When it comes to the Adventure section of this blog, I keep it pretty local. What can I say? I love Wisconsin. But the other 49 need a little love too, which is why I am so happy to share my trip to New Orleans with you.
You see my old pal Amanda got hitched and moved down to Louisiana not too long ago. We go way back – like 1993 way back, like K4 at St. Joe’s School way back. I can’t let something like 1,000 miles interfere with that, so my friend Irina and I packed our bags and met her in the Big Easy.
Let’s just say I loved this place. Architecture, atmosphere, people, strange open container laws (or lack thereof), history, spooky history – need I go on?
My friend Irina and I flew in late Saturday. Getting to our hotel after 8PM, we knew there wasn’t much we could see as far as sights, so we dropped off our bags, grabbed a quick bite and did our due tourist diligence: Bourbon Street. It was a weird place but I can’t say I wasn’t into it. Sure, Bourbon Street is everything I hate about, say, Water Street in Milwaukee or any college bar, but for one night in a new city, I was totally buying into slushy drinks served in commemorative cups and trying to catch beads thrown from tourists’ hotel balconies. It was a fun time for the two hours we were out, but two hours was totally enough.
But Bourbon Street at night is not fun for photos. It is, along with the rest of the French Quarter, fun during the day. Since we only had a couple days, we spent the majority of it poring through the Quarter. We ended up spending a good amount of time around Jackson Square, partially because we kept running into it and partially because it was great. We listened to a jazz band, a guy and his African bass harp and I got a tarot reading which was a total New Orleans must-do for me.
The tarot reading was totally up my alley, although I know most people don’t really buy into it. Take it with a grain of salt, enjoy it and soak up the parts that really speak to you – that’s my philosophy at least. A few things were laughably accurate, so it was totally worth it just to have someone tell me, “when decisions are being made, you want to be involved,” because I do. I can’t help it. And it paid to have someone figuratively shake my shoulders and tell me to take a back seat in matters I can’t control.
One afternoon we ventured outward toward Magazine Street, a place a coworker described as a Third Ward-Brady Street mashup (for you Milwaukee folk). Although the walk was long from our hotel, it was very much worth it. It was full of cute little shops and restaurants – I think we could have spent all day there had we started earlier on a Sunday.
Magazine Street had by far my favorite eats of the whole trip, however I’m no authority because 1) we only spent three nights in NOLA and 2) I hate seafood (I know). All I’m saying is that I had a great roast beef po’ boy and a tasty new beer at Ignatius and I tried French macaroons for the first time at Sucré – until this point they were the stuff of Gossip Girl and blogger lore.
But our trip wasn’t all macaroons and NOLA Blonde Ale. It was also appropriately spooky. I’ll be back later with some scoops on ghosts, vampires and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.