We had a non-stop flight from Charlotte to New Orleans. After grabbing a taxi at the airport, we got settled in at our Airbnb - Sunshine Cottage - in the Central City area of the Big Easy.
We were eager to start touring and enjoying the city so we hopped a bus around the corner from the house and headed to our first stop - Nola Brewing. The downstairs was busy and the upstairs was closing for a private event so we had a short visit and went on our way.
Off to the French Quarter by trolley, the next thing we knew we were eating dinner on a balcony on Bourbon Street. We even saw a wedding party parade down Bourbon.
It was our turn to parade down Bourbon - we stopped in to hear some live music, the guys enjoyed Big Ass Beers but I was the only one to partake of a Hurricane at Pat O'Briens courtyard.
Then we planted ourselves on the curb to watch one of the first Mardi Gras parades of the season - the Krewe de Vieux. The Krewe de Vieux is known for it's "wild satire, adult themes and political comedy" It was my first time to experience any of Mardi Gras - and it was so fun to watch! Spectators in costumes, crazy parade participants in costumes, beads and drinks, Mardi Gras is alot of fun. And it was time for these tourists to go back to their cottage for some rest!
We were off for Jackson Square for our free walking tour.It was a two hour tour concentrating on the French Quarter and our guide was fantastic. He told us that his job was to give us the best tour possible even though it was free - that way he would get a great tip! I enjoyed learning the history of one of the most interesting cities in the US. And one of my favorite cities!
After the tour it was time for brunch - and a delicious brunch it was! We ate right on the square at Monty's where I had one of my favorite desserts ever - King Cake Beignets! Melted chocolate inside a fluffy beignet covered in powdered sugar!
Then we decided to try out the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone - with a walk along the Mississippi first. The bar is small - super small - so all the seats were taken but with a little patience all 4 of us ended up with seats on the rotating bar. It was the only time I can say I rode on a bar!
We walked back towards Jackson Square and while the guys stopped at a brewery us gals walked through the French Market which was thriving on a Sunday afternoon.
Our evening was spent on Frenchmen Street - New Orleans premier live music destination. I've been told that tourists go to the French Quarter and locals go to Frenchmen's Street. On a previous visit to New Orleans, I enjoyed dinner at Marigny Brasserie and a jazz band at Snug Harbor. So we stopped in for drinks at Marigny Brasserie and then strolled around the outdoor art market on Frenchmen . We put our names in for dinner at Adolfo's and listened to some music as we strolled. Our dinner at Adolfo's was wonderful! And just like that, it was time to call it a night!
Monday started with a visit to Cafe du Monde. You just can't go to New Orleans without stopping here. We chose Monday hoping the lines would be shorter - and it worked. We didn't wait long for a table and then enjoyed our beignets and chicory coffee.
After that, we called Mardi Gras World to arrange for a ride to visit the large factory where the floats are made for Mardi Gras. It's $20 to tour the very large Mardi Gras World facility and they will pick you up and drive you there. After a short presentation explaining Mardi Gras and tasting King Cake, we went on a tour of the facility. We learned which Krewe's have their floats made there, who else they build for (Disney World) and saw artists at work along with a robot building an ice cream cone out of styrofoam. I thought it might be a bit cheesy and touristy, but surprisingly I enjoyed it very much and learned alot. (Did you know there are portapotties on the floats since people stand on them for an entire day?)
We hopped on the St. Charles streetcar to the Blind Pelican for Happy Hour. We were meeting our friends' daughter-in-laws friend -got that?- and she suggested the oysters and crawfish at the Blind Pelican which is directly on the streetcar line. Great prices, outdoor seating and good food. I highly recommend visiting here for Happy Hour if you're in New Orleans.
It was our last evening so we stopped off for one last drink to toast the weekend. As I've said before, New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. So much charm. So much character. So much personality. I love the Southern Hospitality, the food, the drink and the history. This visit was way too short - I'm ready to go again!
This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party!