A couple months ago Dan and I went to New Orleans for a wedding and I never wrote about it so today I’m sharing some camera phone photos from our trip, some things we did in the 48 hours we were there, and some awesome places to check out if you’re ever in New Orleans.
We arrived in New Orleans on a red-eye flight exhausted and hungry. Our hotel was right on the edge of the French Quarter, ideally situated between all that good modern stuff I love, like um CVS and air conditioning and bottled water, and the craziness of Bourbon Street. After a short nap we headed out to grab some lunch. It was overcast and windy but not raining or too cold, though even at noon Bourbon Street was full of loud, partying people. If you’ve never seen Bourbon Street just think of an outdoor frat party. Open containers and drunk-ass people everywhere. We walked in the opposite direction to eat at one of John Besh’s restaurants, Lüke. It was pretty good, though not spectacular.
We got to see more of The Quarter that night as we made our way to Justin and Kathryn’s rehearsal dinner cocktail after party at Antoine’s. Bourbon Street is loud with its wall to wall drunks, many of them middle-aged and stumbling. Awkward. But the rest of the French Quarter is beautiful and much more under control; cobblestone streets and gigantic colonial row homes with an idyllic courtyard here or there. The cocktail party was A LOT of fun – it was a mini reunion from high school with a few people I haven’t seen a while, including Justin’s parents, who are the nicest people of all time. Our party had an entire bar and a three-piece blues band almost all to ourselves and there is a video floating around of the parents of the bride going wild on the dance floor…that video might just belong to me. :)
The next day our friend Calin, who goes to grad school at Tulane, picked us up and took us to Magazine Street – the one part of New Orleans that felt like it could have been on the west coast. It’s the hipstery part of town complete with super cute cafes, restaurants, and all sorts of shops. We had breakfast at Surrey’s Uptown, a cute cottage that has been very casually converted into a restaurant, complete with a juice bar. It probably had my favorite vibe in NOLA – very homey and friendly. Dan and I split three gigantic breakfast plates, including a bananas foster brioche french toast. The food there was the highlight of the trip for my fat-kid boyfriend. After noming on deliciousness Calin drove us around to check out the gigantic mansions all around uptown New Orleans. If you visit New Orleans and happen to rent a car you should definitely do yourself a favor and drive around Saint Charles street. I’m not usually one for southern style living because of the heat, but the charm of these gigantic beautiful homes is undeniable. Thank you Calin for giving us a full tour.
Then it was wedding time! Justin and Kathryn’s wedding and reception took place in the multiple courtyards and dining room of the Beauregard-Keyes house, a historic colonial house deep within The Quarter. The ceremony was in the outer cobblestoned courtyard at sundown and was short and sweet. Seeing two people I’ve known for so long tie the knot was surreal and I was really happy to be there. Dan and I sat at a table with Kathryn’s friends from college, all of whom knew New Orleans very well, and none of whom we had ever met. Weddings really are the best type of event to meet new people. Dan and I spent all night joking with Lewis and James, these guys were hilarious and I’m glad I got to hang out with them. The wedding and reception flew by. The food was traditional Southern style banquet food, there was drinking, some dancing, and a photobooth for guests to take goofy pictures. Dan probably had 15 beignets during dessert and I caught up with as many old friends as I could.
After Justin and Kathryn rode off in a horse and buggy, the reception broke up and it was time for the after-party. Dan and I walked with our new friends Lewis and James to a couple bars before finally hitting Frenchman St. Frenchman Street is where New Orleans got famous for its jazz and blues music. Bars and lounges all over, all with live music. It was past 1am when the bride and groom finally met up with us ready to party. Dan and I were flying out in just a few hours and figured we might as well stay up all night before heading to the airport. Frenchman St. was a great place to end the night, very unpretentious and energetic, but it was time to go way too soon and we did not get a chance to explore it much. Next time! At 3:30 Calin drove us and our friend Jason to the airport and we said goodbye to NOLA. It was an absolute whirlwind of a trip but a really memorable one. We had a blast. Congratulations Justin and Kathryn.
FYI readers Justin is my IT buddy who manages my blog on his server. Thank you Justin for being so helpful.