Irene’s first encounter with a local was the taxi driver at New Orleans International Airport, a sweet grandmotherly type with missing front teeth and a tendency to laugh uproariously at herself. She welcomed us, took our bags, stuffed them in the trunk of the cab, and eagerly began talking to us about where to go on our visit. She provided us with information on what taxi cab companies to use (United Cabs), where we could find a Wal-Mart, and a few gory details on the dangers of driving a cab post-Katrina. She was, perhaps, crazy - while chatting nonstop with us, she was also talking to her boss - though, there wasn't a radio dispatch turned on nor an earbud in her ear. I couldn't help but sneak glances at the letter to God written on her logbook, and wonder if her boss was indeed... ?
We'd landed in the Big Easy for a long weekend away. I hadn't been back since before Katrina and I was eager. I felt as though I was visiting an old friend after years apart. When asked what we were planning to do on our girls weekend, the only response I could come up with was - Eat. If I knew anything, it was that there was a wealth of spectacular dining experiences to be had.
Because of the vast and geographically diverse list of restaurants, I chose Hotel Le Cirque in the warehouse/arts district - it sits perfectly between between the French Quarter and the Garden District. Le Cirque is a simple but comfortable boutique hotel; and the rate for my weekend was $99 per night. Our room lacked a mini bar, but had a coffeemaker; bath amenities were sparse (shampoo and soap); but the hotel has a spa, and restaurant/wine bar that opens at 5pm. The only issue we had with the hotel was on our final night, when I was reminded that the walls are too thin. We turned in early (2am) and were kept awake until after 4.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself.