You guys! I LOVE New Orleans. Have you been? So much fun!
Before going to NOLA, as it is lovingly referred to by the cool crowd, I only pictured Bourbon Street, Boobs and Beads when thinking of New Orleans. But there is literally so much more to offer! Now don’t get me wrong, Bourbon St. is a good time, but I’m not really much of a partier, so I was good with walking up and down it one time and one night of having a few drinks. If you want to do it more-DO IT!, if you don’t, there’s tons of other places and things to do.
We headed off to New Orleans to return my brother in law to the airport after his brief, but fun visit. Being the bums that we are, we left later than we anticipated, but we were in New Orleans around 3pm to check into our hotel. Unfortunately and fortunately there were issues with our room at the Hotel Chateau and they moved us to their sister hotel Hotel Royal. Both of these establishments are boutique hotels and have beautiful courtyards. I’m a sucker for boutique hotels after working in one in Lewes, Delaware for over a year.
They also upgraded us to their top floor and a suite with a balcony. Some pictures from our room:
Once the room debacle was resolved we headed out to explore and grab some grub before our haunted walking tour around the French Quarter. Since we only had a short time here, we stayed in the French Quarter and all within walking distance of the hotel. I really wanted to get adventurous with my meal selection so I wanted to find somewhere to enjoy crawfish and alligator. We set out to Bourbon St.
Wait…wait.. What am I doing? Let’s process this in list form.
The top 5 things we did in NOLA in 24 hours:
- Cafe Du Monde– Beignets! Beignets, also known as heaven. We got beignets from Cafe Du Monde and they were amazing! They’re like if donuts and funnel cake had a baby. And they were so inexpensive! 3 beignets for like $2.63 or something like that! So many exclamation points! Because I’m that excited about beignets!
- Witches Brew Tours– We did a 4 in 1 tour by Witches Brew Tours, $20 bucks if you’re military or a student or $25 full price. Orrrrrrrrrrr, look on groupon and you can get an even better deal. Groupons have to be booked at least 48 hours in advance though, so plan accordingly. I loved walking around the French Quarter and getting to hear the TRUE stories of murders, torture, voodoo and more. There were so many groups walking around from different companies, so you have options, but I thought ours was really good! My favorite story was about Madam Lalaurie. Crazy stuff.
- Grubbing– We had dinner at a restaurant called Remoulade on Bourbon St. Very yummy. I got a sampler platter that had gumbo, a crawfish pie, and jambalaya. I didn’t get to sample any alligator like I wanted, but I still highly recommend. The next day we had breakfast at Ruby Slipper. There are a few of these throughout New Orleans and even one in Pensacola. Excellent breakfast. I had the eggs benedict and since I couldn’t decide between all the different delicious options I did a pick two. Let’s all appreciate some Nawlins food:
- Voodoo Authentica– On our walking tour we learned a little bit about voodoo and I was hooked! If you don’t know much about voodoo, I highly recommend taking some time to learn more, it was such an interesting history and we were advised to make any purchases from the store Voodoo Authentic as it is owned by direct descendants of Marie Laveau. I’m super excited about the voodoo doll I purchased and one for my bestie to have at her home too. It’s not quite this large, but it’ll do.
- Music– There is literally music playing ALL THE TIME! Walking down any street and suddenly there’s a 2-6 piece band playing some great tunes on the sidewalk. You don’t HAVE to go to Bourbon St. So slow down, stop, listen, enjoy. Put your phone away. It’s called culture and it doesn’t live in social media. Believe me, I’m still struggling with getting away from social media, so I’m not judging. But there’s so much more out there!
I think one of the greatest ways we can combat intolerance is to travel. Experience lives and cultures outside of our own. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day stuff and always being surrounded by people who look like us, or talk like us, or have the exact same experiences as us. This is what breeds misunderstandings. The world is such a wondrous place and diversity is what makes it magnificent. Take a trip somewhere different this year. Get out of your comfort zone. Get out of your timezone. You don’t even have to go to a different country to experience a different culture. You’ll be surprised at how much you just might like it.