construction on their house, but those were few and far between. It was truly very sad. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

Before long, we were finding our exit taking us to the French Quarter area . . . and it wasn’t very long until we found the Parc St. Charles! We parked out front and headed in to check in. It was about 3:15pm by then and my reservation confirmation e-mail said that check-in was 3pm, so we were were good to go. Or so I thought. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] When I went to check in, the girl behind the counter (who either had not been working there long or just did not understand what was going on) and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: “Hi. I am checking in.”
Girl: “We don’t have any rooms available. We are booked.”
Me: “I am checking in.”
Girl: “Huh?”
Me: “I am checking in.”
Girl: “What? Oh. Check in is not until 4pm.”
Me: “Um, my confirmation said check in was at 3pm.” &lt;starts twiddling thumbs and looking around&gt;
Girl (to another girl): “All we have are king smoking rooms. I can give them one of those.” [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img]

Finally, after much eye rolling by me and them searching for an “available room” for what seemed like forever, they finally made our keys for us and sent us up to a nonsmoking room (with 2 double beds) on the 7th floor. I was sure glad they figured out where to put us and was definitely hoping that no one else checking in after us was going to have the same problem.

So we got into our room and what a nice one it was! It was a large room and lovely! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]



Once we had unloaded our things into the room, we had to go find a place to park. This took what seemed like forever and a day to do! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img] The parking options in downtown New Orleans are a friggin’ JOKE!!! The hotel offered valet parking for $18.95/night or we could find a “pay and park” lot to park in. So . . . we drove around and looked at all the prices of the pay and parks . . . most were $6 per day (or over 10 hours), $3 per evening (after 4pm). A garage around the corner from us was $20 per day (with overnight included), but it was gated and locked up after 6pm and we would not have been able to get our car out if we needed it. So, we headed back to a pay and park lot and paid $9, since we’d be there for over 10 hours and after 4pm . . . I wasn’t going to be towed for not paying enough! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img]

Once we parked, it was off to take a look around New Orleans!!!</font>


COMING UP NEXT: Welcome to the French Quarter . . . and “HOW much did you just spend on 2 drinks?!”
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:05 AM   #2
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Great start! I remember thinking the exact same thing about parking when we made a weekend trip to New Orleans years ago- jeesh, it's pricey!

Looking forward to more!
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:26 AM   #3
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Welcome to the French Quarter . . . and “HOW much did you just spend on 2 drinks?!”


<font color="purple">Coming back from parking the car, we passed Lafayette Square (which our hotel just happened to be right next to), so I snapped a couple of pictures as we passed . . .



Next, it was on to Bourbon Street! We were only 4 blocks away, so it wasn’t too far a walk . . . [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

As we came around the corner I looked at Mike and said “This street is ENTIRELY too narrow for all those Mardi Gras people to be all packed in here like they do.” [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/ukid.gif[/img]</font>





Mike and Emilie start wandering down Bourbon Street





<font color="purple">As we passed under a balcony, a lady and her husband called down to us and told us to stand back and that they wanted to toss some beads and toys to Emilie . . . she was very excited and wrapped them all around her neck! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img]

</font>
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:30 AM   #4
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

<font color="purple">We walked a bit more then popped in to get something to drink . . . we’re on Bourbon Street, so why not? [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Emilie and I waited outside while Mike went in and got the drinks.



He got a Hurricane and I opted for a rum and coke . . . he brought me my drink and gave me $6.50. When I asked him where the rest of the change was he said “That’s it.” I almost passed out then said “Wait, you just spent HOW much on these 2 drinks?!” He said “$13.50” Well . . . so much for our very, very low budget trip! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img]

My next order of business was finding out exactly where in the French Quarter the House of Blues – French Quarter was, so we started wandering around and towards the river. Once we got there, we sat down for a little while and Emilie jumped around like a frog . . . [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img]



We wandered a bit more . . . and I took a few more pictures . . . </font>




This one was for Angie . . . [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] . . . we didn’t stop in to get anything to eat because it was VERY busy, but we still walked by. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

<font color="purple">Once we figured out that the House of Blues was in the opposite direction . . . [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img][img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img][img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img] . . . we turned around and went that way . . .</font>


St. Louis Cathedral

<font color="purple">All along the way, I was putting up stickers and posters in promotion for the show the following night . . . I even managed to somehow slip into one of the pics . . . [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img] Here are just a few from the afternoon . . . there were about 35 in total, so I picked just a couple! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif[/img]



FINALLY, we found the House of Blues . . . so I snapped a picture of the sign for the show for the guys . . .



. . . and we started to wander back to Canal Street to find a place to eat. Mike had his heart set on a shrimp Po-Boy sandwich and someone pointed us towards The Pearl restaurant, which was just 3 blocks from our hotel. Mike had his sandwich and Emilie and I split a hamburger . . . it was all very good. Before we left, we asked our server about the parking situation. She told us not to bother with the pay to park lots and instead find a parking meter spot along the street. The meters aren’t enforced on weekends, so we would be able to park for free. Don’t have to tell me twice! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif[/img] So we headed back to the car after dinner and moved it to a metered spot on the street near our hotel. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

On the way back to the hotel for the night, I took one last pic (of the Court of Appeals building which was right across from Lafayette Square),



. . . then we retired to the room for the night. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]</font>


COMING UP NEXT: An educational morning and a rockin’ night!!! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:41 AM   #5
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

It is great so far, Sarah! More please...
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:44 AM   #6
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

I absolutely adore New Orleans!!! If you find time, go to the French Market and take the trolley to the Garden District! That town is truely amazing!
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:05 AM   #7
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Great start!! I always wanted to go to New Orleans and your pictures make me feel like I am there.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:09 AM   #8
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Great updates and pictures Sarah!
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:26 AM   #9
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

What a great beginning!!! I love all the pictures Sarah!! More please!!
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Great pictures of N.O., brings back lots of memories.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:04 AM   #11
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Great start Sarah!!! Glad they were able to find you a room at the hotel!! Love the pictures!! Can't wait for more!!
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:31 AM   #12
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

I'm so glad that you started your report, I was really hoping you'd do one for this trip. More please!
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:18 AM   #13
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Sarah - Great report! New Orleans is where I went on my honey moon with my ex - 28 years ago next month. I haven't been back since, but it still looks the same. Too bad the lines were long at the Cafe du Monde. I [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/love.gif[/img] beignets! Can't wait to get some in October when I stay at POFQ. Waiting for more.........
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:34 AM   #14
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Great start Sarah sorry about the problems checking in.
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:31 PM   #15
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Re: Our weekend in the Big Easy -- May 19-21

Great report so far Sarah. You know New Orleans has just never appealed to me, but seeing your photos is making me think that we should add it to the list of places we need to visit one day... [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif[/img]
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