Mr. B and I made a last minute decision to visit New Orleans for 4th of July Weekend. On the drive down we Listened to Liberal Redneck Manefesto by comedians Trae Crowder , Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester. I don’t know if folks from above the Mason-Dixon would appreciate it as much, but it was a fun listen and felt appropriate for the drive from Texas to Louisiana.
When we arrived at the Royal St. Charles we were informed the previous occupant smoked cigarettes in our room, and the hotel was totally booked on account of Essence Festival (black empowerment festival, pretty cool). Leave it to B to pick the busiest weekend for an impromptu NOLA trip. They comped our room and sent us to the La Quinta down the road.
After a bit of debating, we decided to take the comped room cash and put it towards a nicer stay Sunday, since we were going to suffer the hassle of switching hotels either way. To my delight the Ritz Carlton had a room available (Eeeek! I felt like Kevin in HomeAlone2). We’d checked in to LaQuinta and were halfway to Jackson Square when the valet service called, stating they could not move our vehicle. It had a flat tire. Like flat AF flat. (Mr. B might have bumped a curb while booking the Ritz via phone, trying to listen to directions on my phone and driving at the same time…) We went back, Mr. B popped the spare on like a champ, (I helped, like a good Junkyard Derelict’s daughter would) then headed to The Grill.
If it sounds like I was off to a crap start on this NOLA trip I actually thought it was pretty comical. I was in my favorite city with my favorite person, not hating it one bit.
The Grill is the French Quarter location of Camellia Grill in the Garden District. The original location is still my favorite, but both feature a U shaped diner counter, pink walls, and waiters in white shirts with bow ties. It will make your old-timey heart swoon. I ordered a roast beef Po’boy with grilled onion and mushrooms, not knowing it was 10″.
I intended to only eat half of it, not knowing I am actually capable of eating a 10” poboy by myself. Learn something new everyday.
Sunday morning Tiffany (the talent behind the lens of Lush Boudior) picked me up while Mr.B dealt with the tire situation. We’d talked about shooting at another location (I won’t spoil it since I want to do it next time I’m in town!) but I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare or much time in town, so we took a quick trip just outside the quarter to the Marigny neighborhood (I oohed and ahhhed at every single house there, it’s so pretty). I’ve been stalking @lushboudior for ages. I admire this chick so much. She empowers women, embraces body positivity and makes some kind of magical art that’s beautiful and haunting at the same time! Just like New Orleans! Which makes sense since her and her family are from NOLA going way back to Italian immigrants.
After shooting around for a while, Tiffany led the way to Johnny’s PoBoys on St.Louis Street where I somehow managed to eat a 10″ by myself, again (WTF?). Meatball this time. The bread at Johnny’s really makes the sandwich if you ask me. I enjoyed hanging out with Tiffany so much! She kindly entertained my questions about correct street name pronunciation, making me feel so welcome, not like the silly tourist I am. I look forward to spending more time with her in the future!
That afternoon Mr. B and I went to Mardi Gras World (where the floats for Mardi Gras are made). It may be a tourist trap, but I thought it was so freaking cool. Before I got into the graphic design game, sculpture was my medium of choice. I got lots of nostalgic feels seeing the artist’s studios. I’ve also never been to Mardi Gras so seeing the artwork in (larger than) real life was fascinating. Mardi Gras has always been on the bucket list but I am even more determined now after getting a little taste of it!
After a brief (unsuccessful) stop at Harrah’s Casino we spent the evening on Frenchman street, a favorite of mine. We watched a brass band perform outside of Dat Dog for a while and browsed the Art Market. The Frenchman Street Art Market has been rearranged since my last visit. Apparently part of it has moved to St. Claude Street. I didn’t have a chance to check it out but am excited to next time!
Realizing we hadn’t really been down the center of the quarter yet, we grabbed a Lyft to Lafite’s Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon. Lafite’s is a cool building, built in the 1700s with only candles for light, except for the glowing jukebox and tv above the bar. It feels like a bar locals *might* tolerate (what do I know?). Not pretentious or gimmicky, absent of that disinfectant-masking-something-questionable odor often found on Bourbon Street. Mr. B and I played black jack at a side table while I sipped on my first real Hurricane! I’ve had a swig of those frozen sugar souvenirs before. Not into it. The hurricanes at Lafite’s are made of real juice with a shot of 151 on top that they tell you not to stir (does anyone know why!?). It takes like a less sweet Hi-C. Bratty approved. Maybe it was the candlelight on my beau or the 151 or the police horse that poked his head in the french doors at one point but I had the loveliest time.
We made an early(ish) night of it to go enjoy our swanky hotel room, indulging in a praline for me and a cigar for the Mr. on our walk back to the Ritz. I took full advantage of the room, Kevin McCallister style.
Our last morning in New Orleans went to The Grill again. Two words: cheese grits. I walked my food-high down Royal Street (possibly my favorite street in the quarter). The Mr. really had to twist my arm to get me to visit Trashy Diva (not) where I feared I would just throw my wallet at the first employee to greet me. I budgeted for a Carnival print skirt. The fit was fantastic, fabric quality- amazing as usual, but I felt it really was more of a “fall/winter time” (by TX standards means 50-80 degrees lol) skirt. The skirt is beautifully full, the fabric is thick and two layers deep. Perfect if petticoats aren’t your game. Ultimately the red gingham Dottie dress stole my heart. The halter cut is so classic (think Marilyn The 7 year Itch) and I don’t own anything like it! Gingham is the quintessential southern summer print to me. The fabric of this dress is light, flowy, with a smocked elastic panel in the back. That means you can enjoy the look of a fitted waist dress but won’t feel uncomfortable when you eat Poboys and Zapp’s chips to excess. Oh yeah, and like any classic Trashy Diva dress, there’s pockets! But I hadn’t budgeted for it…
I stepped outside of Trashy Diva where Stephen had been watching a palm reader. We both got our palms read (separately) and I have to say, it was pretty magical. I’m not saying I believe in that sort if thing, but I’m definitely not saying I don’t either… Intuition is powerful… Anyway, She said that my financial line was strong so I popped back in and bought the Dottie dress. *insert smiling devil emoji*
We made one last stop at Lafite’s to pick up my parasol I forgot the night before (guess the 151 did work…) and I got a hurricane to go for the walk back to the car (which I was not driving).
It was such a fun relaxing weekend. I didn’t want to leave. I never want to leave! Sometimes I think about moving there and then I wonder where I would run off to get away? Anyway, ’till next time New Orleans. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
I’ll post a long list of my favorite New Orleans spots from previous visits in a future post for those interested!
Kimono Wrap Dress: BlueVelvet Vintage
Crown & Hair Flower: Lucy in Disguise
Shoes: MissLFire (complements of Mr.B thank you thank you thank you)
HMUA: Miss Bratty B