Friday, April 18, 2014

Last Weekend's Cajun Vacation

Last weekend I drove the five and a half hours to New Orleans to meet up with my best friend K for a long girls' weekend.  We hadn't traveled together in a while due to the fairly recent arrival of her adorable son, so it was a wonderful weekend of adventures* and catching up!  After I picked her up from the airport and we checked in to our hotel on Friday night, we hit the town and got some essential beignets at the iconic Cafe Du Monde.  After devouring the delicious, sugar covered fried dough we realized we should probably eat some real food too so we stopped at a hole in the wall bar with a $12 ribs special and some good jazz.  I also got K hooked on Abita Strawberry beer.  Exhausted from our travels, we then called it a night.

*Be warned, we had a lot of fun on this trip and so there are a LOT of pictures...

The following morning we got brunch at Cafe Amelie and then spent the rest of the day exploring the French Quarter for the French Quarter Festival.  There were musicians everywhere!  We also checked out a Voodoo Temple, learned how to Charleston, and ate Bluebell ice cream!  Oh!  And K got hit on by a guy with a handlebar mustache and purple mohawk AND got asked to dance by a 13 year old kid in a parking lot...


After an exhausting morning and afternoon, we retired to the hotel for a quick power nap and then hit the town again for dinner and drinks!  We ate at the Napolean House (gumbo, jambalaya, and Pimm's Cups - yum!) After dinner we hit up Rouses Grocery for a pint of Peach Cobbler flavored Bluebell ice cream and a bottle of beer, which we then proceeded to consume while sitting on a street cub and listening to a jazz band play on the corner!  This was followed up by some classier drinks, a Fleur de Lis at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone and a Ramos Gin Fizz and port at the art deco Sazarac Bar in the incredible Roosevelt Hotel.

Sunday we continued to explore.  We rented bicycles and rode them up Esplanade Street which is filled with beautiful, historic homes.  At the end of the street is City Park, home to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the associated Sculpture Garden, which we proceeded to walk around.  After the sculptures we rode our bikes back toward the hotel and then got my car and drove to Cochon Butcher for an insanely delicious lunch of pastrami on marble rye, sweet and spicy brisket sliders, and marinated brussels sprouts.  If you go to New Orleans I HIGHLY recommend Cochon Butcher!  We then explored the west side of the city including the antique shops on Magazine Street, the Garden District, Tulane, and we capped it off with Creole Creamery ice cream (yeah, we ate a lot of ice cream.  it was awesome!) eaten while sitting at the roots of the Tree of Life and watching the giraffes in the nearby zoo.



After all of this exploring we were, once again, exhausted and so we headed back to the hotel for another power nap.  That night for dinner we first hit up Mimi's in the Marigny for some tapas appetizers, wine, and jazz.  We followed up with delicious drinks and decent food at Maurepas, both over on the east side of the city.  We definitely got to see a lot of the city!  The following morning we ate an extravagant Jazz Brunch at Court of Two Sisters.  Pancakes, omelets, salads, pies, crawfish and shrimp, jambalaya, they had it all!  

After lunch we ran some errands, got some souvenirs, picked up some shrimp po boys to go at Johnny Po Boy, and made it back to the hotel just in time for the rain to start.  We packed up and then hit the road. I dropped K off at the airport and then drove about six hours back to Houston in the rain.  Not the best end to the trip, but then again, when is the end of the trip ever the best part?  The entire weekend was amazing overall.  I LOVE traveling with K, we always have such an incredible time together and I am actively anticipating our next (currently unplanned) trip!

After two lovely weekends of travel, the plan this weekend is just to relax!  Hope you have a fun weekend and enjoy the warm weather that is now flooding the country!

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