LJ on the Road: NEW ORLEANS!!

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.

I credit the mid-flight cranberry & vodka to my fear of flying.  Which I don't even have.

I credit the mid-flight cranberry & vodka to my fear of flying. Which I don’t even have.

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 dรฉcor, 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.

Street-view of our hotel, The Roosevelt NOLA.

Street-view of our hotel, The Roosevelt NOLA.

Isn't this lobby TO DIE?  (Photo cred to the hotel's website because the lobby wasn't ever empty enough for me to get a good shot myself).

Isn’t this lobby TO DIE? (Photo cred to the hotel’s website because the lobby wasn’t ever empty enough for me to get a good shot myself).

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…

Crab cakes w/ mushroom gravy sauce @ Old NOLA Cookery on Bourbon St.

Crab cakes w/ mushroom gravy sauce @ Old NOLA Cookery on Bourbon St.

What's NOLA without a signature Hurricane slushy?

What’s NOLA without a signature Hurricane slushy?

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.

One of the countless slushy-to-go stops.  This one takes the cake as far as Creepy Mardi Gras jesters go.

One of the countless slushy-to-go stops. This one takes the cake as far as Creepy Mardi Gras jesters go.

Andrew, with his new BFF.  Funny how they look almost identical at this point of the evening.

Andrew, with his new BFF. Funny how they look almost identical at this point of the evening.

Tim, Mike, myself, Buddy , Monica & Drew...our 'crew' for the week.

Tim, Mike, myself, Buddy , Monica & Drew…our ‘crew’ for the week.

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).

#TeamJonathan all day long.

#TeamJonathan all day long.

Ain't he sweet...

Ain’t he sweet…


I also took this opportunity to take a few shots of the view from our room.
The view from our room - Canal St & the Mississippi River in the distance.

The view from our room – Canal St & the Mississippi River in the distance.

I never did find out what this place was, but our room overlooked it's roof and these REALLY cool columns!!

I never did find out what this place was, but our room overlooked it’s roof and these REALLY cool columns!!

After the guys were let go, we ventured out and decided to see the beautiful history and architecture that NOLA had to offer!

The Hotel Monteleone - the detail in this architecture was incredible!

The Hotel Monteleone – the detail in this architecture was incredible!

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Isn’t this the cutest boutique EVER? I want to live there.

The name, the vintage painted bicycle, the black & white color scheme...I love it ALL.

The name, the vintage painted bicycle, the black & white color scheme…I love it ALL.


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.
"King for a Day II" by Tim Church - 24x48 @ $2700

“King for a Day II” by Tim Church – 24×48 @ $2700

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!
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Jackson monument.

Jackson monument.

St. Louis Cathedral from the other side of Jackson Square.

St. Louis Cathedral from the other side of Jackson Square.

St. Louis Cathedral.

St. Louis Cathedral.

St. Louis Cathedral.

St. Louis Cathedral.


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!)
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Couldn't help but stop in here.

Couldn’t help but stop in here.


On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the edge of the Mississippi River. Mighty? She sure is.
The Mighty Mississippi.

The Mighty Mississippi.

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)
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and 2) some of the best food I’ve eaten in awhile:

My Favorite!  Herbed Mixed Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette and (wait for it...) a Fried Goat Cheese Medallion.

My Favorite! Herbed Mixed Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette and (wait for it…) a Fried Goat Cheese Medallion.

NOLA Surf & Turf - Filet Mignon & Butterflied Shrimp w/ Roasted Potatoes & Haricot Vert.

NOLA Surf & Turf – Filet Mignon & Butterflied Shrimp w/ Roasted Potatoes & Haricot Vert.

Dulce de Leche Layer Cake.  OMG.

Dulce de Leche Layer Cake. OMG.

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)

Catfish Po'Boy at the Oceana on Bourbon St.  AMAZING!

Catfish Po’Boy at the Oceana on Bourbon St. AMAZING!


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.
How amazing is this pool and the view???

How amazing is this pool and the view???

My love.

My love.

Rooftop drinks!!

Rooftop drinks!!

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.

Elevator Selfie on the way to the ball.

Elevator Selfie on the way to the ball.

King & Queen Sac in our Masquerade Best.

King & Queen Sac in our Masquerade Best.

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.

This Smile - Couldn't get home quick enough!

This Smile – Couldn’t get home quick enough!

Til next time NOLA, LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!