Driving Through New Orleans, Louisiana
Stiff drinks and bad decisions… if NOLA had it’s own cologne, I heard that’s what it would smell like. So I did what any single girl driving 16 hours over the course of 2 days to get home for Christmas would do. I checked it out for myself!
Bad Decisions, But Not Really
It was around 11 PM when I rolled down the window as I approached my hotel and realized many others had already made their bad decisions here. The city streets had a seriously foul odor. But as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans. Or in this case, when in New Orleans drink until it doesn’t smell like a frat house anymore. My hotel, Royal Sonesta was located in the heart of the French Quarter on Bourbon Street. The hallways of this place had been massacred by the Christmas spirit. Even Scrooge would have no choice but to hum “Oh Holy Night” as he walked through the lobby doors and saw their signature Christmas tree lined hallway. My pic came out a little blurry so I grabbed one from Trip Advisor. I selected a cute little guest room with access to the Sonesta’s interior patio.
This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you how I got tipsy on hurricane’s at Pat O’Briens, twerked on stage at the Cat’s Meow with Miley, and got a private after hours cooking lesson at Emeril’s. Well brace yourself… because None. Of. That. Happened. Following the tradition of what most single girls my age do, I ordered takeout and fell asleep before 12:30 PM on a Friday night. So sue me.
Sightseeing like Speed Dating
I woke up bright and early to explore the city the next day, because you know… I got all that sleep and such. Then I proceeded to get acquainted with NOLA faster than I did suitors during that one awful time I decided to do speed dating. I determined that speed dating cities is a lot more fun!
When I saw a crawfish omelet on the menu at Cafe Beignet, I knew exactly where I’d be going for breakfast. I love crawdads, and this place was only a block away from the hotel. The restaurant itself was tinier than the closet in my first apartment. Visitors should be prepared to wait in line during peak hours. While I could have eaten an entire bowl of the well seasoned crawdads by myself, the dish was just ok. T.I. once said, “I don’t want no mediocre”. I’ve decided to apply that theory to all my dining experiences of the future.
With a full tummy, I moved on to take a walk through Woldenberg park. It runs right along the Mississippi and is full of crazy beautiful sculptures and colorful artwork. The park also offers an amazing view of the Crescent City Connection which, as a pair, are tied for being the 5th longest of their kind in the world.
Next was a stop at the St. Louis Cathedral. The site was first built upon in 1718, making this one of the oldest cathedrals in the US. While the building has gone through many renovations, it remains rich in history and is one of the tallest buildings to stand in French Quarter. There was so much life in this part of the city, and not just the drunk kind you usually see on TV. Artists selling handmade crafts, musicians with a tune to spare, comedians hoping to make a quick buck through sharing laughs… while standing in front of the Cathedral I felt the energy of the people who keep this city burning at both ends 365 days a year.
Café Du Monde Classics & Shopping
After wandering around a bit more I realized the sin I’d be committing if I didn’t do some shopping and have coffee and beignet’s from Café Du Monde. I ended up in a cute little boutique, Sweet Pea & Tulip. The first thing to catch my eye was a tank that said “I woke up like this”… that was sign if I ever did need one that I was in the right place. It had a well curated collection of fun and funky clothing, jewelry, and home decor.
I then headed to check out the beignet’s and café au lait that my friends who are NOLA regulars always rave about. Unfortunately, I didn’t check out the “How To Do Café Du Monde Like a Local” guide. I did it like it was full on amateur hour and waited in line so long I stopped keeping track. However, once my lips finally hit those fluffy little bites of powdered sugar covered goodness all was right in the world again. They come in orders of 3 and I probably could have eaten a dozen of them.
To wash it all down, I had an iced café au lait. Now, I can’t say that I’m a “coffee person”. I drink it, but I don’t need it. However, this was something I could get used to. The Café’s coffee is laced with chicory, which is the root of the endive plant. It’s rumored, amongst earthy types, that chicory has many health benefits including easing digestive issues, reducing arthritis pain, and reducing bad cholesterol. Not something most of us are thinking about as we have our morning cup of joe, but positive nonetheless. It eased the bitterness of the coffee and mellowed out the flavor. Smoothy, creamy, and delish!
My trip to NOLA was a short one but worth the time. I really can’t wait to go back and, hopefully, get into a little more trouble next time. Have you been to NOLA? What’s your best memory?