With wedding season kicking off this week, I wanted to blog an amazing trip my girlfriend and I took over the “off season.” Angela is in Physician Assistant school in Syracuse, NY so for her spring break we traveled to New Orleans, a location that was on both of our bucket lists. We visited “The Big Easy” two weeks after the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras and you could still feel the energy in the air. From the moment we arrived, it was cold and windy… isn’t spring break supposed to be warm and sunny (esp for Ang who lives in the snow capital of NY)? Regardless, we made the best of the weather and wandered the streets in the French Quarter, Marigny, and Garden District enjoying the food, music, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, the ability to drink in the street. It was awesome!! (Ang wanted me to add in that this was her favorite part!) We tried to make rough plans each day of what we wanted to accomplish- one of our favorite day trips was about an hour away to Oak Alley Plantation where we took a step back in time and toured a historic mansion on the Mississippi River and enjoyed a delicious mint julep! We also decided to drive out to see for ourselves the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After a little research we learned the Lower 9th Ward was the hardest hit and after just a few moments there, it is obvious the devastation they endured and are continuing to endure today.
All in all we had a great time. Here are our top 10 tips/places to see if you visit New Orleans…
Tip # 1. The roads everywhere are horrible… be careful of the pot holes if you decide to rent a car! And do not try to cross Bourbon Street at night unless you want to wait 20 minutes.
Tip # 2. Go to Pat O’Briens and have a hurricane.
Tip # 3. Ride the streetcars. It’s a great way to see the city and get to the famous above ground cemeteries.
Tip # 4. Try a beignet from Cafe Du Monde
Tip # 5. Wear good walking shoes and don’t worry about dressing up to go out at night. Ang brought heels and never wore them (except to dinner) because everyone in NOLA was dressed so casually at night.
Tip # 6. The food everywhere was amazing. Our must try list is Commanders Palace and The Embers Bourbon House Restaurant and The Ruby Slipper Cafe.
Tip # 7. Rent your room on Airbnb. We rented an apartment on Burgundy Street in walking distance to everything with none of the hassles of a hotel.
Tip # 8. The hole in the wall bars were our favorite. For jazz, we loved Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub at the end of Bourbon and we really liked all the bars along Frenchmen Street.
Tip # 9. Hold the Big Ass Beer sign while yourself drinking a big ass beer (the side streets have the cheapest to-go drinks… $4.00 for 32oz Bud Light, you can’t beat that!)
Tip # 10. Eat lots of jambalaya