Saturday, June 06, 2015

Our Travels | New Orleans | part un

Saturday, June 06, 2015
We drive through the night, each taking turns at the wheel, changing the radio or podcast with each session. We arrived at 6 am and made our way to the top of a parking garage to see the sunrise. After that, we were ready for breakfast.

New Orleans was a place that I never expected to fall in love with. Sure the streets are a little dirty, the trash really smelly, but the people are some of the kindest people I've ever met, coupled with great food, great music, and history. 
For breakfast we went to Mother's where we had their po' boy special called Ferdi, with their in-house "debris." After being up most of the night, it hit the spot. It also gave us the fuel we needed to start our first day.
After breakfast, we were near the Garden District so we stopped to walk around. It's incredibly charming there with beautiful houses, tree-lined streets, and NOLA-specific details like the horse heads to tie your horse to and the gutters that look like fish.
We had to have some doughnuts. I'd read online that District Donuts has a doughnut called cereal milk, and that sounded like pure heaven. Unfortunately, that one wasn't one of the special doughnuts that day. S opted for the classic glazed, and I went for dessert: cookies and cream. 
8:30 am: contemplate mortality at the cemetery. 
We stopped to visit the Lafayette Cemetery. When I was younger, I remember reading about the raised tombs because of area being prone to flooding. I found it fascinating, so much so that when I was in a creative writing class in high school, I wrote a a fictional short story based in New Orleans with images of caskets floating down the street-turned-river. I also am very fond of ornate tombs and crypts. I find these sort of cemeteries to be a very peaceful resting place.
I am a fan of the American Horror Story TV show, so of course, I had to visit the Coven house in the Garden District. No supreme sightings here.
Also, Anne Rice's house was nearby, so we checked it out. A gorgeous house with equally gorgeous gardens. 

Right before we went to pick up our friend from the bus station, we drove over the lake to Abita Springs to tour the brewery, like last time! After we grabbed the 5th and last member of our traveling krewe, it was time for a celebratory lunch. We went to Napoleon House where we enjoyed Muffaletta sandwiches and Pimm's Cups. The sandwiches have a delicious olive tapenade on them and the Pimm's Cup is one of the most refreshing day-time drinks. I'd have to say, it's easily my favorite New Orleans cocktail.

By the afternoon, we parked our car in the garage for good and we checked into our house, taking time to freshen up after that car ride and busy morning. We stayed at Gentry House, where I stayed last time as well. It's a carriage house in the middle of the French Quarter, split into five apartments. We had an apartment with one bedroom, two twin beds, and a pull out couch which easily fit the five of us. Every morning, Brian, the owner, delivered hot and fresh croissants from a bakery. I made sure to have Cafe du Monde chicory coffee made so that we could dip our croissants while we quietly started our morning in the kitchen together, reading our books. It was the perfect start to each day - exactly how vacation should be.
Dinner time! I had some places mapped out that I definitely wanted to try, but we kind of went with whatever we were in the mood for. Of course, the first night we wanted some southern classics. We ended up at a restaurant on Frenchmen St, where all the Jazz clubs are. We enjoyed jumbalaya, gumbo, fried chicken, cornbread, fried oysters, etc. It was a delicious feast.
After dinner, we checked out Frenchmen Street art market, which was on my must-see list! Last time, I went to this market and purchased a ring from a local jewelry maker that I wear every day. My plan was to buy the same ring, being that I've lost - and found - this ring twice now. Unfortunately, the jewelry maker was not there, and although I found a necklace maker with metal castes of iguana skulls from his deceased pet, I wasn't prepared to drop a few hundred dollars for that incredible necklace.

Later in the night, we were walking around Frenchmen St when we heard some good music drifting from a bar. S said he wanted to check it out, and behold, it's The Spotted Cat, a place I've heard great things about and somewhere a friend suggested we visit as well! We headed in and enjoyed an awesome local band called Panorama Jazz Band that sounded somewhat like local Jazz meets Eastern European gypsy bands. They had a trumpet, a trombone, and even an accordion, which is one of the most mesmerizing instruments. It was an enjoyable evening.

There is so much I love about New Orleans and I feel like it's a city such as Paris or New York City, where there is something for everyone. Don't like seafood? Then have a muffuletta. Don't like alcohol? Then enjoy the city's chicory coffee. There's this wonderful culture built around jazz music and I find that many people that live there were not born in the French Quarter, something they loved brought them there. A city comprised of travelers and those not born-and-raised there creates a very fun city beat. 

3 comments :

  1. New Orleans is on the 'must visit' list and your photos and documentation of where you went and what you did. Also... THE COVEN HOUSE. American Horror Story is pretty damned good too :)

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  2. Sounds like an amazing trip! I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras once, very briefly, and I've always wanted to go back and actually see it

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  3. i would love to visit new orleans. it looks and sounds like such a vibrant city. and i am always most struck places with a rich history and culture that is so well loved and cared for by its inhabitants. xo

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