Adios Puerto Rico
Finally our flight was called and we were onboard our Delta flight to Atlanta - a 3 hour, 51 minute flight followed by 1 hour, 23 minute layover before our 1 hour and 36 minute flight to New Orleans.
Flying Delta was much better than Spirit. They had no care for the bag check-in weight. And you got free nibbles – cookies, peanuts or pretzels and free drinks. There was also alcohol and more substantial food to buy.
It was a big plane. Both kids fell asleep during takeoff and I fortunately got to watch “The Wonderful Oz”, which was a bit of a let down.
Soon we were touching down in Atlanta. Two flights are always so hard, because you feel like you just had enough before you realize you got to do it all over again. Thankfully the longer one was over and there was only a smaller one left.
We haven’t had an immediate connection flight with kids and it was rather nerve racking racing through the airport to our next flight. Atlanta is a beautiful, clean airport with signs in English. It had been awhile since we saw that, very novel. Everything was well-labeled and we managed to jump on the train, head to concourse T and arrive at our gate within half an hour, 15 minutes before boarding. Phew!
The kids polished off the leftover pasta we brought at lunch time and we charged all electronics at the complimentary charging station in the gate seating area.
The plane was super small and one of our carry-ons would not fit and Delta asked all passengers whose luggage would not fit to bring them to the door and they checked it for free.
The flight was only 1 hour and included free drinks and snacks again. Mia made friends with some guys behind us, and Josh scored an exit seat for his super long legs again.
It was fantastic to finally land in New Orleans. The kids were exhausted and very teary walking through the airport. But as we rode down the escalator to the baggage carousel there stood a fine man in a suit holding our name on an iPad.
We jumped in our ride and headed straight for our new home for the next 2 weeks.
The Esplanade at City Park
In the glitzy suburb across from City Park and beside the Bayou is the Esplanade apartments. A massive complex of over 600 apartments, a hair salon, gaming centre, gym, business centre, theatre, mini mart, pool and more.
We had keys left for us with the security guard and wondered down the hall to our new home.
2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living, dining directly opposite the gym, no excuses, huh? It was perfect, like a display home. Tastefully decorated, spotless and well maintained.
The kids immediately hopped into their bed already fast asleep; while Josh and I took some time to unpack and then stumble into bed ourselves.
The next day we met the delightful Property Manager, Christina. She was so wonderfully helpful recommending several places and letting us know how to get around.
We settled on freshly baked muffins from the mini mart for breakfast and ate them outside by the swimming pool.
The place is more like a resort than an apartment complex, but the variety of people is enormous… and dogs! So many dogs, we sure got our cuddles worth living here.
I also had a day to try the hair salon and was super impressed. My cut, colour and style was about $165 and was much better than my last 9 hour haircut in Thailand. They have a salon inside as well with the best eyebrow wax I’d ever had in my life – highly recommend Salon Valenti while in New Orleans.
Over the Bayou, near the roundabout was a Streetcar station, which could take you all the way to the French Quarter and through Canal Street. They are supposed to come every 15 minutes, however we have found the average wait to look more like half an hour.
It costs $1.25 per person or $3 for unlimited rides per day per person. You must have exact change otherwise you will get nothing back. Easy for us since the 4 of us were $5.
The trip took a good half hour as the Streetcar makes numerous stops and travels a less-direct route.
A taxi on the other hand is always readily available and will go straight down Esplanade Ave having you in town within 10 minutes for approximately $12 - $15. They also charge $1 per person over one passenger so trying to squish people in still results in added fare.
We drove into town a few times, however the parking is not always easy to find in the Big Easy so we found the streetcar and taxi made the best combination.
New Orleans is known for it’s culinary scene. They have originals like the po-boy and sweet delicacies like beignets.
A few minutes walk from our apartment were 2 supermarkets and several restaurants.
Our first 3 days were booked solid and then we sorted everything else we wanted to do. We hardly had a moment to enjoy our fabulous apartment complex. In fact I have a great post on things to do in New Orleans.
You will never be bored here. We were overwhelmed with things to do and didn’t have time within the two weeks we stayed. Luckily the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau helped us put some order in the most important ones.
New Orleans is incredibly diverse, deliciously tempting and extremely entertaining. We have so much to discover and can’t wait to share it with you.