Monday, June 30, 2014

New Orleans Trip Recap

Wowza guys, I've left ya hanging for over a week. First off, hello my name is Nikki and I pretty much suck at blogging regularly.

I just had the most amazing trip this past weekend and since I'd been hyping it up in my head it couldn't have been more perfect. What had turned out to originally be a bachelorette trip for my friend whose getting married (this coming weekend, yikes) ended up being turned into a romantic getaway. 

A & I have been "dating" for over 4 months now, but it wasn't until this past weekend where we actually got to meet up and have our first date, which sounds crazy and risky, but just through phone calls/text/FaceTime I feel like I've met the man of my dreams. This past weekend just was the icing on the cake (wedding cake perhaps?!?).  A had most of the weekend planned out for us and even though some things didn't work out, we still made the best of the situation and had a blast. Neither of us are party animals so after walking down Bourbon St to find a place to eat, we decided to just avoid it. 

When we first got to the hotel, he had a little surprise for me that meant so much because it was just a thoughtful thing to do.

The next day (Friday) we decided to head out and explore Jackson Square and the surrounding streets. I have to say out of everywhere in New Orleans, Jackson Square is my favorite area. It is so alive and full of energy 24/7, different kind of energy than Bourbon St. There are SO many shops and restaurants nearby, plus the gorgeous Cathedral directly in front of it. 

Inside of the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral

But first, let me take a selfie (sorry for that song now being stuck in your head)

St. Louis Cathedral & Jackson Square

The hotel we were staying at (Omni Royal Orleans) had an amazing rooftop pool/bar area, but unfortunately the weather wasn't completely cooperating with us during our trip. The times we were free and at the hotel, the weather was cruddy and while we were out and about it was hot & humid. We did get a little time to lounge poolside before a rain storm rolled in.

That evening we headed out to what is now our favorite Thai place in New Orleans, SukhoThai for dinner and then went to Angelo Brocato Italian Ice Cream & Confectionery. The ice cream place was a bit of a drive from the French Quarter, but boy the gelato was SOOO worth it. I got the mint chip gelato & A got the coconut flavor, they were both delicious!

The next day (Saturday) we headed out to Canal St to do some shopping and catch some of the FIFA games in between. The outlets were awesome!! I picked up some Lululemon crops, 7 for all mankind jeans, and tanks from Puma at great prices! After shopping, we headed to the National World War II Museum to watch the 4D special narrated by Tom Hanks called Against All Boundaries. It was an interesting experience and we both learned a lot, definitely a must see if you're in NOLA. Afterwards we headed to Gordon Biersch Brewery for a late lunch/early dinner and the food was incredible. If you're looking for a place to catch a game and eat some great food, this is the place to go, and get their garlic fries...yum!!

We headed back to our hotel and took a much needed nap before heading out for our Ghost Tour. I highly recommend doing a ghost tour if it's your first time in New Orleans because it's definitely interesting, even for someone as scared of scary things as me. Do your research and find a tour that fits what you want because there are tons of different tours to do in the city. We did a tour through Livery Tours which was pretty interesting and informative. I wasn't expecting to learn so much of the history of New Orleans, but our tour guide was passionate about it and it made it more fun. We got to see a few of the famous haunted sites as well as going inside a haunted building (it's a restaurant/bar downstairs and apparently has spirits on the top floor which is where we were). I took plenty of pictures on my camera hoping to capture something and didn't get anything, but A captured something creepy while we were in the building off his iPhone.

He snapped it & thought it was just a black screen until he looked at the bottom...creepy!!

We also learned that the hotel that we were staying at is one of the most haunted hotels in the French Quarter because slaves were reportedly sold out of the previous Saint Louis Hotel that was there. All in all it was an interesting tour where we got an awesome history lesson (I'm a nerd, I know).

After all that ghost hunting, we were hungry and since we hadn't hit up Cafe Du Monde, we decided to head there for a little late night dessert. We got lucky and there was no wait so we enjoyed some much raved about beignets & frozen coffee au lait. Like everyone who has ever been to New Orleans will tell you, GO TO CAFE DU MONDE!! These beignets were AH-MAZING!!!!! Just talking about them I am craving them and kicking myself for not picking up a box (or a million) of the mix so I could make them at home. At first we just did one order, but we loved them so much we ordered more to go.

Our last day in New Orleans (Sunday), we both woke up to texts from our friends and family asking if we were ok because of an apparent shooting on Bourbon Street at 3am. I'm kinda glad we decided to just avoid Bourbon St. for the most part at night because it just seemed like a hot mess that we wanted nothing to do with, also because there are crazed people carrying guns and shooting people, so there's that.

After sleeping in a bit that morning, we packed up and watched the Holland/Mexico futbol game then headed out for lunch. We decided to eat at SukhoThai again since we liked it so much the first time, and it did not disappoint. After lunch we walked through Jackson Square one final time and snapped a few pictures. 

After picking up some boxes of pralines, we headed back to our hotel to get our bags and head to the airport. It was definitely bittersweet because we had such a fantastic time spending time together and getting to know each other. Overall, things between us just came naturally and easy which made things much better. I feel we learned that we compliment each other on this trip which is such an important part of a relationship, we also discussed the future and where we both wanted/thought things were headed, which left me smiling home. 

Lucky for us, our flight out of New Orleans was together to Houston (where I had a layover) so it gave us some more time to hang out before saying our "see ya laters". Before I was about to board for Chicago, he headed out and we said our goodbyes, until next time. After he left, I got sad because I knew it was going to be at least 2 months before we would see each other again and after spending the whole weekend together I missed him already. I know this is headed in a positive direction and cannot be happier to see what the future has in store for us.

If you've stuck around and read thru this post in its entirety, I thank you!! If you need any tips or tricks about New Orleans, just send an email my way, I am by no means a pro, but we learned a lot of tips for next time that I'd be more than happy to share! 

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  1. LOVE this post! I'm so glad you were able to turn the failed trip into a much better trip and that you guys clicked so well. So happy for you gurlie! Chin up the next 2 months will fly by ;-)

    Ooooh and so glad you guys had some beignets, one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten!

  2. Wow looks like an awesome romantic getaway!

  3. Girl, this is adorable! I'm happy things are working out for you!

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