Justin and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary by taking a quick trip to New Orleans. I’ve been there twice with my mama and sisters on road trips but never spent any significant time there. We were there two months before Katrina hit and then again two years later. This time was wonderful. Our hotel was in the heart of the French Quarter and two blocks from Bourbon Street. The Hotel St. Pierre just underwent a renovation and our room was wonderful. It had gorgeous brick walls and had a door that opened into an interior courtyard.
The continental breakfast was iffy at best and included box cereal and bagels. But in a town that has 24 hour beignets, who wants that stuff anyway?
Our first night we ate on Bourbon Street and experienced the night life. All of the bars had live music blaring and it was fun to check out all the different genres. My favorite was a Motown inspired place called Funky 544. I also liked watching the karaoke at Cat’s Meow. We saw quite a few characters there but it wasn’t too terribly bad.
One of the best things about New Orleans is the food! We had lots of traditional cajun and creole food but suprisingly it wasn’t as spicy as I would have liked. They cater to the masses and encourage you to add a healthy dose of Tabasco sauce to everything to spice it up. Justin got a healthy dose of horseradish with his oysters!
We had jambalaya, muffalettas, shrimp, oysters, dirty rice, gumbo, po’ boys, and (Justin’s favorite) boudin. Our favorite restaurant of all we visited was Mulate’s. They had a great live band, dancing, and the food couldn’t have been any better. It’s closer to the Harrah’s casino than the French Quarter but it is absolutely worth it. Justin got a mixed drink and he recommends skipping that until Bourbon Street. It was expensive and weak.
We visited Jackson Square both during the day and at night. It was so beautiful lit up with the carriages lined up. We didn’t take a carriage ride, but we did take a Cajun Encounters 2-hour tour (that ended up lasting almost three, a pleasant surprise) that covered the entire city, including the Katrina-ravaged Eighth and Ninth Wards, the Musician’s Village, and one of the older cemeteries in the town. It was well worth the money for the experience and background on the town.
More about our trip later when I talk about my two favorite stops, Mardi Gras World and the abandoned Six Flags park!