Note: This is Part 2 of the From LA to LA series. For Part 1, click here.
Bonjour and welcome to the second post in the series chronicling Memorial Day Weekend shenanigans in New Orleans, Louisiana, aka NOLA!
On Saturday morning, we enjoyed some complimentary hotel breakfast before testing out New Orleans’ streetcar system for the first time. The Julia Street station was just a short walk from our hotel and it was a quick ride down the Riverfront Line to the Ursulines Avenue station, where we got off. I love public transportation when it conveniently gets you where you need to be.
The first stop of the day was the French Market. There, we sifted through a lot of knickknacks and I wound up buying this really awesome scarecrow keychain made from string. I love this little guy and hope that he lasts a very long time. You can check out more at HanaDolls.com.
Walking around a bit while sifting through all these items worked up an appetite, so Rona, Evelyn, and I got some Snowballs (which honestly aren’t that special and reminds me of any other shaved ice you can get from an ice cream truck) while Shelena and I split some…crab balls? Again, here is where my memory is a bit hazy and I only have myself to blame for not writing this post closer to when this trip actually happened.
We left the French Market and proceeded to take a walk through the French Quarter, checking out a lot of the architecture on the way. After a few blocks, we found ourselves at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar. Lafitte’s claims to be the oldest bar in the USA since 1772 and we shared a Purple Voodoo drink — basically an alcoholic grape slushie. I have had a longstanding dislike for grape-flavored things since they don’t ever actually taste like actual grapes, but the drink was okay. Definitely could not finish one on my own, but I’m glad I at least tried it.
At this point, we were on Bourbon Street, but we hadn’t really gotten to the crazier portion yet. We stopped by NOLA PoBoys to eat, well, poboys, and I also made a quick detour into Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo to bring back a requested voodoo doll for a friend.
Eventually, we got our first taste of the infamous Bourbon Street, where there were just tons of strange people walking around. It also felt a little dirty and I think Rona said she saw someone just peeing on a wall while everyone walked about. It’s not the most romantic place to take bridal pictures, but that was happening too. We walked a bit further before backtracking and heading towards Jackson Square. We knew that we were going to go back to Bourbon Street that night, but it was worth scoping out while the sun was still in the sky.
At Jackson Square, Rona and Shelena took a break while Evelyn and I walked around to check out the sights, particularly St Louis Cathedral and this big statue of Andrew Jackson riding a horse. At first, I had thought it was Lincoln for some reason, but then again, it isn’t Lincoln Square.
Across the street was Cafe Du Monde, so we lined up to get seated for a table where we could enjoy some delicious powdery beignets, aka sugary goodness. I feel like it is definitely worth the hype and I knew that I was going to end up bringing some beignet mix back home. They actually sell Cafe Du Monde beignet mix at Downtown Disney, but it’s more than twice as expensive.
Evelyn, Rona, and Shelena ended up going back to the hotel to rest a bit while I stayed behind to do some short solo exploring and take a closer look at the Mississippi River. I was getting a little tired too, so I took the streetcar back to the hotel and we relaxed a bit before getting ready to tackle Bourbon Street…at night.
Ah yes, Bourbon Street. Drunkies everywhere and we may or may not have been some of them. We actually went through several of the bars on this street, though I can’t remember their names. There was dancing, there was taking pictures, and, naturally, there was drinking. At one point in the night, some waitress managed to get me to take four of those test tube shots at once and I knew it was over after that.
We also met these two guys, Adam and Kareem, who were visiting from France and wanted Rona to show off her goods for some beads. Rona declined, but they gave her beads anyway. I even managed to try out some of the French I know, though it was pretty basic stuff like “nous sommes de Californie en Los Angeles” and “je parle un peu de francais”. They still appeared somewhat impressed. They ended up inviting us back to the apartment that they were renting, but we opted to go back to our hotel instead.
I think walking around the French Quarter really helped me like New Orleans a lot. There’s so much vibrant history and culture, but I’ll cover that in Part 4. In the meantime, it’s time for a day trip out of the city in Part 3!
Check out other posts in the From LA to NOLA series:
– From LA to NOLA (Part 1): Southern Comfort
– From LA to NOLA (Part 2): Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler
– From LA to NOLA (Part 3): Gators Gonna Gate
– From LA to NOLA (Part 4): The Voodoo You Do