Caution: You are being warned if you go to New Orleans you may fall in love and move there. We were warned but it was already too late. We were told it has a way of getting into your heart and soul and staying there. And, it did. We loved it!
I have spent the past couple of years doing my research of the French Quarter. I have seen numerous inspiring pictures on Instagram and Pinterest from celebrities and bloggers about the magical town of New Orleans. It was difficult to cram all the amazing things one could do in New Orleans into a four day trip but we did do it. It was a blast and we saw pretty much all of the French Quarter. Now, I am so excited to share photos from our trip and what we learned along the way!
Our first stop was Cafe Du Monde’. It may sound silly to non coffee drinkers but the very first thing that sparked my desire to go to New Orleans was that chicory coffee was invented there. Chicory makes coffee taste a little softer. It makes coffee taste delicious! My mom always buys New Orleans coffee (at the local grocery store) either Cafe Du Monde’ coffee or French Market coffee both based in New Orleans. When we got to Cafe Du Monde’ it was early (like before 9am) which is when you have to go if you want to get a seat or a to go order. Cafe Du Monde’ is open 24 hours 365 days a year. A non stop coffee haven! They only serve coffee and beignets (pronounced Beign-yay, just like how I feel when I see or here that word yay)! If you don’t know beignets are donuts with powdered sugar on top. Big, sugary, warm mouth pillows of yummy goodness. We took some Beignet mix home for my Dad so we will have to see if we can make it on our own like they do in New Orleans.
We stayed in this charming cottage found on Airbnb which just made our trip even more special. Georgia (the host) was kind, helpful, and really laid back. She also gave us orange juice and beer so can’t go wrong there! The cottage was just our size it fit us both perfectly and it was right behind her home. It was like staying in a secret cottage (that was quiet too) and one street up from Bourbon. That’s right one street up on Dauphine. The house was built in the 1800s when the kitchen resided outside of the main home. Mainly due to the constant fires all that flammable French architecture may have caused. So what once was the kitchens was now our quaint cottage for the weekend.
We took five tours in four days. That’s right, five! Four of them were walking tours, two hour walking tours so needless to say I have some blisters on my feet probably for the next month. It was definitely worth the blisters. We took the ghost tour, voodoo tour, french quarter tour, cemetery tour through this company: freetoursbyfoot.com I HIGHLY recommend this for younger travelers (like us) who are traveling but still must be conscientious about how much money they are spending at all times. Free tours by foot was name your own price so at the end of the tour you give how much money you think the tour deserved. We already had a pre-established amount of $10.00 we would each spend on every tour. Now that I think about it the tours probably deserved $20.00 maybe $30.00/$35.00 but hey, they did say name your own price appealing to the younger crowd and the more financial savvy crowd. For $40.00 we each went on four tours each two hours long. You will not find a better deal. I repeat, I HIGHLY recommend this for the financial savvy young traveler. They have them in other cities too.
Chris’s favorite tour was the voodoo tour where we learned so much more about the religion (yes, it is a real religion still practiced around the world) than what we would have known. My favorite was the ghost tour which was our first tour at night. New Orleans is one of the most haunted places in the U.S.A. If you want to stay in a haunted hotel stay in New Orleans Bourbon Hotel (use to be a nunnery which still has the nuns haunting and the children), Andrew Jackson Hotel (use to be an orphanage that burnt down taking its future ghosts with it), Hotel Provincial Building #5 (use to be a hospital during the battles and during the yellow fever outbreak meant many fallen war heroes and sick patients). If you want to eat at a haunted restaurant eat at Muriel’s in Jackson Square. Every night they set out a table with two classes of wine and reserve it for the original owner of the restaurant Antoine who lost the restaurant in a bad poker game and later hung himself in the restaurant. He is still said to be one of the more friendly ghosts.
We each had a five course meal at Antoine’s the oldest family-run (owned) restaurant in the U.S. Thanks to a good friend of ours that gave me a gift card for graduation. In the future I will always ask for restaurant gift cards! It was giving the gift of an experience which was really great. It was delicious and entertaining. This restaurant has 14 dining rooms and invented Oysters Rockefellar! I’ll share more on our special dinner in another post soon!
Some things I wish we got to do but couldn’t squeeze it in was go to the spotted cat music club on Frenchmen street. Or the Italian restaurant called, Adolfo’s which people were raving about online before going to the spotted cat jazz club which looked so cool! I wish we went to preservation hall which is where the more classical Jazz has been played all through history. We were sleepy at night due to our long day time tours we didn’t really go out on the town at night. Another cool thing that Chris wanted to do but we were all too sleepy was get absinthe down pirates alley. Oh also they only accepted cash which was another issue why we didn’t do it. I wanted to go to all the different parks outside of the French Quarter that my Dad told me about too. The biggest thing I didn’t get a chance to do was take a picture of where my Grandmother use to live when she went to Tulane University. It was a good 30 minutes away from the French Quarter in the car and we didn’t have a car so it made things a little harder. We will go back and do all these things one day maybe one day soon! We did do so much in what little time we had.
I’m so thankful we got to go. I had been craving a trip to New Orleans so bad! It was really a lovely graduation gift.