One of my favorite vacations was spent on a weekend in New Orleans in 2013. I originally wanted to attend Essence Fest, but it was WAY too much for my budget. After speaking with old coworkers, we decided to visit New Orleans the weekend after. My flight was delayed, but my cousin still picked me up from the airport to drive to my hotel.
I stayed at The New Orleans Marriott on Canal St. I was given a King-sized bed in a room overlooking the pool. Not much of a “view”, but it was convenient to have both a kid and adult swimming pool at the hotel. An added plus was the hotel’s location being walking distance to the French Quarter. If I wanted to have a good time, it was a walk or streetcar stop away. I was close enough to the action, but far enough that the area was quiet and I could rest when needed.
According to my cousin, “carnival rules apply” in New Orleans so I got little to no sleep for most of the weekend. After getting up early to eat a “Big Easy Breakfast at Cafe Fleur-De-Lis, I walked around the city with my friends. We later split up and I took a double-decker hop on/hop off bus and did a solo city tour. Stops were in the French Market, Business District, Garden District and Mardi Gras World; a warehouse with a walking tour that gives details on how floats are made for the Mardi Gras Parade. Later that night, I had the BEST BBQ dinner at The Joint followed by entertainment at a venue called Tipitina’s to hear live New Orleans Jazz, R&B, and Blues with James Andrews & the Crescent City All-Stars, Brass-A-Holics.
I attended the NOLA Bull Run on Saturday morning. Registration for the event is recommended, but not necessary. It is much like the Bull Run in Spain, but no bulls! There are roller derby girls that wear bullhorns and foam bats in the midst of the crowd and “knock” you down. Apparently, we missed the run, but the crowd was still live. We had a great time roaming the town and bar hopping with the music playing by the live bands.
I joined my friends later that afternoon for lunch at Pierre Masperos Restaurant. We later took a taxi to do a House and Garden tour outside of the town on a former plantation. Saturday evening, my friends and I did more sightseeing and bar hopping in the French Market. With the vendors, crowd, and music, it reminded me much like the West Village in New York City.
Here is a video of one of the bands we saw playing in a bar
On my last day in New Orleans, my cousin and I went for one last food run to Elizabeth’s for brunch. As short of a trip as my weekend in New Orleans was, I did (and ate) a lot. I hope to visit again for another adventure that hopefully includes a swamp tour and brunch cruise on the Mississippi.
Have you been to New Orleans?