NOLA. I finally made it! NOLA has been on my list to places visit for a long time (see – proof). My parents had a work conference in NOLA, so I decided to meet them there for a few days. I was super excited to explore a new city and eat all the Cajun food and seafood I could get my hands on!
We stayed at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. It was in the heart of the French Quarter right off Bourbon Street and important to note – it was haunted! There are several ghosts that roam the hotel in the middle of the night, and my dad claims he saw one before I arrived (not sure about that). The hotel had a big lobby to relax in, friendly staff, a courtyard with a pool and comfy beds. The bar was also a nice, quiet atmosphere for unwinding after walking the busy streets.
I arrived on a Tuesday night and went right to dinner with my parents and a few of their friends from the conference. We ate at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, which was amazing. Apprently, he has several restaurants in the French Quarter, and I would highly recommend any of them considering how delicious the food was there. I was pretty tired from working and traveling all day, so we decided to walk down Bourbon Street and then call it a night. Of course, this didn’t happen. We ran into someone from the conference who was heading to the casino, so my parents quickly jumped at that opportunity and before I know it, I’m hopping in a cab and heading toward the casino to try to win some money. I lost a quick $30 playing penny slots, so I didn’t last long there.
On Wednesday, my parents were gracious enough to sign me up for the conference’s brunch which was being held at the Court of Two Sisters. I loved it here. They had an outdoor patio with live jazz and quite the spread for the buffet. The patio was a perfect setup for an early brunch. They were also quick to bring out the mimosas, which was appreciated. After brunch, my mom and I explored the French Market, the River Walk and Jackson Square, then grabbed drinks at Pat O’Briens and laid by the pool. It was a perfect, relaxing day. In the evening, the members of the conference put together our own parade through the French Quarter being led with a live marching band! It was too cool. We got to wear Mardi Gras masks and wave our flags proudly. Dinner time came around and we had another conference event at Oceana Grill. The food was decent here, but Dickie Brennan’s still won the dinner round. Oceana Grill had a more laid back atmosphere and they had a pre-planned menu for the conference go-ers. I went with the crab cakes, which I do not recommend. I liked my moms dish of blackened chicken pasta better. After dinner, we walked down Bourbon Street and listened to several live bands. We found a band we loved at Fat Cats. I decided not to go to the casino for round two.
Thursday rolled around and the conference was officially over. We had the whole day to explore New Orleans. The group grabbed breakfast at the famous Cafe du Monde. It is NECESSARY to come here while you’re in NOLA to eat the incredible beignets and drink their delicious coffee. The way I like to describe beignets: really good funnel cake. After that, my parents and I were on our way to a Swamp Tour, just outside of New Orleans. This may have been my favorite part of the trip. Our shuttle bus driver entertained us all the way out to the swamp by telling us fun facts about NOLA. When we arrived, we got on a pontoon and set out in the swamp to look at some gators! I think my pictures saw it all of how beautiful it was (see pictures below).
Thursday night was the last night in NOLA and we wanted to watch the University of Cincinnati Bearcats football game. Knowing it was going to be hard to find a bar with the game on, we walked down to a few different breweries I found online and sat at the perfect one. It was a total sports bar theme, with flags lining the ceiling. After that, we went to watch the same band from last night at Fat Cats – they were that good!
New Orleans wasn’t quite what I expected. I expected it to be similar to Nashville and Vegas, but neither was true. Some items in NOLA were cheap; other things were expensive. Some parts of it were dirty and smelly; other parts were cute and quaint. Some people we ran into were rude; some people were nice. Very contrasting city! In conclusion, I loved the history of New Orleans, and I enjoyed the architecture of the city and all the live music. Will I come back? Maybe, but I honestly don’t feel the need to for a little while!
Check out some of my iPhone pictures I was able to snap while I was there
One of my Fav Shots!
The Court of Two Sisters Patio
View of the Mississippi River
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel Pool
During the Conference Parade!
Our Favorite Band at Fat Cats
Home of the Swamp Tour.
Lilly Pads (gators hiding quarters)
My Pal George!