NEW ORLEANS! Probably one of the most fun places I’ve ever been to! In October 2013, I was a part of a 40th birthday trip for one of the sweetest ladies I know, Heather! When I was in high school, I babysat Heather’s kids and was lucky enough to go on family vacations with them in the summer to their home in Pirate’s Cove in the Outer Banks! Anyways, Heather is from Louisiana, so where better to celebrate than New Orleans! We had a BLAST! I couldn’t possible tell you ALL the details of the trip… it would go on for everrr, but I’ll share a few fun memories! You can see more memories on our #novatonola (Northern Virginia to New Orleans) hashtag on Instagram!
On the day we arrived… we had absolutely NO PLANS! We unpacked, decorated the room with some festive streamers and 40th birthday décor, and hit Bourbon Street!
Bourbon Street is unlike any street you’ve ever been on… it’s a constant party! So many cool bars, lots of music, beads – even though it’s not Mardi Gras, FOOD, and tons of people! We popped into the first bar and picked up some delicious daquiris! We did whatever we wanted to which was a nice change of pace! A horse carriage was riding by and we just hopped on.
The driver gave us a little bit of history on some of the buildings and made a pit stop at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, the oldest bar in the United States built in 1722! We got a pint and kept on going!
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a trip to Cafe du Monde! Beignets covered in powdered sugar… yes please! We even convinced the driver to let us stop again at Fiorella’s Cafe for fried pickles… he was reluctant to do it because we were short on time… be we had pretty good persuading skills.
We did everything we could to get the most out of NOLA! Next on the list — a riverboat cruise! We had loads of fun even if it did rain for a little bit.
After the show, we started talking to Richard, the trumpet player of the group, and he told us about a really cool European Jazz Club on Bourbon Street called Fritzel’s. Later that night, we decided to check it out and instead of the trumpet, Richard was playing piano! I have never seen someone’s fingers move that quickly. It was SERIOUSLY the coolest little bar. The room was jam packed with people sitting at small tables and benches facing a tiny little stage in the corner. It felt like we were in someone’s home because the room was dimly lit with candles everywhere. Even though you weren’t allowed to stand up and dance, everyone’s knees and heads were boppin’ along. You can see short videos of the piano playing and more on the hashtag #novatonola on Instagram!
We didn’t stop moving! We did an On/Off bus tour around the city! At one point my Mom and I got off to take the Garden House Tour. My mom had done some research on Yelp, reading reviews about which one to take and every review said “Randy” was the BEST tour guide. Well lo and behold, WHO turned the corner to meet us with a smile? RANDY! He really was the best! He knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. It was a gorgeous day to wander around the neighborhood, looking at houses and gardens. We saw Sandra Bullock’s house, street where the Mannings grew up, and so many homes. I took a lottttt of pictures, duh.
Later on that afternoon, my Mom and I stopped for some Mexican foot at Juan’s Flying Burrito… who wouldn’t be intrigued to eat there?
You can’t go to NOLA and NOT have your fortune told in Jackson Square. Apparently my future husband’s name starts with an “M”… Hmmmmm
maybe another time! I had an absolute blast with a fun group of women! We drank bottomless bloody mary’s, ate endless amounts of delicious food, including an INCREDIBLE dinner at Commander’s Palace!, ate oysters as big as our hands, walked and wandered around the streets, stood on street corners and listened to musicians, met new friends, and danced til dawn. I’ll treasure those memories and that trip forever!