Travel

New Orleans: Day 2

After a non-stop first day in New Orleans, it was time for a relaxing morning at the hotel. The Windsor Court Hotel is a beautiful French-inspired property just minutes away from the historic French Quarter. Decor dating from the 17th to the late 20th centuries filled the space, creating a world that felt authentic to those times. With a spa, fitness facility, rooftop pool and award-winning restaurants (I even broke my no-dairy rule for their Cajun shrimp and smoked tomato pizza), taking in everything the hotel had to offer was a must on the to-do list. I started the day with a dip by their heated pool, and breakfast overlooking the city in their 22nd floor lounge. After easing into the morning, it was time for a new day of adventure.The National World War II Museum is considered one of the best museums in the world and it did not disappoint. The museum looks like a Hollywood set, with each room and time period of the war replicated to look like you are transported there. Certain points of this tour felt so real that I couldn’t help but get a little emotional. There were letters from sons to their mothers writing home to say they weren’t sure they were going to make it out of the war alive. Outfits of fallen soldiers lined hallways, weathered flags were on display, and footage of the after-effects of the war played throughout the tour. There was even a huge room of actual aircrafts that pilots flew in the war.

There is so much to see in this six-acre campus that you could easily spend an entire day there. The museum holds over 250,000 artifacts and more than 9,000 personal accounts (like those letters from soldiers to their mothers). There is even a 4D movie theater that shows the journey through the war. I don’t always have time on trips to stop and take advantage of all the museums, but this was too special to miss. I left the WWII Museum thinking how important it is to remember our nation’s history so that we can grow together and become an even better society.

After an educational morning, I walked over to Curio for a late lunch. Curio is a new restaurant led by superstar chef Hayley Van Vleet. Aside from some of the friendliest staff around, this spot provides American cuisine with Creole soul. I started with the sushi grade tuna and sea scallop carpaccio and chose the grilled salmon in a lemon shallot vinaigrette and smoked pine cone oil for my entree. I thought that was heaven until Chef Hayley brought out the S’mores Brownie Pie and toasted her homemade marshmallow. It was too beautiful and too delicious to pass up!

Luckily the hurricane missed New Orleans but we did get a heavy downpour late Saturday afternoon, and some rain into the night, so it was the perfect excuse to head back to the hotel and try out the spa. I opted for the hour-long deep tissue massage and enjoyed every second of the treatment. Soothing sounds of nature and water played throughout the room as I drifted off into a total zen space. Afterwards, I unwinded in the sauna and steam room before heading up to the room for a late dinner in (the super comfortable) bed as the rain passed overnight. After a great day of learning our nation’s history, enjoying unique cuisine and taking advantage of all the hotel has to offer, I went to bed feeling completely satisfied with my trip to New Orleans – and there was still one more day to explore!