Little Trip to NOLA

Months and months ago, I received an email from Southwest Airlines about a sale they were having. Usually I look and don’t find anything near the sale price they’re quoting on an itinerary we’d like.  But I decided to browse and sure enough, there weren’t too many REALLY good deals but New Orleans was the cheapest at $56 one way from Love Field in Dallas.  I looked at our account with Southwest and I had enough points for three one-way tickets, so between my points and the sale, we purchased four one-ways for $56 plus fees.  Quite the bargain, huh?! (Frugal retirement 101!) I put the dates on the calendar and it seemed very far away at the time but suddenly it was upon us during what turned out to be the super busy month of October.

We flew out yesterday morning–the first time I’ve flown since our last trip out of Unalaska almost a year ago.  I have become more and more nervous about flying and try to avoid it if I can.  Imagine my delight when the flight attendant announced they were taking up trash early and getting seat-belted in because we would have some turbulence approaching NOLA.  I had to laugh afterwards because it was hardly noticeable. Either they expected worse that never materialized or they’ve never flown in the Aleutians.  🙂

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We arrived a little before noon and decided to take the $2 bus to the French Quarter with the regular folks rather than paying a fortune for a taxi (Frugal retirement 101)…we like to take public transit when we can, and we had packed light with that in mind.  We caught the bus, no problem, and had an uneventful ride into town.  I really wanted to take photos of people on the bus and interview them a little bit but I was too intimidated and thought they wouldn’t take too kindly to it.  I really am curious about their lives in a social worker sort of way.  🙂

Then we had a fairly long walk from the bus stop to the hotel–longer than either of us expected.  Rich had the hard part, carrying his backpack and our one bag, but he wasn’t complaining.  We both needed the exercise, of course.  🙂  Eventually we made it to the Place d’Armes Hotel where they nicely allowed us to check in early.  It’s an older hotel on St. Ann St., right in the French Quarter.  Our room is quaint and cute and we’re within walking distance of lots of sights or to the trolley on Canal St. if we want to go elsewhere.

We had reservations for dinner at Restaurant R’Evolution so we didn’t want to fill up too much in the middle of the afternoon.  It was around 2 PM by the time we set out from our room to wander around the streets nearby and the French Market, with a stop at Central Grocery for a yummy muffuletta.  We had eaten there last time and really liked it, plus it claims to be the home of the original muffuletta…who knows how many places make that claim but theirs is definitely a good one!

Later we walked to Restaurant R’Evolution and had the best dinner!  It was our big splurge night and we filled up while sharing a baked pear salad, crab beignets, peaches and cream foie gras, triptych of quail, bread pudding and grapefruit-rosemary sorbet for dessert, plus wine–oh, my.  The service was wonderful and the food was amazing.  Thankfully, we had a Visa gift card from AT&T for signing up for internet at home (Frugal retirement 101).  🙂

One thing that bothers me about New Orleans is that there are lots of homeless people on the street.  I mean it bothers me that they don’t have a place to live.  Walking back to the hotel after dinner, I talked with one guy who had a sign saying he was an Air Force vet–Rich and I are both AF brats and I felt bad for him, wondering if he has PTSD from one of our conflicts.  He said his wallet had been stolen with his ID in it and he can’t get a job without ID.  I gave him some money with hopes it will help him get where he needs to be.

We didn’t return to the hotel till 10 PM and conked out pretty early after a busy, full, fun day.  We’re only here till Thursday night and mostly plan to take it easy, plus lots of eating (that’s what happens when you’re married to a chef).  And, yes, we joined a gym in Dallas and need to get back to working out if we are going to eat so much!!

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