New Orleans!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

For the first time since our honeymoon the husband and I took a trip without kids!

Matt's good friend from high school was getting married in New Orleans this weekend. We figured out it was actually cheaper to hire a nanny for the whole weekend than to pay just the airfare to bring the kids with us. 

I remembered the plain and simple fact that air travel is designed for adult travelers. When you don't have kids (and their car seats, diaper bags, and super necessary army of distractions) it's a very relaxing experience.

Delta had made some serious upgrades since we last flew with them. We watched Jurassic World together and had popcorn. It was practically a date night.

We went straight to the rehearsal dinner from the airport. Dat Dog has an impressive selection of hot dogs. We tried: Guinness, Beef, Crawdad, and Alligator. All delicious.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop bills itself as the oldest bar in America (established in 1772). 

Checked out Bourbon Street that evening with the men. I will say it was cool to see, but I would probably avoid it like the plague if I lived there. Like Times Square for New Yorkers - and anyone else who has seen it once.

Woke up early and walked along the Mississippi. That's the Natchez riverboat down there.
If we had had more time in the city, doing a riverboat cruise and swamp tour would have been right up on the list.

We stopped at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee before exploring more of the French Quarter. In New Orleans, coffee comes with slightly sweetened, scalded milk. So yummy!
Since our evening before did not end until about 3am, Matt now deems beignets as the instant feel better cure. 
I don't suffer from late nights as much. It's my superpower.

I approve of this condiment selection.

St. Joan of Arc!

What Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop looks like from the outside and during daylight.
Matt had made reservations to tour St. Louis Cemetery #1 - the oldest in the city. You are now required to be with an official tour group to enter the cemetery.

Our tour group was meeting at a nearby church - Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Oblates next door have the right idea.
The church was formerly dedicated to St. Jude, and it still has a grotto to Our Lady with lots of plaques thanking St. Jude for his intercession. 

One of the older tombs with a Spanish style cross.

Some of the tombs had little coins left on or around them. Some believe leaving the tokens by someone you have a connection to will help your wish or prayer be granted.

Some of the tombs were in various states of disrepair. There is still damage from Hurricane Katrina. During the storm there was four feet of water in the cemetery, and many of the stone plaques are still missing.

I did not realize that the names on the tombs are in no way representative of all the people buried within. In fact, the only way to really know how many people are in a tomb is by looking at the church records. Many of the tombs have between 20-50 people buried inside, but only 5 or so names will be inscribed.

We found a funky old book store while exploring more of the Quarter. It had an "Imagination Room". I have no idea what it's used for exactly. I thought it was just for book readings, but the name suggests more.

Found Immaculate Conception Church! Amazing Byzantine Style architecture!
It was locked the first time we came by, and mass was going on the second, so I did not take any pictures inside the church.

Matt had gotten a book of walking tours of New Orleans from the library before we left California. So we hopped on a streetcar and rode down to the Garden District to do the walking tour for that area.

It's gorgeous. It just is.

We wandered into an art fair for a local girl's school that was happening on the lawn of the school - which happened to be within an 140 year old building. Ya know, like you do.

This house was lined with signs along the fence talking about dogs and how awesome they are.

The wedding was at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. So many beautiful churches this trip!!

The reception was in the French Quarter in the Paris Room.

Got a kick out of the antique cross everywhere.

The bride is from Honduras and everyone got these pretty, handmade, wooden bookmarks as a wedding favor. Their names and wedding date is wooden burned on the back.

One of my favorite things about the reception venue was getting to go out on the second floor balcony.

You get there by going through the window. 
I know it seems super sketchy, but it seemed to be designed to be done that way. 

The next morning we did our last little bit of exploring. We were able to hit the St. Louis Cathedral this time! There has been a church at that site since 1727. 

Went through their Holy Doors too. Now to make it to confession to rack up an indulgence.

The Bible of St. Louis was made between 1226 and 1234 for King Louis IX of France. This is a rare copy of the original - which has been kept in the Cathedral of Toledo for the past eight centuries.

Matt's foodie heart was set on getting a muffuletta from Central Grocery for the plane. Got there as they opened, gaped at all the amazing things (giant jars of pickled okra and spicy pickled quail eggs, anyone?), and stood in line for muffulettas.  

They're big and come in only two options: half or whole. 

Clearly, we went with whole.

Matt very much wanted to show you all that the sandwich was as big as his head.
After grabbing our bags from the hotel, we snuck in a very crab filled brunch (crab cake eggs benedict and a blue crab omelette) with my last chance for New Orleans coffee and bottomless mimosa. It was brunch after all.

VERDICT: New Orleans comes highly recommended!

We would definately go back. There were so many museums we missed, tours to do, historic homes to see. 

I would live there. Louisiana is awesome.


  1. This looks like such an amazing trip!!! I have a couple college friends who grew up in New Orleans (though they no longer live there) so I've heard some of their stories about the amazing food, huge number of Catholics & beautiful churches, and vibrant culture. It sounds (and looks) like such a great place to visit!
    I also think that the photo of the parking sign was one of my favorites on this post-that's hilarious and awesome!

  2. Both my husband and best friend are from the New Orleans area.. There is no other city like it. So glad I got to marry into that culture. Easter crawfish boils are the best!


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