Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Weekend in New Orleans

Powdered sugar lips from beignets at Café Du Monde
(we went there everyday!)

For my birthday present, Andrew whisked me away to NOLA for a couple days. Technically my birthday was a month ago, but with Mardi Gras, the Super Bowl, and work schedules this was the best time to go. I'm not complaining, I think every month should be my birthday :)
We left Friday morning at 7 and arrived in New Orleans at 3. We stayed at the Marriott Hotel in the French Quarter and our first stop was Café Du Monde for beignets and café au lait. Yum!

The rest of the day we walked around Jackson Square and rode the trolley to the Garden District, but it got dark pretty early so we went again the next day to take more pictures.
For dinner we ate Po' Boys and gumbo at Mother's and walked along the riverfront.

Then we walked down Bourbon Street where Andrew scored some beads.
(He didn't actually flash anyone to get them, I forced him to pose for a silly picture.)
The people on the balcony above us literally "ring tossed" them and they landed perfectly on his neck. Pretty sure they were some of the drunkest people I've ever seen, so we were very impressed they could pull off a stunt like that.
We were watching a jazz band perform at the Musical Legends Park when we heard someone say "IS THAT ANDREW?!" ..."WHERE'S BRENDA?!" We turned around and saw my Uncle Scott and Aunt Cindy (who are from our hometown in California and just happened to be in New Orleans for a friend's birthday.) None of us knew that we would be there at the same time so it was such a great surprise to bump into them amongst the millions of people on Bourbon Street. What are the odds?! So fun to see them! Y'all remember we went river rafting in the Grand Canyon with them back in 2008.  That trip took place in Nevada and Arizona... and, as fate would have it, we only ever see them when we are in states that none of us live in... kind of a cool trend, I mentioned that I'd like to see them next in the south of France. We'll see :) 

Saturday we got up early and met Scott and Cindy and their friends at Café Du Monde (the second of three times we ate there). That powdered sugar gets everywhere and it is soooo good!


After that we took some pics at Jackson Square and rode the trolley back to the Garden District to look at all the pretty mansions and walk through Lafayette cemetery. We also strolled down Magazine Street and looked at all the fun antique shops. 



After all that walking we were hungry and got muffulettas at Central Grocery on Decatur Street near the French Market. This was probably our favorite meal of the trip. The olive salad was phenomenal.
We walked around the riverfront and saw all the boats.
A cruise ship came into port, but don't worry it wasn't THAT cruise ship.

We walked up to Louis Armstrong Park, and took pictures at the pond and with some fun statues.


Then it was time for a dip in the heated pool which lasted all but five minutes because it was 50 degrees out and super windy. In hindsight going in the pool was a bad idea, but I had to get my moneys worth out of the hotel and we had only spent ten minutes at the gym (which is more than enough for me!) so pool it was.

After de-thawing from the pool misadventure and a quick nap, we did a little shopping trip at Canal Place and got some monogrammed mugs from Anthro.
We rode the glass elevator at the Westin to take some evening skyline photos.

We went to dinner at Coop's Place to eat jambalaya, gumbo, crab stuffed jalapenos, and shrimp creole. Good food, but the service was lame and the bathrooms were unacceptable. This is the only place we went that I would recommend skipping next time. But no biggie, after we left the restaurant we went across the street to listen to an awesome jazz trio and drink delicious hurricanes (the official drink of NO. We decided, anyway.)

Our friends recommended checking out the music clubs on Frenchman Street (the locals go here instead of Bourbon Street.) That was really fun, probably Andrew's favorite part of the trip besides the muffuletta. 

Walking back towards the hotel we saw this little gem. 
We call him "the beaded lad" because he had a British accent.
After splitting a hurricane drink on Bourbon Street, we went back to Café Dumonde for our third and final meal of beignets.  Sunday morning we went out to breakfast at the Ruby Slipper where Andrew ordered bananas foster French toast. I got regular French toast and of course, bacon. Another delicious meal.

Then it was time to pack up, check out of the hotel, pay $80 to pick up our car ($40 per day of parking) Geez, NOLA. I could have ordered 30 more plates of beignets for that! After this trip I measure all monetary amounts in terms of beignets. They are that good.

There wasn't too much shopping on this trip, that is until we stopped in Houston on the way back. FYI: Do NOT attempt an outing at the Galleria (biggest mall in Texas) at the same time as the NBA All Star game. I didn't even know what that was, but now I will never forget.

That and the Alamo are all I'll remember about Texas!

They actually had to shut down the mall because it exceeded maximum occupancy. For those of you who don't know me very well, that is very upsetting! Luckily we left before they kicked everyone out and we still got to shop and eat our favorite pretzels.

Oh, and there was one act of tomfoolery while we stopped at the gas station in Lafayette. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a stray stop sign laying on the side of the road. To Andrew's surprise, I exclaimed "Souvenir!" And ran out of the car and grabbed it. We were on Louisiana Street which fit perfectly with our Louisiana theme, and it was a free, abandoned, blown over, piece of garbage. It couldn't have been any more perfect and will make an excellent white elephant gift :)
Postcards and key chains are souvenirs of the past. Now I collect road signs.
Um, quick question... is it illegal to take those signs? Oh well,
 
YOLO in NOLA!

3 comments:

  1. What a fun trip!! I am very proud of your three trips to Cafe du Monde!! But a little bit sad that you didn't mail me some beignets. Also did you have the scary experience of inhaling the powdered sugar wrong and then having a coughing fit? That happened to me once. Scary. I just washed it down with some more beignets and then I was fine. Whew. Also...that crowd at the Galleria??! INSANE!!!

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  2. Sounds like y'all had a great trip- it's just too bad y'all didn't get to try the beignets ;o)

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  3. LOVE it Bren! Great photos and wonderful (whitty/smart) commentary. I absolutely love the part where you packed up to leave, it was 40 bucks a day for parking, and now you measure everything of monetary value in beignets. I LOVE the way you and Andrew have so much fun wherever you go and I love that you saw Scott & Cindy in NOLA!!!!!! Really, what are the odds of that! Serious, you should have bought a lottery ticket! :) Love you TONS! Hugs and Kissess to Maddie Bear! XOXOXOXOXO Mom :)

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