Sep 4, 2014

My trip to New Orleans

Last week I went to New Orleans with my best friend Kris. I had gotten a great deal on a hotel on Living Social, and we decided to make a girls weekend of it.

We drove from Orlando to New Orleans. It was about 9 hours, we started out in the early morning, but thanks to the time change from Eastern to Central, we arrived in the afternoon. We checked in to the hotel and went to explore the French Quarter. We even got to hear some local musicians jamming in the street as we walked around. We got our bearings pretty quick, and then came back to the hotel to freshen up for the night.

Now, I really go on vacation to eat, and eat good we did. One of Kris's coworkers lived in New Orleans for a while, so she gave us her recommendations for all of the good places to eat and drink in the French Quarter.
Our first night in New Orleans, we headed to Pat O'Brien's to try one of the original hurricanes.

We each only had one, but it was more than enough! Those sure packed a punch.

On our way back to the hotel, we saw a pizza place and stopped in for a slice. It was so yummy, but that could have been the lack of pizza or the hurricane talking.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped in this little voodoo shop. They had some cool things, but asked for no pictures inside. I followed the rules! We walked back to the hotel and called it a night after a very long day. Luckily though, even with being in the car for 9 hours, we managed to get our 10,000 steps in for the day (thanks FitBit!).

The next morning, after sleeping in (well sleeping in for us!), we headed out to get breakfast. We went to The Camelia Grill. This little diner was in the corner of an old building.

We walked into this little pink gem and were greeted so warmly. The place is just a big double u-shaped counter. The waiters were amazing and even recommended a Cajun restaurant owned by a New Orleans native in Orlando for us.

We ordered omelettes and they were HUGE! The omelettes and hash browns hit the spot.

Kris also got a side of grits, which I tried. They were so creamy and delicious.

After a filling breakfast, we walked down to Jackson Square. I loved this part of the French Quarter. We checked out the cathedral, St. Louis Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the U.S.

As I went to buy Mom a card of the parton Virgin of New Orleans, the lady at the counter in the gift shop told us the story of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

She mentioned to us that there was a historic convent a little down the street, so we headed that way looking for it and checking out all of the gorgeous French Quarter homes. They really do have that European feel to them.

We then made our way to Cafe Du Monde for beignets! We couldn't pass this place up. All you can order is drinks and beignets, so just be ready to get just that.

We had one order and some cold drinks. It was really, really hot.

Kris's dad told us we had to go to the grave of the voodoo queen, Marie Leveau. So we headed to St. Louis Cementary #1.

The cementary was so awesome. It was so old that you couldn't even read some of the grave markers. The place was really breathtaking, especially knowing it had been there since the 1700s.

We finally found the grave of Marie Leveau, but alas, it was under refurbishment. We did take some pics though. After we left I had to look up what the three Xs meant, and it is to make a wish to the voodoo queen. We didn't bring an offering for her, so we couldn't have made a wish anyways.

After checking out the market and walking around the streets in Jackson Square, we headed back to the hotel for lunch. We ate at one of the restaurants in the hotel Desire Oyster House. We had traditional cajun food, gumbo, red beans and rice and jambalaya. It was all so good. We split this plate and it was plenty for both of us.

Since we were on vacation, we also split bread pudding with whiskey sauce. It was sooo good!

We chilled at the hotel pool for a bit, then got ready for the night.

We headed around the corner to the Royal House Oyster Bar. (I had no idea oysters were such a New Orleans thing until I got there. And I'm not an oyster fan.) This restaurant totally reminded me of some of the places in Paris. It had a little downstairs are with some seating, and a bigger dining room on the second floor. We started off with a strawberry gin cocktail.

I ordered fried fresh gulf shrimp, which came with some delicious hush puppies.

Kris couldn't get enough jambalaya, and ordered that. The food was delicious.

After dinner, we went down Bourbon Street to have some more drinks. Since it was a Monday night, it was a little empty, but we stumbled into a bar with a good band. They were playing some Jackson 5 that brought us in. We listened to them jam for a while. They were playing some good music, old 70s funk and really had the crowd going.

A friend of ours insisted that we needed to get hand grenades, so we did. These drinks were neon green, and I have no idea what was in them, but they were so strong. We got our grenades and walked around with them.

Cause while in New Orleans, we had to walk in the streets with our drinks.

We were gonna head into the jazz club in our hotel, but felt weird walking in with our huge neon drinks. We listened to the jazz in the lobby and finally when we were done, it seemed so was the band. We called it a night (being the lightweights we are the grenades had taken affect).

The next morning we lazily walked to the downstairs coffee bar to have some cafe au laits made with local New Orleans chicory coffee.

We knew we wanted to get a po' boy and a muffaletta before we headed home, so we wanted to save room for lunch. We headed back to Jackson Square and checked out all of the shops we didn't see the day before.

It was much hotter that day (the day before was overcast, so the sun didn't have such an effect), so we grabbed a muffaletta for Kris at the Central Grocery and then went off to find my shrimp po' boy. We sat in the hotel courtyard and enjoyed our last bit of New Orleans food before we left.

Then it was in the car for a long ride back to Orlando, and the next day I drove back from Orlando to Miami.

The food was amazing and the people were great, but did all I think I could in New Orleans. Bourbon Street was kinda seedy, and the streets and things were really unkempt. It was a great place to spend a few days eating delicious food, and now I can say I've been to Louisiana!

Did you go anywhere this summer?

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