Friday started out with croissants and chicory coffee like always, le sigh. As I write this I am now home and reminiscing about dipping my croissant in black coffee. I could do this at home of course with the orange can of Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee that I brought with me, but the feeling isn't the same.
After starting the day with coffee, we walked to a local coffee shop for more coffee - for our long journey of course. The local shop was through a courtyard with a lot of chairs and tables outside for enjoying the cold breeze. We got our coffees to go for our long drive to Abita, Louisiana for the Abita Brewery. We arrived early for the tour, which they do almost daily and multiple times a day on Saturdays. They did a tasting as well as a tour, all for the cost of nothing. The whole thing was free!
Of course, I had to purchase something from the gift shop and I will definitely be stopping by the store this week to pick up a few six packs of their beers that I adored. One in particular was called S.O.S. (save our shores) and the proceeds of that one goes to cleaning up the gulf oil spill. That's a cause that's really important to me because I live on the other side of the gulf and think it's important to fix our environmental mistakes. If you see Abita S.O.S. I'd suggest trying it!
They started the tour with tasting. The employees can't serve the guests, so we served ourselves! It was really fun to pour a glass from the tap, something I've never done before. They let you pour as much as you like and let you try as many times as you like. After finishing our first taste, we got back in line and tried the others like Purple Haze and a special that week, an Oyster Stout! We must have gotten in live four times, drinking our beers while standing in line for the next! After that, we watched a short movie on the brewery and they took us into the back to see the large tanks full of brews. Even after the tour they kept the tasting room open for another round. We bought our gifts from the gift shop and enjoyed our last beers on the outside patio.
After those beers, we were starving for something good, after all, we skipped lunch. We hit up the Abita Pub five minutes away for some amazing burgers. We both got BBQ burgers and onion rings and it was the best choice.
We drove back to the French Quarter and by the time we got back it was dinner time but we were still full. We went to Frenchmen Street where all of the jazz bars are and looked at the retro bands through the windows while walking up and down the street. We stopped at the night art market on the street and checked out all of the vendors. The courtyard was decorated with market lights strung above all of the crafts and most of the artists had their stuff on Etsy. I ended up buying a chevron upper finger ring that I really loved the look of. She's on Etsy, her shop is called Thora Ford.
From there we ended up at a bar with a live band with a stand up bass and an accordion. We each had a beer and decided to keep looking for another bar. We made our way away from Frenchmen Street towards Cafe Du Monde and stumbled upon a 24/7 bar called Aunt Tiki's. From the outside I couldn't see a sign for a name, and inside all I saw was darkness and red-light letters. We had to stop in and we ended up staying there for a few hours. We had a few drinks while listening to good music, making friends with the person next to us, and teasing the bartender. I've said it before, New Orleans people are some of the nicest people that I've met. That's a bar that I would go to again, every time that I'm in Nola.