Piece of Park Heaven in New Orleans!
Staying at the Park View would have been lovely no matter what. But the fact that our overnight came directly after a somewhat questionable stay at another inn, made the visit all the sweeter.
Don and I made a last minute call to Park View after deciding we didn't want to stay a second night at the other NOLA location... which had turned out to be a quirky, clothing optional hotel.
Old, Comfy and Clothing Allowed
This wonderful inn, on St. Charles Avenue across from Audubon Park was out of a storybook.
It was built in 1884 as a hotel for the World International and Cotton Exposition. It felt like we were staying in a gracious old home, but without that B & B feeling that makes you feel like you're intruding and need to whisper.
When in Rome (or New Orleans) you want to experience some of the historic flavor.
We weren't even in the French Quarter, but we still got a feel for the festive history of Mardi Gras. Throughout the inn there were colorful prints of the parade floats going far back.
It was a warm August afternoon when we arrived. We climbed the porch stairs and entered the grand hallway with 12 foot ceilings.
Even before days of air-conditioning I imagine there was a nice flow of air through the windows. Our room turned out to be conveniently located right beside the dining room.
Again, there was a nice mix. Cozy old house meets classy hotel. The lobby desk was located beside the staircase, with a glow of yellow light coming through the stained glass.
We had spoken with our hostess Lorie on the phone earlier and she seemed downright delighted to have us. She showed us our room and the dining area with complimentary wine, snacks and breakfast in the morning. We were starting to relax.
After checking in, we did a little wandering. We could have played a little piano in the parlor.
Or we could have sipped some of the complimentary sherry in the sitting room.
The cozy rooms were filled with marble top tables, crystal chandeliers, bookcases and clocks... but there was no museum feel at all. We were told to feel at home and we did. Especially because no one else was around!
We could have pulled up chairs in the dining room to enjoy some of the complimentary wine, but we were a little too eager to make use of the front porch.
Uke on the Porch
Yes, we did have a ukulele with us. It's not every day that you can stay in a hotel and strum a ukulele tune on a porch... across from Audubon Park!
We had our own bottle of Champagne, too. We helped ourselves to a few snacks from the dining area and moved to the porch for some celebrating.
It was just a tiny bit warm, since it was August. But we popped the cork and started in on some toasts to celebrate the new move of my son and his girlfriend to New Orleans.
It was mighty hard to believe this room was 2 dollars cheaper than the cost of our stay at the place the night before.
We had an antique canopy bed and a lovely mahogany armoire. And even a step up to the bed. Which I used!
A Decent Bathroom
Our bathroom was less comical than the one we'd had the night before. This one had a great shower and spotless black and white tile.
The toilet was new and did not run all night and it was NOT housed inside an antique phone booth.
We had a great night's sleep. I even turned on the very fun "noise machine" to crickets. The evening before, Lorie had insisted we invite Scott and Chali for breakfast, which was beyond nice. We ate a lovely meal with peacock feathers in the vases and soft classical music playing and a view of the park.
A sweet woman named Pam made sure everything was perfect. She said the small pastel colored hardboiled eggs were naturally colored and freshly gathered. There was a sausage and egg dish and stuffed French toast and homemade biscuits. What a way to end our stay!
A piece of the past. There were so many reminders of what this place must have been like 125 years ago.
Hearing the streetcars go by and getting to buy "Roman Candy" from the horse-pulled cart, made the whole stay extra memorable!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!