January 20th, 2011 7:40 PM by AJ Gentry
I started this blog to share up to date local Kansas City real estate information with you. I tend to keep this blog very professional but from time to time I like to write about my life so you know I am a real person!
I take one vacation a year. This year I spent six days in New Orleans and wanted to share some of the great things I learned and experienced while in the great city. I hadn't had a day off since May 2010 so I was very excited to get to tag along with Dept Zero on their annual trip! I managed to only work one hour a day via laptop/phone while in NOLA so I consider myself lucky and rested.
Before leaving KC to go to NOLA, we scheduled a group ghost tour of the French Quarter called French Quarter Phantoms. The tour departed from Flanagan's Pub. While we waited for the tour to begin we enjoyed happy hour beverages and surprisingly good food! What we did not know is that it would be 30 degrees for the tour but well worth the 8:00pm time slot we reserved as it was dark and the streets were lit by gas lanterns adding to the tours ambiance. I must say I did not get scared during the tour but it was filled with history both true and speculative. I would definitely recommend this tour but don't think you will see ghosts. You will leave "thinking".
The next day we wanted to venture out of the main tourist spots of the French Quarter so we hopped on the St. Charles Ave street car and took it to the end of the line at Carrollton Ave. We found a great place for lunch at the Camellia Grill. Awesome atmosphere that requires interaction from the customers and the biggest bowl of chili cheese fries I have ever seen. We then had to walk off the huge lunch and started walking back down St. Charles Ave towards Loyola University. Beautiful houses but be careful of the crazy uneven sidewalks!
The next day we ventured back up to what I am going to call, for a lack of exact area, the Uptown area near Carrollton and St. Charles and ate brunch at Dante's Kitchen. Great food and atmosphere. We then headed down Magazine St. which you could spend days on going to all of the shops.
The following night we attended the New Orleans Cooking Experience and had a hands on teaching of how to make a Roux (not easy!!), Bar-B-Que Shrimp (this is not what we find in KC), Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee and Bananas Foster. Our instructor and all around fantastic lady was Janice "Boo" Macomber. You can find Boo's cookbook on the following link. This is a must do if you are in NOLA. I am going to be practicing what I learned soon!
I wanted to take the time to tour some New Orleans real estate while we where there so the next day happened to be a Sunday, open house day! As REALTOR's we don't like people attending our open houses that are not upfront when we are not serious buyers. I made sure to tell the on-site listing agents that I was a REALTOR in Kansas City and we were just looking. They were fine with that as they had to have the property open at that time as advertised. (REALTOR's don't care if you are "just looking" as long as you tell them that from the start). The condominiums we viewed were being renovated and the process of tear-out had just begun. The best feature about these condominiums was the quiet and beautiful courtyard. Located on a busier street you would have no idea once you enter the gates from the sidewalk to the courtyard that it would be peaceful and quiet. I was excited to see this!
We purchased a lot of sweets from the area which is known in part for their Pralines. We ate at several other restaurants including The Crazy Lobster Bar and Grill, Acme Oyster House, and many more. I am sorry for leaving any restaurants we ate at out of this blog. We did a lot in six days! However, service was good at all places and the food kept getting better and different at each place we visited.
I won't get into the rest of the trip as I want to keep it somewhat professional on this blog. All I can say is Bourbon Street. However, New Orleans has something for everyone. History, charming buildings with character, tours, casinos, a city skyline, river walk, unique cemeteries, some of the best food in the country and of course, well known drinks. Hand Grenade's anyone? I would suggest anyone to go to NOLA and help out their economy that is still in recovery. Also, give yourself a day to recover from the fun when you return from your vacation and remember to bring your walking shoes!!!