I’ve been out of town the past week in New Orleans attending Mardi Gras festivities.  This wasn’t my first time in  New Orleans, in fact it was my fifth.  This trip I stayed at the Omni on St. Louis and Royal.  Other trips I’ve stayed at the following hotels which are all in the French Quarter and just as nice.

  • Sheraton on Canal
  • Ritz Carlton
  • Sonesta Royale
  • W
Here are some of my notes and experiences during Mardi Gras 2010
  • Best if your accommodations are off Bourbon Street – noise and crowd level easier to deal with
  • If you don’t like crowds, don’t go to Mardi Gras
  • It can be cold in New Orleans in February. Make sure you pack some winter items, especially gloves
  • You don’t have to lift your shirt to get beads on Bourbon St
  • Best to watch parades on Canal Street down by the Sheraton
  • There are many parade the week leading up to Fat Tuesday.
(Drew Brees – NO Saints QB – King of Bacchus)
  • You will collect many beads at the parades as they are thrown off the floats
  • Beads hurt when they are thrown off floats, especially when they hit you in the face
  • If you can go to a Ball, worth the money. Women need a gown and men need to dress in a tux.  The parade actually goes through the convention center.  You get lots of beads.
(Sean Payton NO Saints Coach holding the Lombardy Trophy)
  • The food is not heart healthy.  If it’s not made with 2 pounds of butter, it’s fried.
  • Elizabeth’s has a great brunch.  Praline Bacon, Eggs Florentine (poached eggs served over home fries with a spinach sauce and 10 fried oysters)
  • I like oysters, but they don’t like me.
  • Emeril’s has the best Texas Red Fish
  • Mr. B’s has the best BBQ Shrimp
  • Get your Beignets at Cafe Du Monde at midnight – there is no line.
(The girls with artist and gallery owner Matt Rinard)
  • Art galleries on Royal are worth going into and browsing.  They aren’t as expensive as you think.
  • The climax of festivities is Fat Tuesday on Bourbon Street.  Make sure you go to the Bourbon Street Awards. It is the best costume contest hosted by Bianca.
  • Verizon cell service works best in New Orleans.  I was the only one with cell service all the time.  ATT & Sprint were not very reliable. (I guess the map on the commercial is true)
  • Most of all make sure your liver and stomach are up for the visit.  Bring plenty of Pepcid AC, Tums and Advil.