The day after Christmas, Steve and I took of for New Orleans to celebrate our October anniversary, my November birthday, and his December birthday or our “birthaversary.” We flew Southwest and because I had some Sky Miles saved up, my flight cost $11. It’s an hour long flight so that makes for easy travel. We grabbed a cab from the airport and our cab driver was a character named Lucious. He was the PERFECT introduction to NOLA. He had this great accent and talked ninety to nothing and cracked himself up. Steve said he reminded him of this guy from the Princess & the Frog:
Our hotel was adorable. It was called the Motif and was in the Warehouse District. Steve told them it was our anniversary, so he scored a bottle of prosecco and some chocolate covered strawberries. I wasn’t interested in either but it certainly made us feel special. The hotel is adorable, and the decor pays homage to the voodoo culture with skulls on the wall paper, shower curtain, and on the chairs in the lobby. The staff was super friendly and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a stay there.
The first night we were there, we went to dinner at Cochon. Actually we had both dinner and a lunch there. There were LOTS of lines for food and Big Daddy and sometimes we rolled with it and other times we came up with a different plan. The food was good although we got a meal to share and given another shot at it, we might have chosen differently so we could have tried some other things.
After dinner we went to Harrahs and that began the adventure portion of our trip. Big Daddy was not catching a break in the Big Easy and by the time we were ready to leave, morale was dipping, the sky was crying, and I was annoyed that Lyft ride was going to cost twice as much for only a couple of blocks so I decided we were going to walk. We made it about a block before I tripped on absolutely nothing (I think I misjudged the curb?) and stumbled in some slow-mo dance of death and completely bit it. Poor Steve tried to catch me, and there we were with him terrified that I had broken myself and me laying on my back on a wet sidewalk telling him to just give me a minute. I took off my silly platform shoes and hobbled back to the hotel with a twisted knee and a bruised ego. Y’all I was so afraid that I had ruined our trip trying to save $15! I was mortified. In truth we had to move a little slower and plan a little better and it might have saved us from getting too manic about trying to experience all of New Orleans in three days.
The next day we took a tour around the city (Steve found it on Groupon maybe?). I highly recommend that. It was super informative and fun. Our tour guide urged us not to fall into the trap of waiting for three hours for Cafe du Monde when there are good beignets all over town. As a matter of fact, he told us there was too much good food to wait in a line for anything. We took that to heart and only waited for an hour once more during the trip.
After the tour, we went to Saint James Cheese Company across the street from our hotel and had a brie grilled cheese and some killer mac & cheese.
That night we went to dinner at Deanies and had what can only be described as a ridiculous mound of fried seafood. I regret nothing. I have joked that this was our “farewell to carbs tour” only it kinda wasn’t a joke.
We walked a bit of Bourbon Street that night and did a little sight seeing, and then called a Lyft to come rescue us. The next time we go, we’ll plan for a night of music, but neither of us was feeling it after eating ten pounds of fried food. LOL!
The next day we shopped and ate and played at the casino again. This time we had a little luck which certainly made a gloomy day a bit more fun. That night we went to Meril and from start to finish had a great time. The restaurant is named for Emeril’s daughter and features hipster cocktails for Steve and a peanut butter dessert for me and in between we ate little plates of yumminess. They called it American tapas and there was only one dish that I thought was meh. (I should have read the menu a little closer on that one.) This is our five star pick of the trip.
The next morning we packed and then headed out early for breakfast. We went to Mother’s. If you go early, you miss the line and get to watch them deliver 60+ cases of ham. They serve up eggs, biscuits, ham, something called debris (which is some shredded leftover beef that Steve devoured), an unholy amount of grits & butter, and coffee with hot milk all served by a lady who called us “babies”. It was perfect.
Because of the weather and the injury, we didn’t get to use our passes to tour several places so we’ve saved them for another trip this year. It’s an easy and inexpensive flight and it’s a place we’d love to explore some more. So here are the things I learned from our New Orleans Adventure:
- Lyft is your friend. Parking is expensive and it’s super easy to use the app and have a driver at your door in less than 5 minutes. The rides were less than $10 almost everywhere and the drivers weren’t creepy at all. It is our plan to be in better walking shape for the next trip, but there will still be places we’d like to visit that we’d rather ride to.
- Ditch the dumb shoes and wear freakin’ flats on vacation. NOLA is a city built on a swamp. The streets and sidewalks are cracked and uneven. Pair that with my natural grace and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a rolled ankle.
- Make reservations when you can and stay flexible about where you eat. There really are great restaurants all over NOLA and there’s no way to hit them all–if you can’t get into one restaurant, there’s another right down the street that will be happy to serve you.
- The weather is a wild card so pack and plan for rain. It rained every day we were there and we still had a great time. There’s also no shame in taking a nap on vacation.
- Slow down. There’s no reason to run around like lunatics trying to do it all. Enjoy where you are. Wander a little. Balance plans with free time. Hold hands.
I hope you take a trip or two in 2018. Big Daddy and I certainly have contracted the travel bug and while we’d love to plan some bigger trips, there’s a lot to love about a 3-4 day vaca.
Have a TERRIFIC Tuesday, y’all!