Off to The Big Easy

It started out when Elton John planned his last tour; as someone who is extremely into his work, voice and talent, no part of me wanted to miss my only opportunity to see him live. Like usual, I planned every detail of a trip to Washington D.C. for a weekend from the Air b&b, brunch, and dinner places including the pricey nosebleed seats l was looking at purchasing. Without booking a thing I sat on it for a couple of days and anxiously thought about how much money I was about to spend on a two day trip. I quickly got on google and started checking flights for other places I have yet been and found a pretty inexpensive ticket to New Orleans. Equally planned out that trip down to every detail and compared all the Pros and Cons. A couple of my key points for making a decision were D.C. was only two days versus New Orleans which was a four day getaway. I had been to D.C. numerous of times yet New Orleans was a fresh adventure and the costs were almost the same. So I wouldn’t be thinking about Elton John the evening I was missing him, I scheduled my trip away for the same weekend. Let me tell you; I don’t regret it.

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I grabbed B and off we went to The Big Easy. To be very honest, airspace is my comfort zone. The airport and flights could very well be my favorite part of any adventure; there is something about the sky that is extremely relaxing and gives me this freeing feeling that words just can’t explain.

 Once we arrived we had a twenty minute Uber ride to the business district which was where our Air b&b was located. I highly recommend Sonder as a host, there is a multitude of options throughout the different districts of New Orleans. They are all styled in the same modern yet edgy feel, but no place is the same.

 We were two blocks away from a street car pick up and I definitely suggest getting a twenty four hour pass (it will save your feet and a little bit of time). We did walk a good amount but at times we wanted to extend to the borders which were greater walks that would limit how much we could have seen in the short time we were there.  We ended up buying two passes each for the three and a half days we were there.

That first night we walked down to the French Quarter, scoped out some of the art shops on Royal and Chartres Street, then continued to some Jazz bars (a main reason I wanted to visit this city). Jazz speaks deep to my soul and I can not resist a good bellychord. We stopped into Vaso which had a great band playing covering a bunch of good classics. Then walked back down Bourbon Street which was a site to see, but not really my vibe since I am not a drinker (it was way too crowded and kind of dirty).  B invited his sister who had a hard time with the airlines so arrived late that first night. We choose to avoid some of the good stops so she didn’t miss out. She got in around midnight so the next morning we were off to really wander the city after a good cup of coffee to get us going. Right across from our stay was Stumptown Coffee Roasters which was connected to a hotel and it had an amazing feel of the twenties throughout.

We hopped onto the street car and headed towards Lafayette Cemetery No.1;  it’s a must see in this city. I had never seen anything like it before and being so rich in history made it even more interesting. There was a corner called the Secret Garden and there lays four best friends and their families in identical tombs. It is said these friends had a secret club called “The Quarto”, they held meetings and did a fair amount of charity work anonymously; the last member burned all their notes so the secrets remain to this day.

Leaving the above ground cemetery we strolled around the massively beautiful Audubon Park. It was Sunday so there were many people jogging and working out, pushing their babies around and riding bikes while enjoying a relaxing day. I felt in the way a little as I was walking so slow to take in the entirety of this place.IMG_8789

From there we went back towards the French Quarter. We were extremely hungry and could not pass up this perfect time to try a Muffuletta (huge thanks to the Italian immigrants who brought this recipe across the ocean with them). Hands down this is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. We went to the original place to get it (Central Grocery and Deli); it is a very busy yet small store but most of the people are only there for this amazing creation. Since it is a store, seating was limited so we grabbed our sandwich and went outside to find a nearby bench; three different couples asked us what we had and ended up walking past us again to show us they too had gotten one too. It is in fact a massive sandwich and can be shared between four people if you get a whole one, the store does offer a half size option incase you aren’t with friends. After eating we walked towards the riverfront to check out the Mississippi River which was a calming todo. It was a bit cloudy out and not realizing there was a storm almost on top of us we stayed a little too long. Continuing on our way we stopped by Jackson Square to snag a few photos and that was when the rain dumped down. IMG_8796We did mange to go into the St. Louis Cathedral, the detail and history was just magnificent. Even though I’ve gone into many Cathedrals, each one vary making them all so uniquely special.

We had to go back to the apartment so S could grab her luggage that was getting dropped off so we had some down time to nap and relax before we went out for the night. Luckily, right under us on ground level was a sweet place called Drip an affogato bar. The coffee and ice cream mix was amazingly pleasant and a good little something to do while we were still waiting.

Dinner came late, I tried Alligator bites for the first time and it truly tasted just like chicken and they enjoyed the classic must have Gumbo. We went down the streets of night to check out all the chaos. Wishing we could have slipped into The Spotted Cat which is a complete dive, but has the most enjoyable Jazz we couldn’t even pass by the sidewalk. It was the most packed place on the street with no wiggle room to even get in the door. We found a couple other places we dropped into for a few songs and carried on. The energy down there is so vibrant you can’t possibly have a bad time. It was close to 2 in the morning by the time we got back “home” and in bed.

Morning came quick and we sought out towards Cafe Beignet to try these extremely sweet city favorites. They came in an order of three so we each had one as well as a coffee and breakfast, I don’t recommend their lattes (it won’t be what you’re expecting). It was styled as an authentic french cafe with detailed tin ceilings that can make anyone who’s into design swoon. IMG_8807

We walked around a couple shops and hopped onto the street car to head towards the Irish channel. S told us all about this Macaron shop on Magazine Street, but the street was full of antique and boutique shops, coffee shop and a couple eateries. This road was so full of charm I was in awe and didn’t want to leave but once we stopped into Sucre our sweet tooth was beyond satisfied and we went a couple blocks towards the Garden District and we walked as S read off facts from google we had our own private history lesson/tour.

Since it was the first of October we thought a haunted ghost tour would be exciting. Earlier in the day we found it on the Air b&b app under experiences, so many great things listed on there to give you ideas of what the city has to offer. It was twenty five dollars a piece and included a two hour walking tour around the French Quarter and it honestly was worth every penny. We learned so much of the area, history and culture; but oh how things have changed there, yet some say the spirits still exist. Even though we had no encounters that night (we were only touring the streets not inside the properties) it was very clear this city has had a lot of eerie things that had taken place. As our last night there it had to have been my favorite.

The next morning we were up early to enjoy our last few hours in this city. Since check out of the apartment was at 11, we found a baggage drop off at a local hotel; it was very inexpensive and extremely convenient. We went to City Park, had coffee of course (if you haven’t noticed, we are caffeine dependent), walked around an amazing sculpture garden IMG_8817and then rented a family bike which are actually hard work; they are not as leisurely as they look, we took turns on who would be steering and rotated who got to be the princess since there was only two sets of pedals. It was a great bonding experience as our trip came to a close. It came time to say our goodbyes to S as she went off to the airport and we weren’t too far behind her. We did have a time to stop at one last coffee shop called  Cafe Bon Ami and it seriously was the best styled, simple place with exposed brick in a german smear with a plush velvet corner and I fell in love.

The flight home was so peaceful with the aerial view of light filled streets and cities, I was in heaven. Overall it was a great getaway with great people and I am very lucky to get the opportunity to build such solid memories.

-xo

 

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