This past weekend Kevin & I met up with his little sister, Erica, and her boyfriend, Ryan, for a long weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana! All four of us had done volunteering trips to New Orleans in college and had wanted to go back and experience all the city had to offer. We were also both celebrating our anniversaries – Kevin’s & my 2nd wedding anniversary and Erica & Ryan’s 9 years (what!) of dating! We set out to see as much of the town as possible in a quick 72 hour trip to the Big Easy! Kevin and I plan a large portion of our travel adventures around food, so it’s no surprise that eating anything and everything cajun was on the list of activities. We also wanted to see our fair share of music which is easy to come by in New Orleans! I was able to sneak a mini-portrait session in with Erica & Ryan and capture some of the gorgeous architecture of the South, as well. Read on to see what we were (and weren’t) able to see in 3 days in New Orleans & tips for planning your next adventure!
Day 1: Kevin and I took a red eye from Seattle Wednesday night so we arrived to New Orleans early Thursday morning – Erica & Ryan grabbed a flight from Washington DC at the crack of dawn as well and arrived shortly after us. Despite our relative lack of sleep we weren’t going to let that take time away from our adventures! We grabbed a cab (future reference: the Uber back to the airport was about $20 cheaper!) and found ourselves at our amazing AirBnB which was located on the edge of the French Quarter in the Treme neighborhood. We stayed in the back cottage of an 1830s era property dripping with Louisiana charm. Our hosts were beyond helpful and we were a short walk from nearly everything we wanted to explore in the city. The above pictured church, St. Augustine was stunning and just steps from our home-base. It still featured search marks from Katrina, a solemn reminder that the city is still recovering from the storm over 10 years later.
Day 1 (ctd.): We hit the ground running and re-fueled with fried shrimp po boys at Johnny’s Po Boy – an unassuming joint with a line out the door. We had scheduled a walking tour of the French Quarter at 2pm which provided us with a good dose of history as well as mental notes for future restaurants and bars we’d want to hit during our visit. Looking for a caffeine & sugar rush we stopped by Cafe du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets. There’s no problem in the world a mountain of powdered sugar & fluffy french doughnuts can’t solve! The city was drastically less crowded on our first day, a Thursday, which made strolling up to Cafe du Monde and our other stops a lot easier! After a little more exploring and walking around (we walked A LOT this weekend!), we got in line for the 8pm showing at Preservation Hall. Again, since it was a Thursday and less crowded, we didn’t have any trouble getting into the first showing. I love how humble this space is – thinking about all of the music that has been played inside those walls over the years is enough to transport you to a different time, lost in the music. We wandered next door to The Old Coffeepot afterwards and feasted on delicious red beans and rice. Travel exhaustion finally settling in we headed home for the night!
Day 2: Friday morning we ambitiously woke up in time to get some exercise in before we started the day. Kevin and I went on a (short) run around our neighborhood. We jogged through Louis Armstrong Park and up and down the streets of Treme. The sidewalks were un-even at best, nonexistent at worse, but it felt good to work off at least a little bit of our beignets! Next we headed to the jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters per recommendation from a friend – We had grits and turtle soup, pecan pie and bread pudding, all the while listening to the smooth sound of trumpet and bass. Entirely stuffed, we didn’t need any food until we headed to happy hour at the Bayou Wine Garden in the afternoon. We had giant gulf oysters that were shucked right in front of us and wine on tap. That evening we were hungry for more music, we headed to Frenchmen Street and swayed to jazz at The Spotted Cat and browsed the art market!
Day 3: Saturday started with a walking tour about New Orleans Voodoo. It was pouring sideways rain, but being the true Seattleites that we are, we simply donned our raincoats and enjoyed the stroll! Our guide was absolutely fantastic, showing us Voodoo dance in Congo Square and explaining the real history of his family’s religion and how Hollywood had distorted it. We saw where the legend Marie Laveau lived, and learned all about voodoo Dolls and gris-gris bags. Starving, we dropped in at Coop’s Place and satisfied our cravings for more New Orleans delicacies – jambalaya, gumbo & cajun fried chicken. After another caffeine & beignet fix (#sorrynotsorry) we cleaned up for dinner and had a spare half hour to take these photos! Erica, Ryan and I wandered around the streets near our apartment, stopping whenever brightly colored buildings called our names. The crazy cactus featured in more than a few of these photos had to be one of my favorite photo spots ever! Ready for a night out on the town, we stopped by Napoleon House to try their famous Pimm’s Cup (to-go of course!) and wandered around Jackson Square listening to the street musicians fill the air with festive melodies. Kevin was extremely taken by a man playing a Kora African Bass Harp so we bought one of his CDs for a souvenir! There were a few weddings going on as well so it was fun to see their celebratory parades walking through the streets. We had a decadent dinner at one of New Orleans’ oldest restaurants, Tujague’s, and did a quick stroll on Bourbon Street. We tried hurricanes & hand grenades, but MAN are those drinks SWEET! Definitely not our taste haha but it was fun to see all of the hubbub! Regrettably, we all had extremely early flights out Sunday morning so we turned in, happy & tired!
We ate all of the food & drank all of the drinks – it was such a blast spending quality time with Erica & Ryan; the long journey home was worth it for this fun little adventure! Kevin and I plan on eating salads for the next month.
Also, of course had to have Erica snap a few photos of Kevin & me as well!! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate two years of marriage with this guy! Until our next adventure – Cheers!
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