Our Summer Travels: New Orleans

My husband and I just returned from our third trip to New Orleans. Why do we love this city so much? Well, it was perfectly summed up by a young woman from Taiwan with whom I chatted while waiting for a music club to open. I asked her if she’d been to New Orleans before, and she said that this was her first visit. When I asked her what she’d done so far, she said, “I have taken many pictures of the architecture, but I am here for the food and for the music.” Architecture, food, and music – yup, that about sums it up!

This time around, we decided to stay at the Cornstalk Hotel. As the story goes, in the mid-1800s, the homeowner’s wife was homesick for Iowa. To ease her sadness, he had a fence made in the shape of a row of cornstalks. The grand Victorian home has since been turned into a hotel. We loved it there.

Cornstalk Hotel

The Cornstalk Hotel

the famous fence

the famous fence

The only problem was that our beautiful leaded glass window, as seen in the photo below, had no blinds or curtains! This made for quite a bit of street noise and sunlight coming in.

Cornstalk room

So, we didn’t get to sleep in… but the room was lovely!

On our first night in town, we had dinner at one of our favorite New Orleans restaurants, The Green Goddess. We sat outside and enjoyed the nice, warm evening and delectable food.

Balsamic watermelon burruta salad

Balsamic watermelon & burruta salad

Smoked duck breast slices with roasted fingerlings

Smoked duck breast slices with roasted fingerlings

Berkshire pork with plantain cakes and purple rice

Berkshire pork with plantain cakes and purple rice

After stuffing ourselves silly, we strolled around the French Quarter for a bit. When we were finally ready for dessert, we stopped in at Sucré for coffee and macarons.

macarons

Mmm… macarons…

The next morning, we slowly made our way over to the Jackson Square area for a leisurely Sunday brunch. Sunday brunch is a VERY big thing in New Orleans. Along the way, we admired the beautiful old buildings and their ornate iron balconies.

I loved the cute flowerpots on this balcony!

I loved the cute flowerpots on this balcony!

Jackson Square, a historic park.

Jackson Square, a historic park.

We opted for brunch at Stanley.

We opted for brunch at Stanley.

Mimosas!

Mimosas!

Bananas foster French toast. To. Die. For.

Bananas foster French toast. To. Die. For.

After brunch, we slowly made our way to Frenchmen Street, stopping in at little galleries, art shops, and antique stores along the way. Once on Frenchmen, we went to our favorite club there, The Spotted Cat. As always, the music was excellent!

Yvette Voelker at the Spotted Cat.

Yvette Voelker at The Spotted Cat.

We hit some other little music clubs along Frenchmen Street, had a lovely dinner at Sylvain, and called it a night.

Monday started with beignets, of course!

Beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde

Beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde.

We then walked along the Mississippi for a spell.

The river was quite high!

The river was quite high!

Just for something different, we decided to take the ferry across the river to Algiers Point, a quiet and charming little neighborhood. At $2.00 per person each way, the ferry ride was the best bargain of our trip!

View of New Orleans from mid-Mississippi River.

View of New Orleans from mid-Mississippi River.

Back in the French Quarter, we decided to hit Latitude 29 for drinks and apps. This tiki bar is both delicious and fun!

Tropical drinks!

Tropical drinks!

The Lapu Lapu, a drink meant to be shared!

The Lapu Lapu, a drink meant to be shared!

After our little happy hour, it was time for a rest. Once refreshed and ready for dinner, we made our way to Angeline for an excellent meal, stopping to take more pictures along the way.

Beauregard-Keyes garden.

Beauregard-Keyes garden.

After dinner, we went back to Frenchmen Street for more musical entertainment. We enjoyed a street band, wandered through the Frenchmen Street Art Market, and ended up at Snug Harbor for a performance by the Charmaine Neville Band. Ms. Neville’s cousin, Garrett Morris (one of the original cast members of SNL and currently on the sitcom 2 Broke Girls), was in the audience (which was only about 30 or 40 of us due to the intimate size of the venue). He even got up onstage and joined in for a song. What a great show!

Tuesday was our last day in NOLA. We packed our bags and left them at the hotel, and then wandered back to the Jackson Square area. We stopped by the St. Louis Cathedral before having lunch at Muriel’s.

St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral

The gorgeous interior of the cathedral.

The gorgeous interior of the cathedral.

Muriel's has become our last-lunch-in-NOLA tradition.

Muriel’s has become our last-lunch-in-NOLA tradition.

A po boy and fries.

A po boy and fries.

With just a few hours left before heading to the airport, we decided to visit The Presbytere, one of the Louisiana State Museum locations. The first floor was all about hurricanes, mostly Katrina. It was very moving. The second floor was all about Mardi Gras. It was very entertaining!

There were many gorgeous costumes on display.

There were many gorgeous costumes on display.

Even the restrooms were themed to Mardi Gras!

Even the restrooms were themed to Mardi Gras!

And with that, we headed back to the hotel to catch a cab to the airport. As it turns out, there was no need to hurry. Our flight out of New Orleans was delayed due to weather, which meant that we missed our connection in New York. Which meant that we spent the night at JFK International Airport. But that’s a story for another day.

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About HFBrainerd

Published novelist and Disney World fanatic. Thanks for coming along on this wild ride!
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8 Responses to Our Summer Travels: New Orleans

  1. J.Q. Rose says:

    Delightful tour of New Orleans. Now you know how to take a trip! All the food and all the lovely sites to see in New Orleans. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in New Orleans one year. It was crazy busy when we were there. Also a big football game played. People dancing in the streets and stopping cars. Good thing we took the bus in from our campground or we would have been sitting there all night! I remember the beignets. Mmmmm. Thanks for reminding me of that trip!

  2. Heather, you and your husband certainly made the most of your time in New Orleans. What adventures and your photos are beautiful.

    My son and his wife went to New Orleans on their honeymoon for the same reasons your friend did at the beginning of the post, for the music and food and architecture.

    We’ve gone also, my husband on business and also together. I went to mass at St.Louis Cathedral after spending much time on Bourbon Street. 😉 Also when we went to New Orleans it was the first time we had ever seen cable television and planned some of our activities around the movies. I remember watching a movie one evening and then as soon as it ended, rushing out of the hotel. Funny what you remember.

  3. What fabulous photos! The food looks divine. I would absolutely love to go to New Orleans. It’s long been a dream. Some day, maybe! Thanks for sharing about your trip. It’s made me even more determined to get there some day!

  4. Heather G says:

    Haven’t been to New Orleans in years. You have my curiosity. Perhaps it’s time to revisit. 🙂

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