Anniversary in NOLA

The holidays have been really busy for me finishing up a few projects and then visiting my family in Texas for Christmas, but I’ve finally caught up on one of my personal trips to share with you today.  Back in October, Matt and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary (of dating!) with a trip to New Orleans (aka “The Big Easy” and “NOLA“).  The city is located along the Mississippi river and was established 1718 by French colonists.  The city is known for their distinct music, Creole cuisine, and big street festivals like Mardi Gras. (Wiki)  Back in 2005 they were also hit hard by hurricane Katrina that flooded 80% of the land, changing it forever.  It was interesting to see how much of the city has recovered and how much still remains as it has always been.

Below are a few of the highlights from our trip.  Please enjoy!

Pictured above: Live jazz bands playing on Bourbon Street.

We went during the week in mid October and stayed 3 nights/ 4 days at a cute hotel in the French Quarter, a couple of blocks from Bourbon Street.  Over the balcony we could hear horses clacking by and music playing on the streets.  I really loved seeing all of the ornate architecture with cast-iron balconies.

For our first dinner out, we went to Brennan’s, home of the bananas Foster cooked table side!  The best thing I ate was a duck dish.  We also got a personal tour to see their wine collection upstairs (see below).

One of the most popular sights is the The St Louis Cathedral.  On my first visit, it was overcast and grey but the next day it was sunny and blue skies, so I photographed it again!  This is one of the times I wish I bothered to ask someone to take a picture of us together. 😆

Right across the street from the cathedral is Cafe Du Monde- a pretty big deal for beignets (an English “fritter” is made from fried dough and covered in powdered sugar).  I think they were filming a travel/food show while we were there.

More sights around the city below including along the river, city parks, and faded signs on an old brick building.  There was actually a lot of filming all around the city.

Our second night we visited Commander’s Palace for a nice dinner in the beautiful garden district.

After dinner we strolled through the neighborhood to see the beautiful homes.  We stumbled across the women’s boarding house from American Horror Story season 3 and the Eiffel Society with parts made from the real Eiffel tower in Paris!

A block away from our hotel was a great breakfast find at Café Fleur-De-Lis.  It is where I ate the best shrimp and grits for breakfast (twice)!

Neighborhood sights down Esplanade.  I love the colorful homes and ornate entryways.  We even found some “X” codes from the Katrina flood.

The Kitchen Witch Bookstore where we talked with the shop owner for a bit and picked up a couple of rare Creole cookbooks.  I’m really hoping to find a good recipe for bbq shrimp and grits!

Mc Hardy’s and Willie Mae’s and for delicious fried chicken.

Steamboat Natchez took us down the Mississippi river and back, it was really cool seeing coastline (and smelling) the Domino Sugar factory.

Last but not least, we took a tour of St Louis above-ground Cemetery #1, home of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau’s tomb.

Over all, I would say NOLA was a great experience and somewhere I would definitely like to visit again!  A couple of places I would like to see next time include the Oak Alley sugarcane Plantation house and the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone.

If you’re planning on visiting the NOLA area sometime soon or would like to see more things about the history of the city here are some of my recommendations: