I’d been complaining to my sister and mom that I was bored. I know it’s crazy hard to imagine me complaining, but…anyway, we decided to go away for a long weekend to give me something to do. Now keep in mind my sister works full time and still has kids at home. My mother has never known the meaning of bored as she’s always busy whether it’s writing class, singing and acting with a group where she lives, art classes, mah jong, canasta-you get the idea. So we planned to go to New Orleans and after canceling and rescheduling a million times (kept me a little busy with all the scheduling and rescheduling!) we finally made this work.
We met in New Orleans, coming from three different states, and had an incredible time. Lots of champagne (my sister and I), food, walking, and laughing. One night at dinner my mom decided to have a blueberry vodka. My mom is 80+ year old and is so not a drinker. After dinner we walked over to a jazz club and my mom decided to have another blueberry vodka. This time they gave her a large glass of vodka and dropped in some blueberries. Not being one to waste anything she finished the entire drink!
Fast forward to the next morning when we were scheduled to have brunch along with a gospel concert at The House of Blues. My mom says, “I must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me. I’m not feeling well.” Not being mean, but my sister and I look at each other and crack up. “Mom,” we tell her, “you’re hungover!” She’s shocked, I’m hysterically laughing. We get her back to bed and let her sleep it off and in the afternoon she’s fine. She didn’t drink for the rest of the trip. ?
The next night went to Frenchmen Street to listen to jazz. I’m picturing a darkish club with soft music and us sitting at a table with a glass of champagne (and an iced tea for my mom). We get to the first club and there’s not much going on. Someone had recommended The Spotted Cat Music Club so we walked over there. The Spotted Cat is set up more like a concert venue. There’s a stage with a dance floor and people standing around drinking and listening to music. It’s a really cool club and I actually ended up going back on a subsequent trip. But on this trip, we walk in and within two minutes someone has grabbed my mom and pulled her on to the dance floor. Did I mention my mom loves to dance??!! My sister and I were enjoying watching her but after a little bit the two of us wanted to go some place to sit down and have a drink. My mom looks at us, almost in disgust, and says, “I’d rather be at a place that’s a little more lively.” Guess I need to live life more like my mother and I won’t be so bored!
New Orleans is a great city. There’s so much to do that you won’t have time to be bored! Here are some of the activities and places that entertained us on our trip.
Ride an air boat on the bayou: At first I thought this would be a bit hokey, but it was really cool. One thing I found very interesting, and a bit sad, is how used to humans the alligators were. I mean I still wouldn’t put my hand in the water near one, but when the boats went by it didn’t faze them. It was a really pretty ride on the bayou. I liked it so much I brought my family on our trip to NOLA.
French Quarter: Everyone has heard of Bourbon Street, which is so entertaining both day and night! As much fun as it is to drink and carry on with all the other visitors, I think I enjoyed not drinking and watching all the shenanigans more. There are so many restaurants and hotels in the French Quarter it’s hard to choose where to stay and where to eat. Hotel Monteleone is a cool place to stay or go for a drink as it has a carousel bar (careful how much you drink at this rotating bar or you’ll really be spinning!) While not technically in the French Quarter, Windsor Court Hotel is worth the extra steps. We loved the ammenities and the staff was really accommodating. With so many incredible restaurants, Arnaud’s was a stand out to us. We loved the food and the strolling jazz musicians. We enjoyed the restaurant so much that we went back the next night! Gumbo Shop is another restaurant I loved and where I tasted alligator for the first time! It was delicious and I ate it a few more times while I was in NOLA-alligator sausage, fried alligator, and in a red sauce-delicious and so not a boring meal!
Frenchmen Street: While this street is part of the French Quarter, I thought it deserved its own mention. There are so many great jazz clubs on Frenchman Street, but we did love The Spotted Cat. When I went back to New Orleans with my family, my son, who is so into music, and I went to The Spotted Cat and he absolutely loved it. My mom, sister, and I were lucky because the night we were there a great band playing on the street, (after we pulled my mom from The Spotted Cat!) and it was so much fun to dance right in the middle of the street with everyone.
Cafe Du Monde: Beignets here are a must! Not only are the beignets delicious and messy, fun messy, but the hot chocolate and coffee were equally as delicious. Don’t forget to blow a bit of the powdered sugar from your beignet and make a wish! The cafe is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day (except for Christmas Day and if there’s a hurricane). Sometimes there is a long line, but it usually moves fast and is so worth the wait!
City & Cemetery Bus Tour: My mom, sister, and I decided to take a bus tour as a way to explore more of New Orleans. We stopped at St. Louis Cemetery #3 where we had a guided tour providing us with some history and then had time to explore on our own. Now, I’m not one to usually spend time at a cemetery, but this was really interesting. Our next stop was in City Park at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden and Morning Call Cafe. Here we grabbed some beigniets and walked around the sculpture garden. Honestly, we didn’t see that much of the garden as we were too interested in eating! ? More information was shared as we drove around and it was a nice way to see the city and learn some of it’s history.
There was also a gumbo festival while we were there and it was delicious!
Be sure to check out what’s going on when you plan your trip and I guarantee you, you won’t be bored in NOLA!
My Travel Essentials: