New Orleans Trip With My Love

It's so hard to believe Jason and I have been together for two and a half years already, and that this was our THIRD trip to New Orleans!  Just boggles my brain.  So the trip was fantastic as always.  We both agree that it's so funny when people ask us why we go to New Orleans, because we are absolutely head-over-heels in love with the city.  We can't understand why you wouldn't want to go to New Orleans.  Yeah, it might have a slight aroma of vomit, urine and trash in some places, but it just has this inexplicable energy and character that is unmatched, in my opinion.  Now, with that said, I have never been out of the U.S. so I'm sure my opinion would slightly change had I ventured out to Europe or Thailand.  But, as far as cities in the U.S. go, NOLA is tops, and I've been to A LOT of places in this country, lemme tell ya.  San Francisco and NYC are runners-up for me though.

So, our trip:  We left Austin early Monday morning, and after a mostly painless eight and a half hour drive, we arrived in New Orleans around 6 p.m.  It has turned into tradition that we go eat at our favorite crescent city restaurant on the night of our arrival- Cafe Giovanni.  Our first trip to NOLA was for my birthday back in 2010, and as a birthday gift, my dad made us reservations at this place and took care of our bill.  He told me to make sure we didn't get too crazy (this place is a bit pricey), but to make sure we each got a couple of beverages, an appetizer, entrees and dessert.  DONE.. you don't have to tell me twice, father of mine.  Haha.  Needless to say, we adored the food, the romantic Italian ambiance and the piano-accompanied Opera singers.  Now it's a treat we look forward to each trip.

We have stayed at a different hotel each time we've visited New Orleans.  The first time, we stayed outside of the French Quarter at an EconoLodge purely for "economic" reasons.  Go figure.  It was an awful experience mainly due to transportation issues.  We had to take a cab pretty much anywhere we went which ended up costing us way more than we had expected because all of the cabbies played us and tried to act like they didn't know where anything was!  The second time, we learned from our mistakes and decided to cough up the extra money to actually stay in the Quarter so we could just walk everywhere.  Thanks to my Aunt Kandace's recommendation, we chose Place D'Armes, a 200 year old gem located right on Jackson Square.  I loved its antique charm and history and it was so close to everywhere we wanted to go.  This time we picked Iberville Suites on Iberville and Dauphine on the edge of the Quarter.  It reminded a great deal of the hotel I work at- wow factor in the lobby and hallways, but the rooms themselves could use a little somethin'.  But, because I work in the hotel industry, I refrained from whining and complaining and just enjoyed my stay.  After all, the bed was pretty comfy and the shower pumped out hot water so I had little room to complain.

Back to the trip:  So Monday night we ate at the magnificent Cafe Giovanni, then headed out for a touristy night on the town (aka Bourbon Street).  The next morning we started the day off right with a delicious breakfast at Stanley on Jackson Square.  I ordered the Eggs Benedict Poor Boy which I highly recommend if you find yourself out there.  That afternoon we found ourselves watching a terribly cheesy IMAX film called Hurricane on the Bayou followed by lunch at The Gumbo Shop.  After a much-needed nap, we ventured back out into Quarter for yet another meal; this time at Drago's for their famous charbroiled oysters which were to-die-for.  That night we decided to check out some smaller dive bars outside of Bourbon Street so we stumbled into a couple of Yelp-worthy joints such as The Chart Room (super cheap drinks) and Boondock Saint (corny name, friendly service).  Our last full day in New Orleans was a bit of a tragedy as it rained the entire day.  But, we had packed our umbrellas so we didn't let the weather slow us down too much.  Wednesday, we found ourselves trudging through rain puddles, having lunch at Desire Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta, record shopping at Peaches Records and taking some time to dry off before going out to Market Cafe for pre-dinner cocktails.  Later in the evening, we wandered outside of the Quarter to R Bar down Royal Street, a more "local" bar that reminded us of some of our favorite bars here in Austin.  We finished off our night by sharing a monstrous deli sandwich called 'All That Jazz' that we picked up at a mini mart.  On Thursday morning we said our goodbyes and hit the highway back to home sweet home.

Basically our trip consisted of eating, drinking, more eating and more drinking, which is exactly the way we wanted it.  :)

Bourbon Street

Dueling Pianos at Pat O'Brien's

Hand Grenades

Mermaid hair...on a man. jealous.

Eggs Benedict Poor Boy at Stanley

some artwork outside of the W Hotel

a crazy tree net
walking in the rain

Pretty chandelier at R Bar

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