Video by Revisionee
Day One Arrival
As I arrived at Bluegreen Club La Pension, I knew I had found a magnificent spot in New Orleans. The outside appears to be a true original French Quarter. The inside surprises and delights with a modern taste, and all modern convinces.
The resort itself has all the charm and grace you expect from a premier French Quarter property. But also, the old-world charm that pulls you into the beat and the pace of the quarter.
I felt like the moment I entered I should be able to speak creole. I couldn’t but I sure intended to eat some. When people think of New Orleans, the mind races to mardi gras and parties, beads, and well what the beads purchase looks at. That festive time of the year here is not at all the only reason to visit. The culture, music, and food will call to you and urge you to take off your shoes and stay a while.
In New Orleans, and especially the French Quarter, you would think they invented cooking with butter. Everything has the most amazing amount of butter and locally prepared sauces and spice. In short, the food is insanely good. Get your butt down to New Orleans if you love food. It will break any diet you have ever thought of being on, but every mouthful will be worth it.
New Orleans is one of those places on Earth I could never live. If I did, I would be 400 lbs in a year and gain another 20 lbs a year until I left this world with an enormous stomach and bloated heart. Yes, the food is that level of irresistible goodness.
Before I ran out for my first meal. I checked into the room and look around. You can find your own 360 tours right on the website.
My room felt giant and had a small balcony and a view of the street. It would amaze me during mardi gras. The fresh air and view were nice to have as an option for the room. The room itself felt caught between two worlds. The exposed walls from the original structure were amazing and provided a texture and ambiance that would be impossible to fake or duplicate. As your eyes scan the room, however, you see all the modern conveniences mixed in with this old-world charm. The decorator and designers did a wonderful job.
The entire room felt dream-like as it had its own study of perfection.
I would spend more time in the room, but what was on my mind was food. It had been 15 years since I had been to New Orleans, and I was hungry.
Because it was after check-in time that meant dinner time in New Orleans. So, I talked my way into a table at Brennan’s this is an iconic location and recently went through a multi-million dollar renovation. Since they were making a hole for me (finding me a table) I sat at the bar for about 40 minutes and since I walked from the resort, it was my pleasure to try a few house cocktails while I waited. I had two drinks called Paper Planes, and one called the Iris. Both were great and worth the price.
But it was time to get serious and dig into the menu to find my dinner. I settled on starting with the Seafood Gumbo as a starter it has Shrimp, Andouille, Oysters, and Popcorn Rice. For the Entrée, I chose the Pecan Dusted Redfish it came with, Jumbo Lump Crab, Artichokes Barigoule, Beech Mushrooms, and Sherry Cream. Let me say that was a superb choice. The Sherry Cream was so rich that it almost talked to you telling you a tale of the old south.
After dinner, it was time for some local music and a few more choice drinks. Something about the French Quarter just makes you want to drink and be merry. Maybe it is the setting or the hundreds of years of alcohol that has seeped into the very bricks of the place. The memories of millions of party-goers that call to you, or the live music the begs to be enjoyed.
After a night of drinks, music, and fun after my dinner, it was time to stumble light-footed back to the resort and get some rest. I had big plans for tomorrow.
Day Two at Bluegreen Club La Pension
I awoke one day two at Bluegreen Club La Pension with the goal of getting some amazing breakfast food this area has to offer. Maybe it is because of the millions of partygoers who have trusted this food to heal them from their fun the night before, but the breakfasts are to me every bit as good as the gumbo.
We are talking about pancakes made with real butter, milk, and fresh ingredients. Local sausages, grits, and even biscuits make people cry. Or the world-renowned Beignets, which are like another food group all to themselves. Unique and wonderful in their own way. For breakfast, I went to EAT, which is the location’s name, and I took the name as my instruction. I ordered a ton considering I would want to try many things. I was able to recruit someone as a breakfast companion. It was fun to spoil someone with this kind of sampling breakfast.
We ordered the entire brunch menu, which is only available on the weekends. See the site for the full menu. But I and my guest had the time of our lives sampling these many fun dishes and talking together about life, what we do, our families, and so forth. It was a great way to get to know someone and have a wonderful meal.
My favorite items were the least breakfast-like in my mind, but amazing. It was the Black Skillet Cinnamon Roll. It was perfection. Something about the method of cooking it in the skillet gave it a crisp and buttery texture you have never had before. All the food was great, but that was an item you will dream about whenever you are hungry again in life.
I and my guest were having a good time. Since I did not want that to end, I suggested a river cruise for a few hours on a paddlewheel boat. She agreed, and we chose the historic tour because I love history and this area has a rich history as it relates to shipping, the expansion west, and early American trade.
The historic cruise does not start until 2 PM on Saturday but I had not awoken after my night’s fun until about 10 AM and we did not start the brunch until 11 AM or so. We only had a little more than an hour to spend walking in the area before making our way to the cruise landing or port.
I did not realize, but the cruise included a meal as well. We were both still feeling full, but the food is so good we figured we would just sample some of the things and kind of go along for the ride in the food department.
This was not as over the top as the brunch, but it did provide us with some nice options. I think for a couple the cruise and lunch would be a great experience. There is enough on the menu to keep kids happy as well. But I do not think most would love the historic tour unless they are like I was as a child and fascinated by history.
You have the option for bottomless mimosas, or a cash bar as well. We stuck to the cash bar since we had eaten so much already today.
The ship was called the Creole Queen, and she lived up to her name. The staff made great efforts to see to your comfort and enjoyment. I recommend this to anyone who wants a relaxing but informative historic tour.
After two rounds of food and a few more drinks, it was time to get off the boat and start touring the city some more. We made our way to bourbon street and went into a few local joints.
Bourbon O should be a must-visit for anyone that even remotely likes a good drink and fun time. Their French Quarter Root Beer Float is life-altering. I think it makes my list of the 10 best drinks I have ever had. That is saying something. Especially for how much I tried to test and add to my list in my 20s.
It is ice cream, 3-roll rum, and root beer. Simple in its perfection. Perfect in its taste. If you like root beer floats, having a great alcoholic version is heaven-sent, and maybe a little devil delivered.
Their drink menu even just looks fun. I will tell you a secret “it drinks better”.
Just be careful with Absinthe there is a reason that this stuff was banned for 95 years. It hits hard and even seasoned drinkers will be caught off guard. Unless you are someone drinking with a friend who is not trying the stuff, go without or make certain you only have one.
They carry two brands here and both are imported from France from providers that never stopped manufacturing since it has been legal in France all along.
The bar staff here are the type that wins national awards for their creativity and ability. No flair tending here, just mixology that is on another skill level.
Not sharing all the details of my fun night. Gentleman just does not do that. I can say I woke up hungover but happy. This trip is one for the memory palace. The old lesson can still hold true for us all, I guess. If you want to be spoiled, or treated like a king, you have to spoil someone else and treat them like royalty as well.
Getting started today for my last day at the resort I can say I was moving slower than on day two even. But I had good excuses for it. Life had taken me down some roads lately and I needed the break. I also needed something I had not needed in a long time “hair of the dog”. Sometimes (I had almost forgotten these days) you have to start your day with an adult beverage to even out the morning because of the night before. I wanted another Root Beer Float, but I felt my body did not want 10 AM ice cream and rum again. So, I just had a brief conversation with John Daniels. Heh, even my old bar humor is sinking back in. I used to say John Daniels for Jack to the bartender, just so a new bartender would politely correct me and say do you mean Jack Daniels? My canned response was always when you know him as well as I do it’s John.
Funny, because until this weekend I do not think I had had more than a single drink at one sitting. I had not done so consciously I just find that for most situations and occasions at 50 drinking until past sober has little benefit and too much pain the next day. But in New Orleans, it just felt like part of the process. A necessary evil if you would. My own kind of Voodoo, drinking and playing some again for the weekend.
Silly but fun times for sure.
Today I wanted to catch some local music and calm down on the drinking to make tomorrow and check out easier. Planning ahead I booked a table or reserved seats for the Jazz Playhouse you can get inside for free but for $20 a person if you are lucky you can get some prime seats reserved ahead of time. These seats are up front, close to the music. You feel like you know someone and got the royal treatment for $40 for a couple, which is less than someone would have slipped the doorman 20 years ago for this top venue. So it is a clever move to make if you love good music and the local scene.
Before it was time to get to the playhouse, I was ready for another Orleans meal. This time I chose to go to Irene’s, and I invited my friend back to spend the day with me again. Here I had the Lasagna with Lasagna Bolognese House-made pasta layered with ricotta cheese ground veal, Italian sausage, and marinara. It was great!
My friend chose seafood, and it too looked amazing. After a great meal then sometime around town we headed back to the resort to change and then head to the Jazz Playhouse of our preferred seating, music, and fun.
The night went on and was another amazing memory.
If you too want to have travel experiences like this, take the leap and travel Tzort style.