I Heart Travel, Part IX, New Orleans

Last year for my husband’s 30th birthday I booked a trip for us to go to New Orleans together. He has been a huge Saints fan since he was a little kid and I knew he’d love to see a game at the Super Dome. Later I invited my best friend and her fiance to come along with us. It just so happens that my husband shares the same birthday (day and month, not year) as my best friend. They are similar in a lot of ways and she jokes that I found a male version of her and married him. Their birthday also falls a day after New Years Day so we ended up celebrating both New Years Eve and their birthdays in New Orleans.

We arrived on New Years Eve around 7 or 8 and went straight to our hotel. We got dressed for the celebrations ahead and went down to Bourbon Street and nearby to walk around. There were SO many people out and music was everywhere.  We had a blast walking around with our beverages of choice in hand and listening to all the fun music and taking everything in. It really was an amazing site to see. (All photos taken with a point and shoot or iPhone)

On New Years Day, we decided to eat at a po’ boy restaurant we had seen on the Food Network. Supposedly it was the best po’ boy sandwich in the city.  Our friends decided, hey..lets walk there. It’s only two miles from our hotel. So…we followed. And by followed I mean we blindly followed my best friend’s directions via her iPhone gps. After an hour and a half (2 hours my a#@) of walking through some pretty dangerous and secluded streets and ally ways, we ended up at the po’boy shop only to find out it is closed for the holiday. Yep, we didn’t even call to see if they were open on one of the biggest holidays of the year. This is me, SO sad after our long and dangerous trek for nothing. So, starving at this point, we called a cab and cried all the way back to our hotel and found some food elsewhere.This place didn’t even compare to Parkway Bakery. Same long lines…not even in the same ballpark as far as the food goes..

The next day we took a cab to the restaurant, stood in line for about 30 minutes and had some of the best food we’ve ever eaten..in our lives. Worth it? Hell yes. This is us, incredibly happy that it was finally open and we were able to enjoy it. The next day we walked around the city, ate some great food and met some interesting people.

There were bars and clubs open in the middle of the day and when you walked in you forgot that it was only 1:00pm and not 1:00am on a Saturday night. These people know how to party. We also made sure to sample the delicious beignets (fried doughnut like pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar) from the famous Cafe Du Monde. My husband tired to go get them for us early in the morning one day, but the line was out the door. So, we decided to visit the cafe after a night of walking around the city. It was a wonderful way to end to our evening!

One of the major highlights of the trip was the Saint’s game. My husband has been watching games at that Super Dome since he was a kid and I was so happy we were able to go there in person. The stadium was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The seats were stacked up so high that when I stood up I felt like I could easily fall down the steep rows. It was also a little surreal to be in the dome that so many people stayed during Katrina years before. I was so happy to be there, but felt a great deal of sadness for the people who experienced such tragedy.

The Saint’s lost that game, but we had a great time regardless. We walked from our hotel to the game and the atmosphere leading up to the Super Dome was so exciting. Loud music, live bands, beer sold on the streets, and everyone in black and gold. It was truly an amazing site to see. I look forward to going back some day.

On our last day we went on a swamp tour. Mission- find gators’. Mission unsuccessful. We did see one gator in the water but just for a split second, come to find out we weren’t there in gator season. But, regardless of the mia gators, the tour was amazing. The swamp was actually kind of beautiful in a swampy kinda way. I had never seen anything like that and especially never been on a speedy pontoon boat searching for creatures that could devour me in one bite. Our tour guide used to hunt alligators when he was in high school. In HIGH SCHOOL. This guy was hard-core. I was watching MTV and eating Cheetos in high school… enough said.

Overall, it was a great trip and I can’t wait to go back! Here is a photo of all of us after our tour looking a little “swampy” ourselves. :)