Author Topic: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR  (Read 7736 times)

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« on: April 28, 2016, 04:00:11 PM »
Planning

It was fast approaching Pesach and time to start planning our biannual Chol HaMoed trip. While weíve visited Montreal and Maine in the past, both are within 650 miles of PHL (our starting point) and until recently were only 4.5k Avios. Now that all flights under 1150 miles (in North America), it was time to maximize the distance of our next trip. At 1089 miles, PHL-MSY fit the bill perfectly as the farthest destination from PHL under 1150 miles. On top of that we really wanted to visit the city, but hearing mixed reviews decided to just spend 1 night. It took a while for availability on the flights we wanted to open up, but about 3 weeks out we got the exact flights we wanted, nonstop PHL-MSY on AA.



Figuring out where to stay took the longest. The areas we considered were the French Quarter, the Warehouse District or the CBD. Now all of these areas are less than 1 mile from one to the other, so it really wasnít that big of a difference. There are a lot of SPG and a few Hyatt hotels, some of which are good deals (when using points) and some of which are not. Iíd decided to go with either the Hyatt French Quarter or the Hyatt Regency NOLA in the CBD, both were going for 15k Hyatt.

There were two reasons I ended up going with the HR over the H-FQ: First, Iíd heard staying in the FQ may not be nice and will most definitely be loud. Weíre not big party people and didnít regret this decision at all. Second, I checked the UR travel page.

On Hyatt.com, the cheapest rate for a standard room at the HR was going for $261 (before tax, with the members only/AAA rate). UR had the exact same room for only $82, or about 6250 UR. While this may not be the best rate to cash in your UR at, I decided to use them anyway since 1) didnít want to spend cash anyway and 2) it was way cheaper than transferring UR to Hyatt.

Another thing we needed to figure out was transportation and food. Car rentals and parking in NOLA are both really expensive, and with everything so close it didnít make sense to rent a car. Taxis are $36 flat rate between the city (CBD, FQ area) and the airport for 2 people ($15 for each additional person). Lucky for us UberX got permission to pickup at MSY just a few days before we arrived, and their flat rate is $33 for the same area with no additional fees for extra passengers. Uber it was.

For food we just brought a few things from PHL: a box of matza, some matza rolls Iíd made, some fresh fruit and vegetables and some chocolate. We meant to bring cheese but ended up forgetting it in PHL. We also bought some more vegetables while there. No, it wasnít gourmet food, and no, we didnít get to taste the kosher Cajun food, but it sustained us for the 24.5 hours we were there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 First day in NOLA
Our flight landed about 30 minutes early, getting us in at 11:40am. We didnít check any bags, so just proceeded to the Transportation Center where all ride sharing services are picked up from. The MSY airport is tiny, but there arenít clear signs to the TC. In reality itís just opposite the JetBlue baggage claim, so if you arrive on American just go left at the curbside (or walk inside if itís hot) and then cross the roadway. Uber drivers wait in a lot across the street and take about 2 minutes to arrive. They actually have to park and you just walk to their car, which isnít too bad.

It took about 20 minutes to get to the hotel with no traffic. After checking in and trekking up to our room (you need to take an escalator or elevator to the 3rd floor, then walk to another bank of elevators to get to your room) we ate a quick lunch and got ready to head out to the WWII museum, a 20 minute (leisurely) walk away.


Our room


View from our room


Hotel atrium

The WWII museum was by far the most interesting part of our trip and the main reason why weíd go back. The museum is split into a few buildings all connected with either indoor over-street walkways or on ground level within a courtyard. While we didnít have time to see the entire museum, we did see parts. We spend most of our time in the Road to Tokyo exhibit (all about the Pacific side of the war) and the Road to Berlin (about the Allies attempts to reach Berlin). We also visited the Boeing center (not very interesting) which is just a few old planes you can look at from above on walkways with a few tiny showcases and signs. We were also told theyíre going to be constructing a new building that will just focus on D-Day, though thatís still just a plan as of now.  We spent 3 full hours, from 2-5p when they closed, and felt we could have easily spent another 2 hours there.




Boeing center


Victory Garden at the WWII Museum

After the museum we took a walk through the Warehouse District to the French Quarter. We were very lucky that the weather was beautiful (78 degrees with a strong breeze, medium humidity) so all our walks were very pleasant. We walked down Decatur until we saw the Natchez river boat and decided that that would be a good place to rest for a while and eat. While we were sitting around there (there are lots of benches to sit on, some are under small trees) music started playing (it sounded like it was coming from the boat?) so we were able to relax for a bit there.


Magazine Street in the Warehouse District


Streetcar on Canal St.


Natchez river boat

We continued walking along the river walk to the French Market. Since we arrived there after 6pm, many stores were closed, but it was still cool to see. We continued walking through Jefferson Square back towards Canal Street, weaving our way in and out of the various streets on the FQ. As many have said, Royale Street was very nice and pleasant, but the one block we walked down Bourbon street was more than enough for us. Maybe it was because they blocked off the street to vehicles, but there were way too many drunk people, loud music and a general raunchy crowd. Besides for that one street, we though the FQ was very nice. We were able to see street performers and musicians on other blocks without feeling like we missed anything.


French Market


French Market


Finally someone spelled it like they pronounce it, French Market


Classic street in the FQ


Street band in the FQ


Is it just me, or is the blue building a bit crooked?


Tiny door


The one and only Bourbon St.

After a quick pit stop for a bathroom in the Hyatt FQ (I had to see what I was missing) we continued our walk up Canal Street back to our hotel. We even small marching band crossing the street that got police cars to block traffic just for them.

The walk back to the hotel wasnít anything to special, though it does pass by a large library and one of the ugliest city hall buildings Iíve ever seen.  We got back to the hotel exhausted and had an early night.


NOLA City Hall

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 Last day in NOLA
After an early night we were up early to make the most of the few hours we had before our flight home. By 9:00am we were out the door on our way to take the St. Charles streetcar line to the Gardens District. While we paid the $1.25 fare for both trips, they do offer a $3 all day pass which is cheaper if you plan on taking more than 2 trips.




St. Charles Streetcar

The trip was very pleasant despite the higher humidity, and within 30 minutes we were at the Washington St. stop. The Gardens District is known for its classic NOLA architecture and has strict building codes on how people can remodel their homes. We walked around the residential streets looking at the houses until we came to the Lafayette Cemetery, the only cemetery in NOLA that you can access without a tour. We walked around for a few minutes, noticing that all the graves were above ground. It was quite unique.


Lafayette Cemetery

We then walked down Magazine Street where all the shops are in the neighborhood. After about 1 hour we headed back to the hotel via the same streetcar line, ordered another Uber and left for the airport.

Overall our short stay in NOLA was very nice. Weíd like to go back to do a few things we didnít have a chance to do while there this time, including the kosher restaurants, Oak Alley and the plantations, Audubon Park (described to us a Central Park without the muggers) and of course the rest of the WWII museum.  If Iíd have know better, Iíd say that 2-3 full days would be enough there, but 1 was certainly not enough for us.

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12383
  • Total likes: 311
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 154
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Crown Heights, NY
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, F9 100K, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Marriott Silver, Radisson Gold, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 06:03:05 PM »
Nice report, thanks for taking the time.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 06:08:48 PM »
Yw. It's not to exciting, but I hope it helps the next guy.

Offline yakrot

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 1715
  • Total likes: 21
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 06:36:41 PM »
Yw. It's not to exciting, but I hope it helps the next guy.
It's a nice layout of what to do in the city and a confirmation that the WWII museum is great. You did miss out on some good restaurants though...

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 06:54:50 PM »
It's a nice layout of what to do in the city and a confirmation that the WWII museum is great. You did miss out on some good restaurants though...
As I said, for next time.

Offline ushdadude

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 5625
  • Total likes: 481
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
    • View Profile
  • Location: Long Island
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 10:35:22 AM »
Nice tr
I heard comedian talk about the parades. Anyone can throw a parade for any reason and the police will provide an escort
Trolls will always post stupid replies

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 10:49:07 AM »
Lol, seems true.

Offline ushdadude

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 5625
  • Total likes: 481
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
    • View Profile
  • Location: Long Island
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 11:15:19 AM »
Nice tr
I heard comedian talk about the parades. Anyone can throw a parade for any reason and the police will provide an escort
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zXvJqiyiMqQ

Starts 2 minutes in
Trolls will always post stupid replies

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9867
  • Total likes: 174
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 01:43:11 PM »
Nice TR - thanks for taking the time to write it up! Looks like a nice short getaway.

Offline Proisrael

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2012
  • Posts: 1417
  • Total likes: 222
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 6
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Krayot,Israel
  • Programs: SPG,Hilton,Club Carlson
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 02:57:48 PM »
Thanks for the write-up! Love the quick jaunts we can take from the Philly airport!

Offline 3yummyboys

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 1739
  • Total likes: 30
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 04:52:07 PM »
Nice write up, thanks. Did you go with kids?

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 07:38:35 PM »
Nice TR - thanks for taking the time to write it up! Looks like a nice short getaway.
Yw!
Thanks for the write-up! Love the quick jaunts we can take from the Philly airport!
Yup, lots of AA out of PHL.
Nice write up, thanks. Did you go with kids?
Just with one. We don't have any more than that.

Offline zow

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Posts: 2927
  • Total likes: 120
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: LAX
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2016, 10:53:22 PM »
Nice report, Yehoshua. Thanks for writing it up.
Last time I was in NOLA (the only time) was pre-Katrina.
The only kosher restaurant was Kosher Cajun Kitchen (or something like that)...proprieter was a guy named Gideon. IIRC, he closed up and moved to LA after the mabul....
Also, IINM, the beignets at the most famous place (name?) may be kosher, though obviously not KLP.
:)
ETA: The beignets are kosher, but not C'Y.   https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwimpJPVsbrMAhUH0h4KHfxhCfQQFggdMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.cafedumonde.com%2Fpdf%2FCafeDuMonde_kosher.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGh8xHiXgVuKTKao-mYIbHkFDBUXg&sig2=sj_HvR5tNvRQpQybDn30lA&cad=rja

ETA: Not so far off with the cajun/creole: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_Kosher_Kitchen


« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 10:56:46 PM by zow »

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2016, 10:55:09 PM »
Nice report, Yehoshua. Thanks for writing it up.
Last time I was in NOLA (the only time) was pre-Katrina.
The only kosher restaurant was Kosher Cajun Kitchen (or something like that)...proprieter was a guy named Gideon. IIRC, he closed up and moved to LA after the mabul....
Also, IINM, the beignets at the most famous place (name?) may be kosher, though obviously not KLP.
:)
Glad you enjoyed. Yeah, I looked into food options and as expected nothing was KLP.

Offline Joe4007

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 4008
  • Total likes: 106
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2016, 10:40:11 AM »
Nice write-up. Sounds like a great Chol HaMoed getaway.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9933
  • Total likes: 144
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Yehoshua's New Orleans Mini-TR
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2016, 10:49:42 AM »
Nice write-up. Sounds like a great Chol HaMoed getaway.
'Twas indeed.  :)