Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well. I was hoping to post a bit more over my vacation week but we kept our days pretty packed (as you’ll soon see) and besides, it is really nice to just unplug every once in awhile. Anyway, I know you’ve all been waiting patiently for me to start this trip recap so let’s do this thing! :)
But before we start…watch this short video clip – it’ll getcha in the N’awlins mood!
(from the Disney film – The Princess & the Frog – a must see!)
Monday, May 14
After a fun-filled weekend with family and friends, E and I left Mt.C at 4am, caught the bus in Rockford by 6:30am, and were finally on the the plane to New Orleans by 9:45am. By the time we arrived in Louisiana, took the 40min taxi ride to the hotel, and got settled in (2pm), we were super giddy and ready to hit the town!
Our game plan…well we didn’t really have one! We just wanted to see as much as possible before E’s conference. Grabbing a map we hit the streets. A few blocks down on Royal St. we found a charming little place, Cafe Beignet, where we stopped to share an order of red beans + rice. You could dine outdoors under the shady trees or enjoy a meal indoors at the cute tables with heart-shaped chairs where little birds flit in and out – eyeing up your french bread. It was the perfect start for our late lunch.
(click photos to enlarge)
From there we explored the rest of the French Quarter – wandering down Bourbon St. & Decatur St., posing for photos at Jackson Square in front of the St. Louis Cathedral, checking out local goods + souvenirs at the French Market, and stopping for dessert at Cafe Du Monde which is famous for cafe au lait and beignets (french donut/fried pastries covered in powdered sugar).
During our afternoon stroll we heard some fabulous street musicians and got tricked into posing for pictures with some Latin strangers/tourists. Errr…we thought they wanted us to take a picture of the 3 of them in front of the cathedral – we were mistaken! haha Our guess? They wanted a few snapshots with some cute arm candy to show off to friends back home. Ooops. At least it makes for a great story!
After a few hours the heat was starting to get to us so we headed back to the hotel to change into fresh clothes (it was in the 80s the whole week!) and meet up with E’s coworker (H) + her fiancée (J) for dinner at the Crazy Lobster. E and I split appetizers of jambalaya and gator bites (fried alligator sausage) for our meal. They were good but oh so spicy! Cajun seasoning is (obviously!) a huge thing in Louisiana.
After dinner we walked along the river for a bit before heading back down to Jackson Square where we ended up going on a horse-drawn tour of the French Quarter. It was fun – the tour guide was hilarious – and we got to see some areas we hadn’t on foot.
The guide told a lot of stories (some true, others clearly exaggerated!), explained the local architecture (shotgun houses are so adorable!), and pointed out famous landmarks including the old U.S. Mint, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar (housed in place that once belonged to famous pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte), a house they used in the movie Benjamin Button, and the house owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The carriage ride was the perfect way to end to our first day in N’awlins!
Stay tuned for ✈ New Orleans Part 2 (which will be posted Thursday) in which E + I visit a cemetery, learn about the Queen of Voodoo, walk along the river, eat lots of bread+butter, take a ferry ride, and listen to some pretty fab music.