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Q and C Hotel in New Orleans Review

January 14, 2019
Q and C Hotel New Orleans

Last week, I left on a cruise out of New Orleans, I needed to arrive the night before and as I was searching for a unique hotel to stay in and decided on the Q and C Hotel. The long name of the hotel is the Queen and Crescent City hotel. The hotel was renovated in 2014.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Room

One of the reasons I picked the Q & C Hotel is the pictures online were stunning. Of course, pictures can be deceiving. However, that was not the case at this hotel! The room was beautiful. As I mentioned, the hotel is in a historic building and much of the original features have been maintained, including hardwood floors and exposed brick.

Q and C Hotel New Orleans

The bed was very comfortable and had lots of pillows. Some were soft and some were firm, which was nice to have the option. Built into the bed frame were reading lamps and plugs. Actually, there were tons of plugs in the room, which I am always a fan of. The room is big but taken up by the best mostly. However, I found it was good for.

Q and C Hotel New Orleans

The bathroom was small but very nicely decorated. The toilet was too close to the wall and I am not sure why as there was plenty of space on the other side. The shower stall was narrow and if you are a larger person this might have been an issue. There was also no light in the shower stall making it a bit dark. However, I applaud the designers of the shower. The shower faucet was on the opposite wall from the shower head meaning my arm didn’t get drenched in cold water as I was turning it on. In the hundreds of hotels I have stayed in over the years, this has been one of the few hotels with this thought out correctly!

Q and C Hotel New Orleans

Another reason I loved this hotel is the Molton Brown bath products. They smell amazing and the shampoo and conditioner never fail to make my hair look good. Unfortunately for me the hotel was being environmentally friendly and had refillable bottles for the shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I did get to take the lotion with me!

Q and C Hotel New Orleans

The Bar and Reception

Much like the last boutique hotel, I stayed at in London, the reception area was more than just reception. Most of the lobby area was taken up with a bar/restaurant area. The food on offer is mostly light food and snacks. They do have a full-service bar and happy hour is from 4-7. If you arrive on a Tuesday-Thursday, they offer you a token for a free glass of their wine of the day.

Q and C Hotel New Orleans

The reception area also has several comfy chairs and sofas to relax on. There are also plenty of plugs in reception if you need to charge your phone or get some work done.

The Amenities

I drove to New Orleans from Dallas and New Orleans can be difficult to park in. Luckily, the hotel has valet parking. It is pricey at $39 a day plus tax. I did some research and this is actually one of the lower rates for valet parking in New Orleans. You could take the car in and out as needed. Having the car parked in a garage rather than on the street felt like a much safer option too.

If you are looking for a gym, the hotel offers one on site. Many boutique hotels do not offer this service, so this was a nice surprise.

Traveling with your pet? The Q and C Hotel is pet-friendly! I saw several dogs going in and out of the hotel while I was there. Check with the hotel for the other pets.

The Location

The Q and C Hotel is located in the heart of New Orleans. The French Quarter is less than a half a mile from the hotel. If you are going to New Orleans to party, then you are in luck as the hotel is also less than a half a mile from Bourbon Street. So not only can you walk back tipsy, but you can do so with your drink in hand. The Superdome is less than a mile making it a great choice if you are in New Orleans for a Saints game. Overall, you can’t beat the location.

Check out rates at Booking.com and Hotels.com for the Q&C Hotel in New Orleans.

 

Texas, Travel, United States

25 Great Things to do in Dallas

January 7, 2019

Things to do in Dallas

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

When I tell people that I am from Dallas, I usually get a response of how boring it is there. Lots of people want to come to Texas but have no desire to visit Dallas. Let me tell you though; there are tons of great things to do in Dallas! I have gathered an epic list of things to do in Dallas.

1. Visit the Dallas Arboretum

I will admit that I am biased towards the Dallas Arboretum because it is my favorite things to do in Dallas. I wrote a whole post about it here. The Dallas Arboretum is open all year long only closing for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. There is so much going on at the Arboretum you could visit almost every day and find an event.

Things to do in Dallas

The most popular things that happen are the Dallas Blooms, the Pumpkin Patch and the 12 Days of Christmas. Dallas Blooms occurs in the spring and features tulips and other bulb blooming plants. The Pumpkin Patch happens in October and usually has a different theme every year. The 12 Days of Christmas are life-size displays of the song, including eight maids a milking and partridge and a pear tree.

Almost all year there are concerts outside called the Cool Thursdays Concert Series. Most of the artists are a cover or tribute bands. You can buy tickets for individual shows or the whole series.

Adult admission to the Dallas Arboretum is $15. Kids 2-12 access is $10. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum.

2. Bike White Rock Lake

The Dallas Arboretum overlooks White Rock Lake, which is technically a Dallas park. As a kid, my Dad and I used to bike the lake. Many people do this still today. The bike and hike trail is over 9 miles long. You can sail a boat on the lake, and many people kayak as well.

Things to do in Dallas

You will find people picnicking and walking their dogs here. There is also an off-leash dog park. I enjoy watching all the water birds that live at the lake, including ducks, geese, and pelicans. They like to hang out between the Arboretum and the Spillway. There are several points around White Rock Lake that offer great photo opportunities, especially at sunset.

Photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum.

3. Eat Tex-Mex

Speaking of eating, you can’t come to Texas and not have some Tex-Mex food. There are so many restaurants to choose from. In Dallas, my recommendations are Desperados, El Fenix, Javier’s, Herrera’s,  and Mesero.  Tex-Mex is personal though, and you might find you like some places better than others. Rarely have I had bad Tex-Mex in Dallas, so if you see a place you want to try, go for it!

Things to do in Dallas

My favorite Tex-Mex dishes are pretty simple. I love queso dip, sour cream chicken enchiladas, beef fajitas, chicken quesadillas, and street tacos. Of course, I like to have a margarita on the rocks with salt. For dessert, I like to get a pecan praline. It is brown sugar melted with milk and pecans hardened into a round shape. Some are soft though.

4. Catch a movie at The Angelika

What I love about this theater is that they show many movies that never play at other theaters. It shows films from film festivals from around the world. The theater also shows regular blockbuster movies. You can get assigned seating, which is crucial if you want to sit front and center during a showing of Star Wars! The Angelika is located at Mockingbird Station, making a great option for tourist visiting Dallas without a car.

5. Walk the Katy Trail

The Katy Trail used to be an abandoned railroad line that has been converted into a walking trail. It is a great place to walk, run or bike. The path is beautifully maintained with landscaping. There is a restaurant and beer garden on the trail called the Katy Trail Ice House. Both the trail and the Ice House are dog-friendly!

6. Visit the Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art is a beautiful museum that incorporates all styles of art. They frequently have traveling exhibitions that are extremely good. There are events at the museum, and many of the events are geared towards children. The best thing is that general admission is free. Traveling exhibitions are usually a fee, and the price varies.

Things to do in Dallas

Photo by Thomas Hawk on Flickr

7. Nasher Sculpture Center

Right across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art, is the Nasher Sculpture Center. This outdoor sculpture garden hosts a variety of large sculptures in the garden. There are also some pieces inside the center. Admission is $10 for adults and kids under 12 are free. The first Saturday day of the month is free, and there are usually events on the day such as art making, art chats, and sketching.

8. See all of Downtown Dallas from Reunion Tower

One of the most iconic buildings in Dallas is Reunion Tower. It is a beautiful place to see much of the Dallas skyline. You can visit Reunion Tower during the day or at night. To see the views, purchase tickets for the GeO-Deck. Adult admission is $17, and kids 4-12 are $8. On the GeO-Deck is cafe so you can get a snack and a drink while you are there. There are plenty of ticket options for groups and if you want to visit both during the day and the night.

Things to do in Dallas

There is a restaurant as well called Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. You do not need a GeO-Deck ticket to go to the restaurant or the bar. However, you can purchase discounted tickets from your server. The coolest thing about dining here is that the view constantly changes as the restaurant slowly rotates at all times. Reservations are recommended, and there is a dress code.

Photo by Daxis from Flickr

9. Play at Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park was built over a highway to meet the need of having a large green space in Downtown Dallas. Klyde Warren Park has become very popular. It has easy access from the Dallas Light Rail, and there is parking located nearby (although it is paid parking). There are food trucks, a splash park for kids, a leash-free dog park and plenty of green space. Events and activities are always happening at Klyde Warren Park.

10. Ride the McKinney Avenue Trolley

One of the stops for the McKinney Avenue Trolley is located right next to Klyde Warren Park. The trolley is free to ride! The trolley goes through the Uptown Neighborhood all the way to Downtown Dallas. It connects with the DART Light Rail System at some points as well. Not only it is a free transport option but fun to ride and see parts of Dallas.

Things to do in Dallas

Photo by bk1bennett from Flickr

11. Visit the Declaration of Independence

Dallas has its own copy of the Declaration of Independence. It is located at the Dallas Public Library. The document is one of the 25 original copies printed in 1776. It is free to see, and you can also see Shakespear’s first folio as well. The Declaration and the folio are located on the 7th Floor of the library.

12. Watch America’s Team in Person

The Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team, are a great entertainment option in Dallas. While the stadium is technically in Arlington, they are still the Dallas Cowboys. The stadium is relatively new and worth seeing if there isn’t a game going on. If you aren’t a Cowboys fan, maybe you can catch a game of them playing your home team! You can also arrange tours of the stadium. A guided tour is $32 for adults, and a child’s ticket is $27.

13. Catch the Sunset at the Omni Hotel

The Omni Hotel has a great rooftop pool and bar area. It offers incredible views of Reunion Tower and the sunset. The hotel is also a great option to stay at while visiting Dallas and all the things to do here. Click here to check rates at the Omni Hotel.

 

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14. Learn about JFK at the Sixth Floor Museum

Many American’s know about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and all the theories behind it. At the Sixth Floor Museum, you can learn more about JFK’ legacy and the trip he was on that brought him to Texas that fateful day. You can see the layout of the book depository and right outside it the grassy knoll that the Presidential motorcade passed.

Admission for adults is $18, and for kids 6-18 it is $14. You can also book a tour through Get Your Guide.

15. Eat at the Dallas Farmer’s Market

The Dallas Farmer’s Market is a great place to get something to eat in Dallas. The Market Shops offer a variety of places to eat from tacos to popcorn to seafood. On Friday, Saturdays and Sundays there is an actual market for fresh food products. Because the vendors are all regional, their offerings are seasonal in nature so you may not find blueberries in winter. While some vendors accept cards, it is best to have cash on hand.

Things to do in Dallas

16. Visit the Dallas World Aquarium

The name of the Dallas World Aquarium is slightly misleading. There is an aquarium, but I think the highlight is the Rainforest environment inside. You walk through a tropical forest that is filled with exotic animals. They even have sloths! Walk slowly, or you will miss some of the more well-hidden animals.

Admission for adults is $20.95, and it is $14.95 for kids 2-12.

17. Admire Dallas City Hall

The famous architect I.M. Pei designed Dallas City Hall. The building is an upside pyramid shape. In front is an open courtyard with fountains and places to sit. If you are visiting the Declaration of Independence at the Dallas Public Library, it is right across the street.

18. Explore the State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas at Fair Park has been happening for over 100 years. There is something for everyone to do at the State Fair of Texas. You can visit the animals, see the awards given for pies and quilts, ride the amusement rides or have a Fletcher’s Corn Dog. The fair happens in the fall usually starting in late Septemeber continuing for about three weeks.

General admission for adults is $16.50, and kids are $12.50. Rides and food are extra. There are packages you can buy at a discount online as well. Look out for special offers for admission.

19. See the art at the Meadows Museum

One of the less known museums in Dallas is the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University. The Meadows Museum has a connection to the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain. One of the founding collections of the museum is of Spanish Art. Many of the visiting exhibitions are Spanish related, but the museum doesn’t restrict to a specific style or period.

Adult admission is $12, and kids are free under the age of 12. Admission is free for all after 5 pm on Thursdays.

20. Visit the Original Neiman Marcus

The department store Neiman Marcus was founded in Dallas. The original store is located in downtown Dallas. It is the only department store located in downtown Dallas. At Christmas time, they have Christmas windows just like the major department stores do in New York City.

Things to do in Dallas

Photo by protoflux from Flickr

21. Look at Animals at the Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo is an excellent option for things to do in Dallas especially if you are trying to entertain kids. They have all the things that most traditional zoos have, but they also have seasonal activities as well. During the holiday time, they have winter lights at night. There are also daily feedings of the giraffes that cost $5.

Admission for adults is $15 and kids aged 3-11 are $12. Kids under 2 are free.

22. Learn about Science and Nature at the Perot Museum

The Perot Museum new building was built in 2012. The Perot Museum is a uniting of the Dallas Children’s Museum and Dallas Museum of Natural History. The new museum features things like sports, a gem and mineral collection and the hall of birds. For the architecture enthusiast, you will be intrigued by the building, which was built by Thom Mayne. The building is designed to look like it is floating. Parts of the building feature drought-resistant plans to help the environment.

23. See the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

This Calatrava bridge was opened in 2012. Originally it was planned as a combination of three bridges, but only two have been built and the third was canceled. Margaret Hunt Hill was an oil heiress and philanthropist. The bridge itself is great to admire. It is also a good place to photograph the Dallas skyline.

 

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24. Explore the George W. Bush Museum and Library

Explore more presidential history at the George W. Bush Museum and Library. This is another museum at Southern Methodist University making it a good place to stop if you are visiting the Meadows Museum. The topics covered in the museum include President Bush’s career and 9/11 information.

Adult admission is $16, kids ages 13-17 are $14, kids ages 5-10 are $10 and children under 4 are free.

25. Visit the Bishop Arts District

Hailed as Dallas’ Most Independent Neighborhood, the Bishop Arts District is worth visiting. There is something for everyone here. The shops are locally own shops that host a variety of goods, such as household products, gifts, Texas memorabilia, bookstore and plenty of bars and restaurants. Some of my favorites include Oddfellows, The Wild Detectives, Glorias and Cafe Brazil. The neighborhood also hosts events throughout the year, such as the monthly wine walk!

Have you been to Dallas? What is your favorite thing to do in Dallas? Check hotel options at Booking.com and Hotels.com.

Travel, United States

West Texas Photo Essay

July 24, 2017

West Texas

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Last weekend, I took a quick road trip with my Dad to Lubbock, Texas to visit a friend. On the way back, my Dad was patient enough to stop on the highway and make U-turns for me to take photos of the West Texas landscape. Dodging tumbleweeds and washing the red dirt off your car is usually the norm for a trip west, but an unusual amount of rain as brought desert plants into bloom and the red soil is hardly visible. I hope you enjoy this photo essay of the West Texas landscape.

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

Travel, United States

5 Great Things to do in Branson, Missouri

July 17, 2017

Branson, Missouri

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Branson has been called the Vegas of the Midwest without the gambling. However, it has so much to offer everyone. Here are five great things to do in Branson, Missouri.

1. Silver Dollar City

Branson, MissouriPhoto courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism

Going to Silver Dollar City was one of the highlights of going to Branson as a child even though I am not a big theme park rider. The park has more of a historic feel than most theme parks and has many things to do besides go on rides including Marvel Cave. My young nieces couldn’t wait to go when we were there.

2. Showboat Branson Belle

Branson, Missouri

Get dinner, a show and a cruise all rolled into one on a paddle boat. The paddle boat cruise takes you on a cruise around Table Rock Lake. Dinner is brought around while a host tells jokes and does magic tricks. Then you are given time to explore the decks. An announcement tells you when it is time to return to watch the show. Singing, dancing, and some of the best tap dancing I have ever seen were on display during the show. While the show goes on the boat turns and docks right back where you started.

Branson, Missouri

3. See a Show

This is where the Vegas comes in. There are so many shows in Branson, Missouri you make have to stay for months to see them all. Many of the acts from America’s Got Talent now are in shows in Branson. Many of the acts are singing acts, but there are also comedy and animal shows. Celebrities also sometimes have short stints in Branson.

4. Table Rock Lake

Branson, Missouri

While this is technically a reservoir and not a natural lake, it is large there are tons of things to do there. You can go boating, go fishing, rent a jet ski, parasail, kayak and there are campgrounds nearby if you enjoy camping. If camping isn’t your thing, there is a luxury hotel on the lake, Chateau on the Lake. It also has a spa!

5. See Butterflies

Branson, Missouri

This is how much I love the Butterfly Palace in Branson, I have mentioned it two weeks in a row. Butterfly Palace is a treat for both kids and adults and the best attraction, in my opinion, in Branson, Missouri. Wander through and observe butterflies eating and flying around and if you get lucky, they might land on you!

Have you been to Branson, Missouri? What is your favorite thing to see there?