May 2018 had been a year after Sam had proposed to me and we were looking to celebrate this milestone in our lives and also get in ‘one last hurrah’ before our wedding that coming July. We decided to go to New Orleans (affectionately dubbed ‘NOLA’), as we had wanted to do that for the Presidents Day Weekend trip we did Nashville, but the prices were too high then. We had seen many travel shows on New Orleans and each one excited us more than the last. Being the foodies we are, we knew New Orleans would surely not disappoint in that area, and we were 100% correct!
Day 1: PoBoy’s & Partying
Having gotten into New Orleans after midnight, we headed to our hotel to get much needed rest before exploring this new city. The next morning we were excited to start our exploration! Our first stop of the day was Johnny’s Po-Boy for an authentic bite of this iconic sandwich. Our favorite was the roast beef! Of course the wait here can be long as it is such a popular spot, but it was definitely worth it and we would eat their PoBoy’s everyday if we could! One note: it is cash only, but they do have an ATM on premises if you forget.
Now that we got food in our bellies, it was time to hit the streets and explore Bourbon Street during the day. One really cool thing about NOLA is that, unlike most of the rest of America, drinking on the streets is totally legal! We stopped by a hotel and got two of the Big Easy’s most signature drinks, a Bloody Mary and a Hurricane. The drinks were great and Bourbon street was pretty calm during the day. The toppers on the Bloody Mary (dark brown drink, pictured below) were pretty insane!
Deciding to give Bourbon Street a break until later in the night (as that is when it really livens up), we made our way to Wohlberg Riverfront Park to relax and hang out with our drinks. As previously mentioned, drinking anywhere on the streets in New Orleans is legal, so it’s great to be able to grab a blanket and have an alcohol-filled picnic right in the park. It was a relaxing spot to chill and watch the boats go by.
After some time at the park we decided to head back to Bourbon Street, grab some more drinks and participate in what The Big Easy is REALLY about! 😉
Dinner time had arrived and we heard that Deanie’s was a great place for good New Orleans seafood. At Deanie’s we enjoyed Oysters, BBQ Shrimp, Fried Catfish and more “adult beverages”. The wait here was also a bit long, but the food was off-the-charts amazing!
By now the dark had settled in on Bourbon Street and the two of us partied the night away until the wee hours catching beads and clubbing! The cool thing that goes on here at night is that people on the building’s top balconies throw beads down to passersby on the street and people catch them. It was fun to see who could get more beads by the end of the night!
Day 2: The Calm After The Storm
Our first day in New Orleans was definitely action packed, but with only two full days here, we wanted to get the most out of our visit. That being said, the two of us were exhausted and wanted day two to be a bit more mellow and cultural. That morning we headed over to Buffa’s for a wonderful jazz brunch experience. We had a blast with great food, drinks and even better music – an awesome way to start our day off! The cool thing going on here was that the concert was broadcasted on the web via a live camera installed on the ceiling. Our parents back at home were able to see the concert (and us!) on the computer right from their own living room! (Hi mom!)
After brunch, we explored some of the quieter French Quarter streets. We walked through parks, bought some art, visited voodoo shops, & even made a stop at the famous Cafe Du Monde for a mid afternoon snack. Cafe Du Monde is very famous for its Beignets and Chicory coffee. The line was ridiculous but, to our surprise, moved fairly quickly. The wait was definitely worth it, as it was extremely delicious. A definite check-out for sure to any visit in this great city! The art we bought was made from re-claimed wood from a damaged home in Hurricane Katrina. It was so cool to meet the actual artist and learn the story behind the art work and how he got the wood.
Our second day was coming to a close and we wanted to top it off with some of New Orleans famous fare for dinner. We decided on Felix’s Restaurant where we pigged out on Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, and Oysters Rockefeller. Not only was the food great but the view from our table on the balcony was awesome too! We got to listen to some talented musicians, experience a parade and watch a wedding make its way through the streets. (Weddings are apparently a huge deal in NOLA!)
2 days was not nearly long enough but we enjoyed our time in New Orleans and can’t wait to come back. New Orleans is said to have a lot of haunts, so we would love to check out some of the haunted attractions when we come back again, as well as airboat swamp tours.
Thanks for reading, come back soon to read more about our travels!