In between our birthdays in January, my best friend Skye and I went on a girls weekend trip to New Orleans. I'm such a nervous traveler, mainly because I don't go anywhere very often...but I was so happy to do it with my dear friend, because she is an expert traveler. She basically planned this whole trip, so for that I have to truly thank her. Without her expertise, chances are I never would have planned this trip myself, and I would have never gotten to experience such an amazing place!
As soon as we landed in Louisiana we took a bus down to our hotel, The French Market Inn, and dropped our stuff off and immediately went walking around. EVERYTHING WAS SO ALIVE! Back at home, it was about 30 degrees, but there it was at least 65! We were both so thankful to just be wearing t-shirts! As we walked the streets, you could hear live music playing from every direction. Street performers standing still as if frozen in time. Art from local artists lining fences that were truly inspiring. Horse drawn carriages. The smell of delicious food wafting through the air. It was truly a special place, and I knew immediately that I was going to have a lot of fun that weekend...
One of the first stops we made was at Cafe Du Monde. I mean, like, DUH. We made it the mission of the trip to try all the beignet places in New Orleans, because you can never have enough fried dough, amiright?! It was so incredibly busy there, but we managed to snag a table and order some beignets and cafe au lait. They were squishy and sugary and everything that I had dreamed of...* sigh *
After our dinner of Po-Boys and Gumbo at Johnny's Po-Boys( and after we spent a few hours in our hotel room, digesting that meal ) we decided to go out on Bourbon Street and experience the craziness! As we walked out of our hotel, we noticed that a street was blocked off. As we looked around we noticed a film crew and cameras and got very excited. Turns out, they were filming a scene for NCIS: New Orleans right there on the street and who did we happen to see but LEVAR BURTON AND WILMER VALDERRAMA! Guys. I died. I literally almost had a panic attack when I saw Levar( butterfly in the sky...I can go twice as high...* cries *) AND FEZ, and I was so insanely excited. Skye and I decided we were not going anywhere until the scene was completed. And there we stayed for a few hours, talking to extras, watching them film this group dance scene and literally almost fainting when Wilmer walked by, cuz dayum.
So, when we were all done watching tv magic happen, we took our hyped up selves, and danced the night away in a few bars. I hadn't done that in a few years, and man, was it awesome.
The next morning, we decided to try Cafe Beignet, which I had heard really good things about. As you can see from the picture above, it wasn't a very large cafe, but supremely popular, since the line became very long after we got there. They offered various classics like Jambalaya and Muffaletta, as well as Andouille sausage and omelettes. We tried the beignets with our breakfast( duh ) and promptly decided that Cafe Beignet's beignets were less doughy, and a little more crispy than the ones at Cafe Du Monde, making them a clear winner for me out of the two.
If I can remember right, since it has been a few months since the trip, we finished our second day off with dinner at Evangeline. A very sweet and delicious little restaurant where we both had amazing meals at. Twice! I HIGHLY recommend their banana's foster cheesecake. Hnnnnngggg, oh yeah baby...
One of the activities we definitely wanted to experience while in New Orleans, was visiting a cemetery. We decided to take an Uber to The Lafayette Cemetery No. I ( the other ones you had to pay to get in with a tour, this one was free ) and we wandered around for a good while. Something about being in that cemetery made me feel very...humbled. I don't know what it was, possibly seeing all the names of the young children barried there, most of them dying from Yellow Fever, that really made me appreciate modern medicine for one, and it made me feel blessed to be alive...to experience such a solemn area, it really made me pay my respects to past generations of Americans who suffered so much heartache...
The last day we were in NOLA, we really wanted to live it up. That night we visited The Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone. It truly was a magical sight. Unfortunately, we didn't get to actually sit at the rotating bar, since it was packed full, but we did get to sip on some delicious NOLA classic cocktails, and get hit on by two young men who were trying to invite us up to their rooftop bar lounge...aaaand, we escaped shortly after that.
After that we got kind of crazy and ended up dancing the night away in some gay clubs, seeing a drag show, and befriended some older gay gentleman who were very generous and bought us some cranberry vodkas. It was truly a perfect last night.
It was such a rich and full weekend trip, it felt like much longer. Most of the days we were just walking around, shopping, eating delicious treats and authentic NOLA dishes. We got our fortunes told, went into a voodoo shop, had fresh oysters, had overpriced cocktails, and ended up taking home waaaay too many Marde Gras beads. It was a successful girls weekend getaway, and it ignited a traveling itch in me. Bring on the trips, 2017! I'm ready!