January 07, 2016

A Streetcar in New Orleans and Crossing the Mighty Mississippi

Our last travel excursion of 2015 took Three Boys and an Old Lady to one of my favorite cities, New Orleans. This was the first time I’d traveled there with the kids in tow and was excited to share with them some of my favorites haunts and what better place to being a trip to N.O. than with a visit to Canal Street.

The frugal mommy me booked a hotel in Kenner, a brief 10-minute drive to The Big Easy. Anyone who has ever stayed in the N.O. knows it’s difficult to find a hotel sans the exorbitant valet or self park fees. Our travel buddies opted to stay at the downtown Doubletree and Hyatt Regency locations and shelled out a whopping $35/night for parking. *drops mic * Moi, on the other hand, paid zilch, zero, nada but I did have to drive into the city every day but given our hotel was a 2-minute walk from Macy’s, Target, Dillards and a 5-minute drive from Walmart, I still deem my hotel as #WINNING!

With so many things to do and see when traveling with kids to New Orleans it can be daunting. However, it is definitely a trip they’ll remember for years to come. Our day began with a streetcar ride. “Streetcar”, not trolley. Yeah, I’m so San Fran Bay Area, I kept referring to the “streetcars” as trolleys. Oopsie. A couple of native New Orleanians corrected me. Los Tres Amigos and I with cousin in tow, boarded the Loyola streetcar bound for Canal Street.

The fare is $1.25 and we bought a transfer pass since we planned to ride a few streetcars to check out some fab sights. RTA (Regional Transit Authority) offers a $3 pass which gives you unlimited rides for the day. In hindsight, I wish we had purchased the $3 Jazzy Pass as the transfers have a 2-hour travel time limit. The streetcars were clean and are a fun way to explore New Orleans. There are lines which drop you off within walking distance of many of the tourist-y places such as the Audubon Zoological Gardens, City Park, Canal Place and the French Quarter.

Our first stop was the Algiers Ferry. $2 per person allows you to cross the Mighty Mississippi River. The day we boarded there was a light, misty rain which added a little mystique to our river ride. The kids raced out to the deck to watch the seagulls and pelicans hovering in the sky and the paddleboat crossing our path. I was glued to a young, soon-to-be wed couple snapping pics for the upcoming wedding. We were told there are some adorable cafes in Algiers Point but this day was all about New Orleans and we had a lot more things to see and do so we quickly exited the ferry at the Algiers Point station and re-entered for the return trip to the Big Easy.

Once we returned to the Canal St. ferry stop, we walked along the shoreline. My middle kid spotted a Pinkberry and there was no stopping him. I loathe stopping at places we have at home when traveling but he’s adorable and hey it’s Pinkberry so I let the kids indulge a little while I scoped out next destination. Fortunately for us, the Pinkberry on Canal Street sits at the corner of a very busy intersection and offers a great vantage point for people watching.

Canal Street is a great place to begin your exploration of New Orleans. Be sure to follow @3Boys_OldLady on Pinterest and Instagram for more peeks into our New Orleans excursion.


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