Part of the problem with Father's Day is that most of our pops have come to expect very little.
Yet, from teaching us how to ride a bike, to putting us behind the wheel of our first car, it was Dad who not only showed us the way in life, but handed us the keys. We owe him a debt of gratitude for helping us swing our first racket, buy our first car, and screen our first dates.
That's why this Father's Day, I suggest we pamper our daddies the way we've been spoiling Mama.
And this is how: start by figuring out what kind of dad you've got. Sporty? Classic? Fun-loving? Artsy? Or some variation of all these traits? Remember, nothing is worse than giving Dad a gift he hates. Some of us still remember those cringeworthy silk ties with cricket players Dad puzzled over, or the obnoxious gift certificates for "doing the dishes" after meals that never came.
Here's a better plan: spring for a weekend in NOLA. Even if this is your hometown, putting Dad or Dad and Mom or the whole family up at a hotel is the kind of move that will make your sister Sheila so jealous she'll up the ante next year and spoil Dad with a new Lexus.
For the sporty dad:
Although the Hyatt Regency is, of course, a chain there is something uniquely N'awlins about the 32-floor, 1,193-guest-roomed masterpiece that graces the edge of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
From its friendly and über-accommodating staff to its delicious brunches, the comfort of to-die-for Tempur Pedic mattresses to the balm of a morning swim in its Olympic-sized pool, this will get Sporty Dad's vote.
The hotel closed for six years following Katrina, since the building suffered structural damage, yet by 2012 Forbes magazine had feted it as a Top 10 Renovated Hotel. Today it is grander than ever, welcoming dads, moms, kids, singles and businesspersons with welcoming arms.
And no place is more alluring than the bar on the 3rd floor. Vitascope sports multiple flat-screen TVs for Pop to purr over as he chows down on Gulf prawns and enjoys a Southern draft like the "Mississippi Brewing Fire Ant". He may salivate when he sees that each screen is blaring a different game!
After a brewskie, Dad can take the luxurious glass elevator up to his room. I highly recommend my suite, 2048, or any of the higher level floors in the back so Dad can enjoy the view. Of both the Superdome and the pool.
Then he can climb up to the highest floor for a workout or grab a bite in the Regency Club. The grits are write-home-worthy, and like the brunch, served by some locals who'll chat you up over vittles.
The workout "room" defies explanation, since Dad can workout with a view of this glorious city and work up a sweat while discussing California Chrome's loss with many friends. After all, the hotel was more than generous when it outfitted the wraparound room with treadmills.
And while this hotel is known for its meetings capacity, 200,000 square feet!, by night it is pure excitement and romance. Whether that means a jazz performance for Dad and Mom or a second wedding for Dad.
If you are a visitor to the Big Easy, I highly recommend taking a stroll up to Canal. Along the way, this examiner stumbled across a second line ensemble exiting an historic church, waving the traditional white handkerchiefs as they followed a jazz band.
The moment was so magical it reminded me why anyone wants to come here: New Orleans is much more than a Hurricane on Bourbon. It is an attitude, a Creole-meets-European-meets classically Deep Southern mindset.
And at the Hyatt, Dad's going to realize why you brought him here. After all, he is the man who taught you to appreciate les bons in les temps.
To book: www.neworleans.hyatt.com