Last week Andrew and I embarked on a MUCH NEEDED (and well deserved, I might add), trip away for a few days! Last October we learned he had earned a spot with his company at the Leadership Conference in NEW ORLEANS and we’d been counting down ever since. Let me tell you, the anticipation did not disappoint!
I had been to NOLA the summer before my Senior year in high school, but I while I remember the bread pudding at Commander’s Palace, that’s about it – being 17 and under parental supervision in NOLA isn’t nearly as much fun as it was this go round.
So, we dropped Cohen off at Grammy & Poppy’s for what would be the longest we’ve left him since he was born (tear, tear…) and flew out that Sunday morning.
Always on the clock, I brought my work with me and worked on addressing Wedding Invitations for a customer at 37K feet.
After a (thankfully) uneventful flight, we were safely in NOLA and man, was it HOT. It’s hot here in NC, but this was a humidity-smack-you-in-the-face kind of hot. Like, immediate sweat kind of hot. NONE of which my hair liked the entire time we were there, but I digress. We had the luxury of calling the AMAZING Roosevelt New Orleans/Waldorf Astoria our home for a few days. This hotel was incredible – the architecture, the décor, the history. Any hotel that’s good enough for the Kennedy’s and Old Blue Eyes himself, is definitely more than okay in my book.
No sooner did we drop our bags, we were BOURBON STREET BOUND! It was 2pm there, but 3pm in my stomach (due to the hour-behind time difference), so we set out to find some good ‘ol NAWLINS grub…enter the best crab cakes I have EVER eaten. EVER. There was literally no breadcrumbs or filler – this was straight crab, yall! And man, was it ridiculously good. (I may or may not have licked the plate…don’t judge). Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the double signature Hurricane slushy. I’m not one for sweet drinks, but when in Rome…
That evening we had a Welcome Reception & Dinner at the hotel. The food was awesome and there was an open bar with top shelf EVERYTHING, so I’d consider that a win. After the reception, we all changed our clothes and it was back to Bourbon for the night life!!
Disclaimer: Bourbon Street, although a historical landmark, is NOT for the faint of heart. Also, it’s not kid-friendly…especially at night. I’ll let your minds wander where they will, but it still boggles my mind that there were kids (young kids!) with their parents…at 11pm…walking past the debauchery. I’m not one to judge, but in this case, being a parent myself, I may have…just a little.
We dodged in and out of shops and bars and discos and people-watched for a few hours and I concluded 2 things: 1) people watching on Bourbon Street is just about the BEST free entertainment out there. 2) being allowed to walk down the street with a beer in your hand is just cool.
Andrew had a work function the next morning, so I enjoyed EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. of the comfy 5-star bedding, the quiet of no one screaming “Mommy!” and a Property Brothers marathon for a few hours while he was gone. (Oh, and breakfast in bed, courtesy of the Best Hubby Ever).
I also took this opportunity to take a few shots of the view from our room.
After the guys were let go, we ventured out and decided to see the beautiful history and architecture that NOLA had to offer!
We ducked into a few art galleries because they had ice cold A/C blasting, but I did find this awesome painting, which I totally would have bought if a) I had a way to get it home and b) I had $2700 just laying around.
Jackson Square was beautiful. There were so many jazz musicians just out and playing for fun (or spare change) and the street artists were so cool. And seeing St. Louis Cathedral in person was an unforgettable experience. I only took pictures of the outside because it felt a little irreverent of me to bust out the iPhone while inside, but I wish you could see it – the ceiling especially. It was incredible!
And of course, me being the flea market junkie I am, we had to shop a bit at the French Market (if you know anything about Charleston, it’s just like the market there…except you can buy amazing Po Boys and get a fun adult beverage while you shop!)
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the edge of the Mississippi River. Mighty? She sure is.
That evening was the Awards Banquet for the Leadership Conference, which was 1) a great excuse to dress up (note the 4 shower heads and the tv in our bathroom)
and 2) some of the best food I’ve eaten in awhile:
That night, following the Awards Banquet, we decided to make it low key and take in some local jazz. We hopped in and out of a few places, but unfortunately I have no pictures because I left my phone at the first place we stopped at (a HUGE thanks to the sweet bartender, who kept it for me when I remembered exactly where I had laid it down). (I am notorious for the ‘leave behind’…)
Our 3rd and final day, the rest of the crew decided to take a bus tour and see some additional NOLA sites, but Andrew and I opted for some time together, just the two of us. Considering we never really get it, we figured this may be our last opportunity for awhile. So we had lunch together (where I ate the best Catfish Po’Boy known to man)
And we shopped for souvenirs to bring home to CJ. And finally, we decided to take it back to the hotel and take FULL advantage of the rooftop pool. This may have been my favorite part of the entire trip. Just relaxing with my love.
That night was a Farewell/Masquerade Ball. Everyone was encouraged to wear their best Masquerade/NOLA costume. After finding our masks (and my sassy hot pink feather boa) in a shop on Bourbon St earlier that day, we dressed up and had a GREAT time. It was an awesome way to say goodbye to such a fun city and such a great trip.
It was such a great break from reality, but it was one of those trips where you need a vacation from your vacation. Plus, while we enjoyed the quiet and the freedom for a few days, it was awesome to get home to the little guy.
Til next time NOLA, LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!