The Big Easy

The Husband and I headed to New Orleans for the weekend, for our friend’s surprise 30th birthday celebration. Honestly, I didn’t want to go, and it had nothing to do with them. Or the city. It’s because I’ve really had enough of seeing everyone turn 30. Then I realized that whether I party with him or not, I’m still going to turn 30. And him and his wife are always fun. And so is New Orleans.

So we flew Southwest ( which I truly despise) and our direct flight landed pretty early, around 11:00 N’awlins time. I called up our cabbie friend Anil, who we met the last time we were there, and had a very entertaining ride to the city, learning about all the movies being filmed there. (Anil is going to quit his job and become a movie star.)


Apparently driving a taxi is quite dangerous there….

So we arrived at the Loew’s New Orleans early, but they ever so graciously let us check in early. We had a nice room with a pretty view of the murky Mississippi.


Our room


Lovely shower stall


Not the best weather…..


Good thing the pool is inside.

So we dropped our stuff off and headed to the Swizzle Stick bar for lunch and 25 cent martinis.


Swizzle Stick bar. Love the block of ice and the chandelier. And the bartenders.


Crawfish po’boy with a spicy salad and a fantastic corn dipping something sauce/soup/food matter

And some other friends from Tampa just happened to show up!


Just kidding, us girls knew we would all be there. And we actually managed to keep it from the Husbands.

So we all had martinis.


Best dollar I ever spent.

We then headed to the French Quarter to surprise our friend for his birthday. We met everyone else at the hotel lobby bar where everyone else was staying. Our friend came down, looked confused, realized we were all there, and then the celebrations began. After a few rounds at the lobby bar, we headed for our first planned event, the Natchez Steamboat River dinner cruise. So the boat is pretty cool and the jazz was decent. The view up and down the Mississippi is nice, even though the weather was pretty miserable for most of the ride. The food, however, was like a really bad wedding buffet.


Starting to clear up over the mighty Mississippi.

So then we headed to Pat O’Brien’s for Hurricanes. Well. If you’ve never had one, head on over to New Orleans and order ONE at Pat O’Brien’s. Drink it, enjoy it, then get up and leave. Because you do not want to drink more than one. Just ask the Husband.


Famous Pat O’Brien Hurricane.

Just whatever you do, don’t order a large.


Unless all your friends are the size of NFL offensive linemen. Then maybe you can order one….

So we called it a night and headed back to the hotel. Found this lovely welcome amenity waiting for us.


The next day I went sightseeing with Joe and Cherilyn while the Husband, ahem, slept a little longer.We walked to Cafe du Monde, so we could start the day off right with beignets and chickory coffee.

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We went to the French Market to get some souvenirs, Blood Marys, and fantastic crawfish mac and cheese. You must absolutely head to the market for at least one meal.


So good. And practically a meal on their own.


Mac and cheese, my favorite food. The delicious crawfish was just an added bonus.

We went across the street from the market for a margarita and $3 filet mignon tacos. (Well, they had the tacos. I don’t eat red meat usually.)


They have margarita that’s $225! No, that is not it.

Finally, the Husband started to feel a little more human and joined us. First stop for him, a hand grenade, because his friend told him it was a foolproof hang over cure.


Before the hand grenade had time to go off.

So we walked all around Bourbon St, waiting for the rest of our friends to be join us.



Joe and Cherilyn had to head to the airport just around the time everyone else emerged from their hotel rooms. We met up in Jackson Square, which was super crowded during an pretty impressive street performance.


Jackson Square performers.

So we wandered around, then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We had reservations for 12 of us (we had one casualty from the night before who was not able to join the Saturday festivities) at the Bourbon House. We had a pretty decent meal but the service was horrible. I mean, all I wanted was a refill on my water and my wine. And considering we had one waiter for drinks and one for food, you would think that would be easy. Well, 2 and a half hours later, I still had two empty glasses in front of me and couldn’t seem to get the check so we could leave. It was practically torture.

So to make up for it, we did Jell-o shots.


Mathias was kind enough to buy one for everyone, not realizing they were BOGO. So, two syringes of Jell-o, please.

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Laissez le bon temps rouler!

And so the night began. And after lots of drinking and dancing, we headed back to the hotel.

Everyone else is clearly not as smart as the Husband and I. They all left early Sunday morning. We didn’t leave until 8 pm.

So we headed back to Bourbon St. We found the only decent looking bar on the whole darn street.


Bloody Mary at Pier 424 Seafood Market.

After some final Bourbon St drinking, we headed back towards our hotel to pick up our bags and head to the airport. We got back a little early, so we made final stop at Gordon Biersch.


I love the Golden Export so much! Please open one in Tampa!!


And the fish tacos are spectacular.

Then our cabbie/movie star friend Anil picked us up and took us to the airport.

A tout a l’heure New Orleans!