Apr 27, 2021

Doing NOLA the Airbnb way

As any of my handful of faithful followers can tell you, there’s no place this commoner would rather travel to than New Orleans, La.  It’s a city with a culture like no other – from great food and drink, to great music, to great parties – where “Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a way of life.   

With the French Quarter at the heart of the city’s tourist activity, I’ve stayed in more memorable historic and boutique hotels than I can count.  But what do you do if you really want to immerse yourself in New Orleans, or any vacation destination for that matter? 

In November 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic burst onto the scene, Punky and I tried something different for a planned Thanksgiving week in the Big Easy.  We decided that we truly wanted to experience New Orleans as much like a local resident as we could.  We wanted to immerse ourselves in one of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.  The solution was a vacation home rental through Airbnb.     

The experience was so successful that I haven’t booked a hotel in New Orleans since.  Not only did we love our first Airbnb in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood, we booked three more Airbnb stays in 2020 in Mid-City and the Garden District.  Yes, during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As it turns out, it was the perfect way to stay in and explore New Orleans while practicing safe social distancing. 

So, what can you expect if you decide to book a homestay or vacation rental through Airbnb, Vrbo or another online marketplace? 

Apr 6, 2021

Tupelo Honey Café blends Southern comfort with modern style

After working up an appetite exploring Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain, where does one go for a nice dinner in Chattanooga, Tenn.?  Punky decided the city’s revitalized downtown was the place to look, and that’s where the Tupelo Honey Café caught her eye.

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...