Over the weekend of March 14th we did a trip to New Orleans with two other couples. The purpose? To party, duh! But really it was because some of them, including Dustin, had never been to the Big Easy and since March isn’t blazing hot we made the plans and went. The Atlanta folks left on Thursday and did a night in Alabama at my parents place to break up the trip and the Nashville folks just drove up on Friday. Our arrivals aligned perfectly at our little rental in the Faubourg Marigny and soon thereafter headed to Frenchmen Street to grab a drink. The first spot we walked into was Bamboula’s which had a really fun ragtime style band performing. Then we made our way down Frenchmen to Decatur Street where there was a St. Patrick’s Day parade lining up and it hit us-this was the weekend everyone would be celebrating St. Patty’s Day!! Heck ya!! We then knew this trip was going to be even more wild.
Even though we didn’t come prepared to throw down for an all-green-everything-holiday we joined in with the crazies and partied it up! After the Frenchmen parade and exploring various bars in that area we continued on to that night’s goal-Bourbon Street. Personally, I could have done without, but since I was with a few newbs, I wanted them to have the experience. Along with Bourbon we all wanted to get a ghost tour so after a little debauchery we headed to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar – which is the oldest bar in New Orleans. Here we met a miss Bloody Mary who took us around, sharing stories and knowledge of the city. We got lucky with landing Mary as our guide. She not only knew everything there was about ghosts and spirits but she’s also a historian so we learned a good deal about the city itself. She’s done voodoo weddings, exorcisms, spirit cleansing and a bunch more I’m sure she didn’t want to share. She can baptize ya, marry ya and bury ya! After the tour it was back to Bourbon until we retired.
Day two we started with brunch at Magnolia Grill. The service was, eh, not great but the food was yummy! Here in ATL when you ask for hot sauce it’s usually Sriracha or Cholula, in NOLA it was Crystals which we discovered makes everything taste amazing. What attracted me most about Magnolia was mention of 50’s style decor, which did not disappoint!
After walking off brunch and exploring around the open air market and antique shops we continued on and went downtown. Explored some more and then took a cab to Magazine Street to the Garden District.
Blocks and blocks of Southern-style mansions lined the little streets. You could really tell the age of the neighborhoods by the massive size of the trees. A really beautiful area to peruse if you like house gazing.
In that same area we discovered another huge St. Patrick’s Day party and parade. We stood around with families and drunkards catching-and dodging-beads and random objects like cabbages being thrown from the massive floats. When that parade was done we decided it was po boy time and we set out to find the perfect pit stop. In route to Parasol’s we ended up spotting Magazine Street Po Boy and popped in there and decided, by advice from a local, this was it. Perfect choice too because it was delicious! After that we picked up to-go beers and walked around the closed down streets:
The contents of my bag, excluding the beer, were found on the ground or caught! The beer is the blonde ale by Tin Roof Brewing out of Baton Rouge and was really good. We always like to try locally made brews when we’re in a new town.
Exploring new places with my love is just the best!
Can we go back to this moment right here please?!
I’m not certain of this fact but it seems like St. Patty’s Day is second to Mardi Gras when it comes to parades and partying. They don’t mess around. It was parade after parade. Costumes like you wouldn’t believe!
After we had our fill of bead covered streets we made our way to the Lafayette Cemetery No.1 to check out the crypts and mausoleums. Even the exterior was beautiful with the different textures and ferns peaking out of the cracks.
In case you are wondering why all the graves are above ground it is because the city is below sea level and with the hurricanes and flooding they had issues with the graves rising out of the ground so this way, they just get covered in water and dry out again. Once the sun started to go down and we realized we could use a freshening up before dinner we headed back to the house. That night we stuck around the French Quarter that was near our homebase, ate a good meal, went to a local artist market and popped into a few bars to listen and dance to music.
Sunday was our last day and we knew we wanted to do one more thing before we left. So after brunch and swinging into a few shops to grab souvenirs we set out to the bayou for a tour.
The boat company we went with was Pearl River Eco Tours. Even though we originally wanted an airboat tour I’m glad we went with Pearl River because our guide was very knowledgeable and we actually learned a lot about everything from how Spanish moss got it’s name to the native snakes to why the alligators float so long without moving.
My favorite part of the tour was when our guide took us to an area where they had been feeding some wild pigs corn and he knew they’d be there. When we arrived we saw a little pack with a few adults and a handful of babies. The babies were so adorable! Then he said “watch this” and called out “come here girl, come here girl!” and then….a huge lady pig came running through the grass, jumped into the water and swam over to the boat almost climbing in! He fed her some marshmellows and horse treats until she was good and full. It was a highlight of the trip for sure!
Our big purchase of the trip was this cow skull from Greg’s Antiques. We’ve been wanting one and this guy was only $75 which was very reasonable.
This was one of those trips you don’t want to end. That trip where everyone is trying to convince one more person to agree to taking Monday off to extend it one more day. We all had such a good time, we just didn’t want it to stop. The couples-Cristi/Derek and Courtney/Alex were such great travel companions, I’d travel with them anytime-till the next adventure friends! <3