It has been a long time since my husband and I have traveled. We decided to book a short getaway to a place my husband has been wanting to go. New Orleans!! We were both excited to enjoy some good food, music and relax!
Airports… I hate airports because they cause me stress. I am always expecting something to go wrong but we survived and it wasn’t bad. We have the same routine every time we travel. My husband buys a book and I buy a word search at the airport to keep us occupied. This getaway was no different. The craziest thing happened at the airport also! I ran into a nursing school classmate that I was very close to in school but we haven’t talked to each other in years! I am constantly reminded what a small world we live in.
We stayed at Hotel Mazarin in the heart of the French Quarter and it is in a good location. We were in walking distance of almost every attraction which is great to walk off all that food. A charming boutique hotel with a lovely outdoor courtyard, wine bar and spacious quaint rooms. Our room was nestled in a secluded area away from the courtyard and I enjoyed the privacy. Attached to the hotel is Patrick’s Bar Vin which is a wine bar with a great selection. The only downside to the hotel is it is a half a block away from Bourbon St. We had a early flight Sunday morning and you could hear people partying for hours on end and then after that it was hours of ambulance sirens alarming picking up people with alcohol poisoning. It was defiantly an experience. I had no complaints with the hotel and the staff were very friendly and lovely to interact with.
Prior to leaving for our getaway we decided to pick out specific restaurants we wanted to try and make reservations when needed. I highly recommend doing this because some of restaurants had long lines outside and it is nice to be able to bypass the lines. When we got all settled into the hotel we decided to just walk around and considering all the restaurants are within walking distance we decided to hit up Original Pierre Maspero’s for dinner. It was a lovely small place with exposed brick walls. The architecture in New Orleans is stunning. I ordered the fried shrimp po-boy and my husband ordered the roast beef po-boy. They were delicious and went great with my pearly sangria and my husbands crown royal and ginger ale. Also, another thing to note is they do not make their drinks light! So heads up because you will get a buzz fast.
Next on the list was the Old Absinthe House. An iconic white building on the corner of Bienville and Bourbon Streets. The building has great history behind it and was named The Absinthe Room in 1874 when mixologist Cayetano Ferrer created the famous Absinthe House Frappe. My husband and I both had the mata hari and it knocked us on our butts. It was an experience! I shared a video on my Instagram of the drink being made.
We ended the first night with a stroll on Bourbon Street and finished it off with some wine at the hotels wine bar and chatted up the night with some fellow vacationers.
The next morning was a rough start but we managed to get it together and hit up Cafe Beignet. So let’s talk about beignets because I was hooked and went to Cafe Beignet more times then I would like to admit! A beignet is a deep fried pastry covered in powered sugar and they are amazing! There are two different main sellers in New Orleans and they are Cafe Beignet and Cafe Du Monde. They are both extremely popular and you may have to wait in a long line. I believe Cafe Du Monde is more popular but I actually preferred Cafe Beignet. Yes, I had to try both places out. Either way you can not go wrong because they are both delicious but make sure you eat them in moderation which is not what I did! We also grabbed a bag of Cafe Beinget’s New Orleans coffee and chicory because we noticed their coffee is different from what we are use to and it is delicious. Chicory was mixed with coffee to stretch the coffee supply in 1800’s. It does not contain caffeine but has a similar flavor to coffee and is very dark.
After filling up on some delicious beignets, we walked around and explored Jackson square while we waited for our riverboat harbor cruise. Such a beautiful area with many shops to explore. There are also many vendors selling their artwork. It is interesting because you can stand in the square facing the the chapel, turn around and the Mississippi river is actually higher than you are. We walked around the square looking at shops and the beautiful buildings and also walked through the French Market.
After we walked around we got onto the boat for a tour along the Mississippi River. I did not take many photos of this because I was not feeling the best on the boat but it was fun and very informative. Its a guided tour with a speaker and live music.
Lunch was late in the day and we decided to hit up The Original French Market bar and restaurant. It was such a beautiful day out and we ate on the balcony. I love to people watch so it was perfect. I tried the shrimp creole which was delicious and my husband tried their jambalaya.
Dinner that night was at a restaurant called Muriel’s and the food was amazing! I decided to try their blackened red fish because it is a local fish and I never had it. The food was amazing and it was my favorite meal on our getaway. My husband promised me he would try seafood and he tried my fish and actually liked it. Red fish is a good fish to try if you do not like seafood because it is not fishy. The restaurant is also apparently haunted but we did not meet or see any ghosts.
After dinner we continued to walk around…there is a lot of walking in New Orleans. We picked up some snacks to nibble on and spent the rest of the night just relaxing in our room. We had some traditional pralines, cinnamon praline pecans and some caramel popcorn with pecans. Unfortunately, I ate most of them before thinking of taking a picture.
The next morning we decided to grab the St. Charles street car and take a ride down to the Garden district. The garden district is known to have some of the best preserved collection of historic mansions in the South. It is also home to many historically famous homes and the area is beautiful. Grab the street car because it is far from the French Quarter and just walk around and enjoy the beautiful homes. The street car costs $1.25 per ride or pay $3.00 for the whole day. While there you can also see Lafayette Cemetery but you can not enter the grounds. The grounds are currently closed due to preservation work under way but you can walk up to the gate and peek inside. The cemetery is surrounded by a beautiful high wall with gorgeous greenery growing on the wall.
When lunch time rolled around we grabbed the streetcar back to the French Quarter and ate at Oceana. I could not get enough of NOLA po-boys so I opted for another one and this one was so delicious. I love a sandwich with coleslaw and the po-boys there had coleslaw in them. I was hooked! So delicious and highly recommended. We had a reservation which was great because there was a line outside the restaurant. We also ordered alligator tail which was a first for me. They were delicious also and now I can say I tried alligator!
We made sure to walk around a lot and check out the sites. There are also a bunch of antique stores which we checked out. I highly recommend you check them out because they have such beautiful pieces. They are pretty expensive but fun to look at. You could spend all day just walking around taking in the history and architecture. So many beautiful buildings with historical importance.
Our last night we grabbed dinner at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Again, I wanted to try something new and different so I ate shrimp and grits. It was so delicious but at this point I was so full I could not even eat half the meal! There are so many amazing delicious restaurants that it is hard to have enough stomach room for all the food.
We both had such a good time in New Orleans and are already planning what we would do the next time we visit. Next time we would take a Bayou sightseeing tour, visit the WWII museum and also stay at a hotel a little farther from Bourbon Street. Our flight was at 7am and the noise from people and ambulances went on past 3am. Though I have no complaints about the actual hotel I just would like to be farther away from the noise. I also wanted to try crawfish which I did not get to try. Next time though I will definitely get my hands on some. I literally could not eat anymore food! Until next time New Orleans because we will be back!