After saying goodbye to the beautiful beaches of Florida I needed a fun place to stop for a driving break for my daughter and me. New Orleans was a great choice. I chose to stay at the Sheraton New Orleans for several reasons and I was so glad I chose them. The hotel is located on Canal Street within walking distance of Bourbon Street, the Riverwalk, the Port of New Orleans and much more. Because it is a high-profile building, it is an easy find in the often confusing streets of the Crescent City. I pulled into the garage entrance and was thrilled to see valet parking and bellman, as my daughter and I were both exhausted after a long drive. The valet staff unloaded my car and gave my luggage directly to the bellman.
After I finished with the helpful check in staff, the bellman was ready and waiting to go to our room. The elevator system is great. You press the button for your floor outside the elevator and it indicates the letter of the elevator you are to enter. Once in the elevator it stops at your indicated floor. This eliminates the potential of an inquisitive toddler pressing the buttons for every floor.
Off the elevator and in our room, the bellman unloaded our belongings. We had a very comfortable room with two double beds, desk and chair, reading chair, large tv and large window overlooking the city. There were also a few added comforts, like a mini fridge and full length mirror, both important for a working mom like me.
Once we were settled in and made sure our belongings were secure we realized we were starving. It was late, and I did not want to venture out into the streets of New Orleans. So once again the Sheraton came to the rescue with several food options right in the hotel. There is a formal restaurant on-site, but I chose the lobby dining for the flexibility and comfortable seating. Thankfully the food was also delicious. A quesadilla and pizza were our choices, and they were good ones. With our bellies full, we checked out the onsite gift shop. The gift shop is stocked with “New Orleans” themed items as well as food and personal items you may have forgotten. Next, we had to check out the pool, a busy place on a warm Louisiana night. Everyone there was having fun. But a good night’s sleep was in order for us, so off to the room and to bed we went.
In the morning we started off at the on-site Starbucks. With breakfast in hand we made the short drive to the French Quarter and started at the outdoor market there. There was so much to see, smell and taste as we started our quest for perfect bargains! We found matching shirts for my daughter and me with one vendor and souvenirs for friends and family at several others.
It was a rather warm day, so we crossed the street for some air conditioned shopping and noted a vendor offering massages. I opted for the foot and back massage. With all the travel we had done over the past several weeks I really needed it! Muscles loosened, we went back for some lunch at the outdoor market. One vendor had gluten free crepes–wow was I excited to try those! They were delicious!
On our way back to the car I was pleased to find a vendor selling all natural products, and I chose some black African soap and natural coco butter. It was time to make our way back to the room for a rest, as I had a special surprise for my sweet girl planned for after dinner.
Our nap was badly needed and refreshing, and dinner at Manning’s was delicious. But the best part of the evening was still to come. We went back to the French Quarter for my daughter’s surprise. We parked our car and walked up to where the mule and cart rides were. We found the perfect driver and secured our spots. The mule still had a few minutes left of his break, so we took in some of the sights and sounds of evening in New Orleans, with music, people and excitement everywhere. Now it was time for our ride. To say my little one was excited is an understatement. We took a fun ride around the French Quarter while our driver relayed stories of history and fun. The information was interesting to the adults, and my daughter just enjoyed the ride. And as a big surprise after the ride was over, she got to pet the mule–a thrill for my little one.
Now it was time to get back to the hotel for this sleepy mom and daughter so we could rest up for our ride home.