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How did I end up taking a kissy face picture with this fish? Easy in the Big Easy – and a Mint Julep might have had something to do with it 😉

Supposedly blended travel (combining business trips with pleasure) is on the rise. Well, it sure works for me. A few weeks ago, I had a conference in New Orleans and convinced Marco to come with me, so we could make it a trip. I loved it… the atmosphere, the people, the food and the drinks.

We flew into New Orleans International Airport which is a little out of town. The cab to our hotel cost us $34. The Airport Shuttle is $20 one way or $38 both ways if you prepay for the way back. Marco left a day early and took the shuttle back. He said it was really convenient and easy. You just call and they pick you up. I shared a cab with three other people a day later and that brought my fare down to $14. On the way to the hotel we drove by the Louisiana Superdome. Even though Kathrina happened quite a while ago and the stadium is fully functioning again since a long time, the sight and name of it make you remember some of the aweful pictures that were all over the TV right after the hurricane had hit… I didn’t really see any parts of the city that were still affected, but I’m sure they are there if you head a little outside the touristy areas.

Our hotel, the Intercontinental New Orleans, was in a great location. It was fairly expensive and I would never stay there if I had to pay for it with my own money… as with most of the more expensive hotels, you pay for every little thing: no free internet, the water bottle in the room would have cost $8 if I remember correctly, and breakfast is not included either. Also, there was roadwork going on between 11pm and 6am right in front of the hotel… While I understand that they have no influence on that, they could have warned people on their website. Oh well, as I said, the location was great though 🙂 We were really close to the French Quarter which we explored soon after dropping off our stuff at the hotel. We just followed up St. Charles Street which turns into Royal Street with its beautiful shops selling antiques & art. We walked by the pretty Appeals Court and all the way up to St. Louis Cathedral. After taking many, many pictures, we crossed Jackson square and watched some street performers for a while. From there we passed the artillerie park to get to the Mississippi River and hung out on one of the benches. It was fun to watch all the different people go by and get a good look at the Natchez steamboat.

For dinner, we went to Deanie’s on Iberville Street. Thanks T. for the suggestion! 🙂 Apparently Adam from Man v Food went there for one episode and since we visited one of Adam’s stops in Boston last year, we couldn’t resist giving this one a shot as well. The food was really good! After dinner we walked up and down Bourbon Street. Crazy how many people are out partying like crazy! And apparently it’s like that every weekend. I think my mint julep was a little strong and that’s how I ended up with a kissy face picture of me and the fish in the hotel lobby 🙂 Love New Orleans!

Check out the pictures on Facebook: New Orleans: French Quarter and More. And more posts about this trip are here.

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