Friday, March 8, 2019

NOLA Road Trip Pt. 2

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 

You might remember how NOLA Pt. 1 ended (here's a hint: I had a lot of fun on Bourbon St. and ended the evening with drinks on the patio after we got back to our Airbnb apartment. Read about it here). Our original plan was to be up by 8 a.m., grab breakfast at a hip restaurant in the Garden District, and tour the Mardi Gras Museum. Hubs and I (and my pounding head) decided sleep was more important, so we skipped the Museum completely. After a late wake up, we altered our plans and quickly got ready for the day followed by a greasy breakfast near our apartment.

Waffle House seriously saved me that morning. Once that layer of grease hit my stomach, I was good to go for the rest of the day.

After our late breakfast/lunch, we found ourselves back in the French Quarter. We toured the Jazz Museum, grabbed those last minute souvenirs, and found King Cakes to bring home.

A lovely walk on a warm, 79 degree day along the waterfront.

A pyramid of cymbals. I thought this was the coolest!

Only the best music playing.

Obviously the exhibits were neat and educational, but the building itself was also full of history. This door caught both of our attention.

A Christmas shop that was all Mardi Gras themed Christmas decorations. I had to stop in a grab an ornament for my Christmas obsessed mom.

I love getting locals recommendations for places to eat and what is a must try. We had lots of questions about King Cake and the best place to buy some (to take home). Several people recommended the Cakes at Rouses Markets. Even though we didn't eat it until two nights later, it was AMAZING! 

We took one final stroll down Royal St. and did some window shopping. The antique sword shop was closed the entire time we were in New Orleans, but I wish we could have gone in. Maybe next time...

Our next stop was to the Garden District. We wanted to walk around the neighborhood anyways, so we chose the cemetery in the area, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. One of my favorite parts of this walking tour was when a black cat wandered into the cemetery and climbed over the old graves.

This cemetery is definitely popular with tourists, so be prepared for crowds. I enjoyed that we could tour it ourselves as opposed to a guided tour. When you're working with limited time, you want to make the most of that time and see as much as you can.

The line of tourists waiting to ride the St. Charles Streetcar. Yes, these were just tourists who only wanted to ride the St. Charles line for a bit simply because of A Streetcar Named Desire. We did not ride the streetcars this time around. When we take the minis back with us (someday), I'd like to do something like this.

I loved seeing the houses decorated for Mardi Gras.

As we approached late afternoon, we debated on what to do. We thought about eating at The Rum House, but we weren't quite ready for dinner. Museums were shutting down, we had an early, early wake up call and wanted to be home early, so Bourbon St. wasn't one of our choices. One of our top choices was to take the road along the Mississippi and take it as far as it would go, but that meant several hours in the car. That was something we didn't want since we had to begin our 15 hour trek back home the next morning. So, I quickly Googled 'free things to do in New Orleans' and City Park popped up.

We had a relaxing walk in a beautiful setting for our last adventure in New Orleans.

As we walked, we came upon the Art Museum's sculpture garden. When we peered inside, we were quite surprised to find it similar to our own Sculpture park here at home! This Garden had a lot of the same sculptures and many sculptures by the same artists.

As we left City Park, I once again referred to trusty Google and asked 'quick bites near City Park.' The first thing to pop up was Parkway Bakery. We scanned the menu and decided this looked promising. When we arrived, we were surprised by how busy it quickly became and that it's a historic restaurant! Apparently we picked/happened upon the right place! We enjoyed our Poor Boys on a tent covered patio with music on a breezy evening. 

We spent the rest of our night at our apartment, enjoying the open windows and watching movies, attempting to sleep. Needless to say, our 3 a.m. wake up call was rough, but the 15 hour drive home was easy. There was quite a bit of traffic, except for this stretch of highway through Mississippi (picture below). Hubs and I took turns driving and took a break in Cape Girardeau to eat lunch with family.

The cutest pho eater.

Hubs was really hoping I'd be asleep and miss this truck so he could scare me. Instead, I took the picture so we could show it to our parents and tell them there were problems on the interstate. Sometimes our sense of humor can get us into trouble...

We made it home early (before 10 p.m.) but not before the minis went to bed. I set up their goodies on the table to be found when they woke up the next morning. I took that following day to recoup, do grocery shopping, attend conferences, and spend some time with the minis. I was so exhausted from our trip that I wound up sleeping the morning away, making for a busy afternoon.

All bags had to be unpacked and an unreal amount of laundry had to be done.
This was only a small part of the laundry I managed to get through on my "day off."

I brought small parts of NOLA back with me: a muffuletta from Central Grocery and coffee with chicory from Cafe Du Monde. We brought back an entire case of K-cups with us.

Plus, we got to finally try the King Cake. Harrison got the baby and the rest of us ate up the cake. It was phenomenal! Great suggestion from the locals. We enjoyed telling the minis about New Orleans culture, customs, food, and swamp life. They enjoyed hearing about it all and asked plenty of questions.

I loved taking the trip, as always, and I loved coming home to the minis, as always. Despite being more tired than when we left, we had so much fun! Even though I wanted a kid-free getaway, one of the biggest reasons we didn't bring the minis along was because we didn't think New Orleans was the best place for kids. I'm now looking forward to bringing the minis back with us in a few years to experience the sights and sounds of NOLA. I have our list of things to do and see with them ready to go.