In the last 48 hours I've run an unofficial half marathon and driven to New Orleans and back. It's been an incredible weekend! I left town Saturday morning after my last run before my marathon this weekend and hit the road for a girl getaway to New Orleans. Today I'll be sharing some of the great restaurants and bars we went to and tomorrow I'll fill you in on all the fun places we visited and the incredible hotel we stayed at. Before I left town I packed up a small cooler of snacks and drinks. I know how easy it can be to start relying on fast food/junk food when on the road so I tried to be prepared and armed myself with healthy snacks and a few things I could have for a makeshift lunch/breakfast if need be. I was also trying to keep my spending to a minimum and bringing some food from home definitely helped. After we checked in our first stop was The Court of Two Sisters. It wasn't on our 'must do' list but we wandered in after walking around the French Quarter for a little bit. I ordered a drink called "Gone with the Wind" that was possibly the strongest drink of my life. The title was quite appropriate. Christina had not been to the Carousel Bar so we swung by there to see if we could snag a seat at the bar. The first time we tried they were slammed, but on our second attempt two seats opened up right after we walked in. The bar is one of the most popular in New Orleans as it actually spins around the whole time. Very slowly, but enough that we were both a bit dizzy the first few minutes. I had an amazing tequila basil cocktail and Christina kept it classy with a French Connection. They put out little bowls of chex mix whenever you order a drink and after our third refill we realized we were the only girls at the bar going to town on the free chex mix. No shame. For dinner we planned to go to Napoleon House. The buildings first resident was the Mayor of New Orleans from 1812-1815. During that time he offered his house to Napoleon when he was in exile, and while Napoleon never actually made it over the name of the house stuck around. I had been there once before and loved the atmosphere and extremely reasonable food prices. I rarely drink but since I was in New Orleans (and walking everywhere that night) I wanted to have fun with trying all new cocktails. This one was a Pimms Cup (traditional New Orleans drink) with the addition of Ginger Beer. Christina and I both got one and agreed it was the best drink we had while in the city. I was in the mood to munch so I ordered the cheese plate (not pictured: huge bowl of bread that was promptly demolished.) I let Christina have the pepperoni, and the apple and cheese that touched the pepperoni. The cheese was okay - not the fun higher end stuff I like to get at wine bars, more like regular cheese you'd get at a grocery store. After dinner we walked over to Frenchman street which is just outside of the French Quarter and has substantially less drunken tourists. It used to be more of a 'locals' spot but now so many tourists know about it its loosing a bit of its offbeat charm. The bars there are still worlds better than the one's you find in the Quarter. Much more laid back vibe, better music, better food. We stopped into The Maison and got seated at a table right away. There was a live band there that was absolutely incredible and we ordered our last round of drinks for the night. There also may have been garlic fries involved. With ranch. (The best ranch dressing in the world according to the unofficial ranch expert I was with.) We started to make our way back to the hotel and what do you know - we happened to walk right past Cafe Du Monde! Okay, I may have planned it that way. Cafe Du Monde is the one tourist thing that every single tourist really should do while they are in town. Open 24 hours a day they are famous for their beignets - light fried pastries drenched in powdered sugar. Christina and I started to walk past and debated on just going back to the hotel, then decided we really had to stop and at least share an order. We ended up getting an order each (smart move) and someone ordered some hot chocolate with her's to dip them in (smarter move.)
If we look tired in those photos it's because we definitely were. We had been eating, drinking, and walking around the city since 2:30 and by the time we made our final stop at Cafe du Monde it was about 10 p.m. Yes, that means we were back at the hotel and ready for bed before 11! I knew before leaving town Saturday morning that I didn't wan to drink so much, or stay out so late, that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the second day in the city. Look at us acting like responsible adults.
I even went out of my way to wear comfortable shoes for walking.
Is there a tourist trap in your town that's actually worth going to? Or one that's super lame and over-hyped?