Bourbon Street and Beignets!
And we're back! Did I announce that we were leaving for vacation or did I just mysteriously vanish for a week? I think the latter. But it was with good reason! Erik and I have been talking about going to New Orleans for years now because he has close family there, he's a Cajun at heart, and it was basically the only place Erik has been that I hadn't and this could not last! So! Last Saturday I was up late importing all my photos from Lisa and Daryl's wedding (stay tuned for that one!) and backing them up before I shut my computer down for the week. I went to bed and got a few hours of sleep before our flight because everyone knows a trip isn't a trip unless it starts in the middle of the night.
Despite our early flight, we still had a four hour layover in Atlanta, the dreaded airport where Erik had to sleep overnight recently because of delayed flights. But at long last we arrived and zipped off to New Orleans to meet some of our best friends, Bret and Nicole (whose awesome blog can be found here)! They had already been in town for a day and had already learned that we didn't want to drive around the city, that a cab was definitely safer. Well, assuming your driver isn't crazy, playing games on his phone, or darting through traffic grumbling about the city turning into Disney World. All part of the New Orleans charm!
After meeting up at the adorable house we rented from Airbnb.com (thanks, Steph!), an amazing site that lets people rent out their homes to travelers, we headed into the city. First stop, Café du Monde! It's ironic that this is the first place we went and also my favorite. Café du Monde is a huge, outdoor café, known for their café au lait and the BEIGNETS! So good. Basically a handheld, extra fluffy, funnel cake. The place was PACKED when we arrived. At least a hundred people crammed around tiny tables beneath the giant awning with a line of take out orders wrapping all along the awning. I had d-hall flashbacks as we realized we'd have to fight for a table. I thought it was very indicative of our personality types as Nicole and Erik immediately zoomed through the tables scouting for an empty one while Bret and I stood on the sides watching carefully. Of course, the table right next to me and Bret opened up quickly and we got to sit down just in time for a downpour.
Hanging out with our coffee and beignets was fun, but we didn't let rain keeping us from exploring the French Quarter. There were plenty of street artists and cute shops to browse and we walked around until dinner just admiring our surroundings. I decided to go big at dinner and ordered the Cajun sampler. Turns out when you don't really like spicy food, you won't really like the New Orleans specialties. Erik was happy to finish my gumbo and I ate my red beans and jambalaya as best I could haha. Really, I just wanted lots of beignets. That would have been ideal.
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a venture through Bourbon Street. It's definitely a crazy place! We saw all sorts of leather-donned characters. I say characters because that's what they seemed like to me and that just sounds nicer than strippers and drag queens. We later learned that this was Decadence weekend in New Orleans. That at least explained the sexy male nuns at the table beside us at dinner haha.
After Bourbon and some more exploring, we headed back to the house and Erik performed lots of amazing card tricks like he does. Unfortunately, Nicole and Bret had a long drive back to Tallahassee the next morning, so we literally had less than 24 hours with them. I think we made the most of it though. Our breakfast was delicious and a quick walk from our house down Magazine Street. Then we went back to the house and had a sad goodbye. We'll see them again in October, but it's still sad to say goodbye when you feel like you've just reunited after so long.
So that's the first 24 hours of New Orleans! Haha the rest of the week was not nearly so crazy, but look out for Part II coming up soon!