I remember the first time I visited New Orleans. I was 24 years old, moving away from Georgia and on the way to start a new life in Texas. My friend and I stopped in NOLA for few days and we were completely blown away by the food. The flavors of every dish we’ve tried was ON POINT and I dreamed about it ever since leaving this unique city.
Fast forward 7 years, at the ripe age of 31, I visited Louisiana again. This time, for my good friend Kim and Kyra’s wedding day. Although their wedding was held in the beautiful Oak Alley Plantation located an hour away from New Orleans, I couldn’t shake the memories of flavor shock from my previous visit. Ian agreed to book a hotel in New Orleans just so we can venture out and immerse ourselves in all the flavors, music, and culture NOLA had to offer.
Lucky for us, we arrived to NOLA at 6AM so we got to experience the rare silence of Bourbon Street. As we walked towards Jackson Square, our footsteps echoed throughout the town, but soon was overshadowed by the distant chatter coming from Cafe Du Monde. This brings us to our first stop: Coffee & Beignets!
What’s a NOLA experience if you don’t indulge in these fried, light, snowy powdered sugar covered goodness? The chicory infused coffee provides a strong jolt and a burst of energy, all the while complimenting the beignets.
After our delicious (& much needed) breakfast, we wandered about and peaked into all the small shops for knick knacks and thoroughly enjoyed the street musicians. All the eating, walking, and not to mention a red-eye flight we caught the night before, we definitely required a nap at this point.
Talk about avoiding jet-lag! We’re obviously not good at that…
Once we woke up, it was dinner time. You know what that means! OYSTERS!
These fresh oysters are shucked right in front of you and you can order them in many different ways. Trenasse had a beautiful interior, fresh oysters, top notch service, live musicians, and amazing food! On top of the oysters, we also had the oyster po’boy and the catch of the day. Everything was purrrrrfect and oh-so-delicious. We also enjoyed the live musicians playing cool tunes throughout our meal.
You haven’t fully experienced Bourbon street until you walk down the crowded street with a “hand grenade” in your hand, right?! Just be careful- these things are dangerous. I can’t tell you how many ‘shots’ are in this thing.. if I drank the whole thing, I would probably end up in the hospital. Hahaha, what can I say? I’m weak sauce.
I saw so many people in different costumes walking around, I thought I was at a comic con. Batman costumes, Darth Vader costumes, bunny costumes.. any random costumes you can think of? It was all hanging out on Bourbon Street. Mind you, it was a Thursday with no upcoming holidays whatsoever. Ha! It was hilarious.
Wedding shenanigans! What’s a Louisiana wedding without a crawfish boil as the wedding rehearsal dinner?! Kim & Kyra hosted the perfect crawfish boil! Kim’s brother spruced up amazing seasoning on 2 cases of fresh crawfish and Kim’s family taught all the visitors on the proper way/Louisiana way of eating crawfish. Ian was the good student and he was eating 4 crawfish while I had 1, so he would obviously win the crawfish eating contest…
Wedding day! My beautiful friend Kim got married to her soul mate, Kyra, on the breathtaking grounds of Oak Alley Plantation. Prior to the ceremony, we were treated with an exclusive tour of the plantation and a private wedding photo shoot for the brides and wedding party. The ceremony, dinner, and the reception was exquisite, charming, and absolutely amazing.
Last day! We had several friends who recommended the National WWII museum, so we had to check it out. This museum definitely did not disappoint. The museum was very informative, interactive, and quite honestly, very well designed. As we stepped into each rooms, we felt as if we were living in that particular era. The visuals, interior decors, sounds, lights, it all added to the lively experience.
After spending almost two hours in the museum, we ventured out to eat ALL THE FOOD!
From seafood pasta to crawfish ettouffee, and of course not skipping the gumbo, we decided to check out five restaurants in one day— we ordered 1 dish from the menu at each restaurant and shared it. Hah! We were SERIOUS about this!
We especially loved this cute cafe that fit snug behind a garden. I usually don’t like sweets, but their dessert was superb.
Once we were finally full, we walked around the city and listened to jazz music from different venues that lured us in. All of the hip music scene, the countless street painters and musicians pursuing their passion, and the random cute art pop-up shops that encompassed the city had me fall in love with New Orleans all over again. The culture is rich here and the food— don’t even get me started! I’m drooling.
Louisiana, you’re awesome.
Note: Thank you Kim & Kyra for inviting Ian and myself to your beautiful wedding and allowing me to be your bridesmaid. We love you both!