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Dreams Do Come True In New Orleans

Back in the Spring, Mike and I had planned a trip to New Orleans, however, because of weather reasons it was delayed. Then because of work reasons it was delayed again...and again..and again. But FINALLY, after 4 rescheduled trips, and several months later, we were on our way to the Big Easy, mostly on the hunt to eat our weight in beignets. 
*Alexa, play "Down in New Orleans from Princess and the Frog"*

For all of our favorite things to do, see, but mostly eat, check out our list of recommendations in the area for your next trip to New Orleans here! In the meantime, I want to share some trip highlights.

We stayed at the Staybridge Suites in downtown Nola so we would be a able to walk or take public transportation through the city. After the 10 hour drive from Orlando, we checked in midday and went across the street to have lunch at one of the tastiest spots in New Orleans, Mother's Restaurant

Starting the trip off on the right foot, we had some of their famous ham, potato salad, cheesy grits, and red beans and rice. This was one of my favorite meals I kept coming back to throughout the whole trip. 

We explored on foot around the city a bit, venturing past old Mardi Gras beads and beautiful street art, til we ended at the Mississippi River for a mild sunset.

One of the famous things to do here in ride the Natchez Steamboat, or the cheaper, local Algiers Ferry, however, they were currently down while we were visiting. Instead, we waved hello to the Creole Queen Paddlewheel boat waiting to pick up its evening cruisers. 
Often people go to New Orleans to party on Bourbon Street, however, we are not those people. We did our version of Bourbon Street though, which included stopping to share a famous Fat Tuesday Rum Punch slushy, and avoiding all the people trying to get us to pay them by putting beads around our necks. 
A little more our scene was all the jazz music playing on Frenchmen Street! There are several jazz clubs to choose from, some of the more popular ones being The Spotted Cat and D.B.A. 

We also stopped for a holiday dog snack at Dat Dog and were able to sit on their porch and listen to all the jazz clubs next door while we ate. 

Also right in that area is the Palace Market, where locals can come and sell their homemade goods. It's like Etsy but right in front of your face. 

On the walk from Frenchmen Street back to our hotel for the evening, we passed by the St. Louis Cathedral. In the evening the cathedral looks super spooky, especially because all the vampire and ghost tours congregate in this area to begin their night adventure. It also could be because I was walking around singing the shadowman's song from Princess and The Frog in a super scary voice....one may never know. 

Speaking of Princess and The Frog, the building where Tiana's restaurant is suppose to be built at the end of the film is really this JAX Brewery and it really makes me sad. I want there to be a themed restaurant here so badly, so I am going to need someone to get on that right away.

Another stop on the way back to our hotel was the Hotel Monteleone with it's world famous spinning carousel bar. 
We also stopped for another snack at Killer Po Boys for a twist on the classic shrimp po boy. I am not a huge seafood fan, but Mike loved this.

We had to finish our first Nola evening with some beignets, but not ready to go to Cafe Du Monde just yet, we opted for Cafe Beignet instead. These were actually my favorite beignets in New Orleans. They were really doughy and thick, and super warm. It was the perfect end to an evening.

Day 2 began with some hazy but sunny weather, but we knew it was going to pour later in the afternoon, so we were off. 
view from hotel window
One thing I really enjoy about New Orleans is it is a city with something for everyone. It has a very active nighttime life, but also there are plenty of things to do and see during the day as well.

Our first stop was one of our favorite experiences, riding the streetcar. Using the app, we were able to purchase tickets and see the schedule ahead of time. 

We only went a few stops til we arrived at the French Market. Here you will find some fun food options, touristy apparel, and cute souvenirs to bring home.
We also were able to visit the St. Louis Cathedral during the daytime, and found it a little less spooky with all the historical tours happening around it.

Ready for some lunch, it was time for one my most anticipated meals, Muffaletta's from Central Grocery. The Muffaletta is a sandwich made with round Italian bread and filled usually with cold cuts, cheese, and olive salad. I love olives, and this sandwich did not disappoint. 
For dessert, it was finally time for the world famous Cafe Du Monde beignets. 
These hot little pieces of heaven were a little crunchier and a little thinner than the ones from the night before. Mike preferred these over Cafe Beignet. The experience at the cafe is fast paced and busy, but there was a jazz band playing Oh When The Saints Go Marching In and other Nola classics. 

After coating ourselves in a healthy batch of powdered sugar, we took our beignet on a little tour of the city. I absolutely love the architecture in this city and could not get enough of the colorful balconies. 

I am not kidding when I said we ate our way through New Orleans. That evening for dinner, we visited Mahonys Po Boys and Seafood and snacked on crawfish étouffée french fries and a cup of gumbo.

These were so delicious we decided to have some dessert here as well. We had caramel bread pudding bananas foster ice cream po boy, and HOLY MOLY this was amazing. This honestly even topped beignets as far as best dessert we had in this city.
We scoured the city for a King Cake, but there were none to be found anywhere. It's only found Christmas through Mardi Gras time, so naturally we will just have to come back sometime. Instead, we found free praline samples in various candy stores and bakeries, which this city is also famous for.

In New Orleans there is a massive casino called Harrah's, located one minute from our hotel. With the rain, we decided to venture inside and each allowed ourselves $5 to spend on a game. I immediately lost all of mine, naturally, and Mike doubled his. So basically, we went home from the casino 27 cents richer...

The last thing on my to do list was find some tasty jambalaya, but with our last night in New Orleans approaching an end, we stopped by Mother's across the street one more time to have theirs. It was so good, and I am super glad we did. 

New Orleans was really fun, and we had a great time getting out of Orlando for a bit. Now that we're back winter is in full swing, and I am so glad it's no longer 90 degrees every day here. 

For all of our favorite things to do, see, but mostly eat, check out our list of recommendations in the area for your next trip to New Orleans here

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