Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays… And that’s where I would have spent Christmas last year if my in-laws hadn’t called one day and said they’d like to take the entire family on a Caribbean cruise for Christmas. The cruise they selected left from New Orleans, Louisiana, on Christmas Eve and returned on New Year’s Eve. We all flew down to New Orleans a day early and had the opportunity to do a little sightseeing in New Orleans before boarding the ship. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see this already festive city all decked out for the holidays. We hadn’t bothered to put up any Christmas decorations at home, so we were happy to see a Christmas tree upon our arrival at our hotel.
After dinner, my sister-in-law took all the kids to the pool while the rest of us explored the tamer part of Bourbon Street together. The hotels and stores were festooned with garland and lights.
Even the Hurricane character from Pat O’Brien’s Bar was dressed for Christmas.
And here’s a picture of me with a street character. It’s a festive combination of Christmas and Mardi Gras.
On the way back to the hotel, I walked past the Hotel Monteleone. It’s already a gorgeous building, but with Christmas decorations, it was simply stunning.
On Christmas Eve morning we walked down to the Cafe du Monde for a yummy breakfast of beignets, hot chocolate, and coffee. The horses and carriages lined up at Jackson Square were also dressed in their holiday best.
Here’s a closeup of a horse.
Across the street, next to the Cafe du Monde was a giant Christmas tree. You can tell this is New Orleans because the tree has a fleur-de-lis on the top instead of a star.
Here’s my family by the tree with St. Louis Cathedral in the background.
We did a little shopping, picking up a few last-minute items for our cruise. We visited the Shops at Canal Street which also had a gigantic Christmas tree. I couldn’t fit the entire tree in the picture.
We returned to Jackson Square a week later for the New Year’s Eve Countdown and the Fleur de Lis Drop. While I wouldn’t recommend taking children to Bourbon Street on New Year’s Eve, Jackson Square was very much a family-friendly venue. We enjoyed live music and a fireworks show at midnight.
I really do enjoy being home for Christmas, but I have to admit it was a wonderful experience travelling for the holidays just that one time. What about you? Would you rather be at home for Christmas or travel somewhere? What would your ideal destination be?