What is “Real Feel” Anyway?

The humidity and character of July in NOLA

Welcome to Hell. Well, not really. But if your hotel isn’t air-conditioned, you may feel like you traveled to the underworld.

I will never forget my first trip to New Orleans. It was intentionally planned for the dog days of summer, that way I would know it was real if I fell in love. My hotel, the beautiful Lamothe House, kept the room “air-conditioned” with a window unit that kicked out so much water the room felt like a cool, yet sticky, bath. But the keyword was cool, and it was a wonderful respite from the heat outside. And their pool was critical to my wellbeing too, which brings me to the following…

After quite a few summers in the tropics, I have a few suggestions for visitors and locals alike. Take them with a grain of sugar from the rim of your mojito.

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First, you must always stay at a location with a pool over the summer months — preferably one where you can swim in the morning and after the sun has set. The early swim will help clear the cobwebs from the night before and the swim after dark will prevent sunburn and encourage grown-up hijinks. Historic hotels like Lamothe House offer garden pools intimate enough to feel like you are breaking and entering, while rooftop pools at larger hotels provide cosmopolitan views and assure you that you aren’t in Kansas anymore.

And speaking of mojitos, there is a reason we have perfected the frozen alcoholic drink down here. You want your mojito frozen? We got that. Want to try a frozen French 75? Done. We have daiquiri stands as well as the finest restaurants offering frozen concoctions. Part of the fun of summer is switching your dark and heavy libations to the lighter or frozen versions. And if you are avoiding alcohol, we have plenty of options along those lines as well. A frozen lemonade or iced tea is always refreshing.

Let’s be honest here. While we can get by without alcohol, this is a city that thrives on sugar. And if you are visiting New Orleans over the summer you absolutely must have a sno-ball. Please don’t make the mistake of calling it a “snow cone” because you would be wrong. And don’t spell it with a “w” either. Locals will fight over which sno-ball stand is the best, but really there is only one place worth the long line (which is virtually guaranteed) and that is Hansen’s Sno-Bliz.

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Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...

With their motto of “There are no shortcuts to quality,” the family has carried on the tradition since 1939 and has also been recognized with a James Beard award. Pro tip: if the line has reached the door, the minimum wait time will be 30 minutes. If the line has stretched out the door and around the sidewalk, plan for an hour. Make small talk while you wait instead of obsessing over your phone. Order a small nectar and a small rootbeer so you know you are getting traditional greatness, then order whatever else your heart desires.

After a day or two of acclimating to the climate, I dare you to eat a fried shrimp po boy. This may sound counter-intuitive, but something that sets fried food apart in New Orleans is the fact that it is fried perfectly here – so perfectly that it creates an airy, yet crunchy, texture for food, while avoiding the greasy feel. While you are venturing outside of the French Quarter, plan to eat lunch at Guy’s Po Boys. It will probably be crowded and you might need to order your sandwich to go, but it will be worth it. Their roast beef is pretty amazing too.

So when the thermometer says 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the “real feel” is 105, all I can say is drink plenty of water, walk slowly and try out some of my summer suggestions.

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