I recently experienced New Orleans for the first time.
Michael’s sister hosted us for the weekend to celebrate her birthday and wedding date announcement.
It was my first time in the city, and the trip was filled with beautiful architecture, amazing food, humidity, and an adult beverage or two (allegedly.)
The Wedding Announcement
The highlight of the weekend was Carly and Brent’s wedding date announcement party. The event was held at the Saint Lawrence Bar in the French Quarter with a whole lotta food, libations, and interesting people.
There was also cake, a few stout beer spills, and a totally foreseeable toppling of the glass welcome sign (which is how you know it was a good party.)
After the party, Michael and I went back to the hotel to change our sweated-out clothing and then rejoined the group at some nearby bars.
Michael has been to New Orleans dozens of times, but I was in full blown tourist mode — snapping pictures of every-other sign and tourist trap. He humored me.
Saturday night in New Orleans
After a few beers at the post-party-bars, I really needed to go back to hotel to regroup. (Drinking in humidity has never been a strong suit of mine.)
Michael and I went back to the hotel, napped, showered again and remerged before midnight ready to tackle the French Quarter.
Of course everyone else from the party had crashed and gone home by this point, so we explored on our own.
I was surprised by how huge the French Quarter is — Bourbon Street was an endless sea of bars and daiquiri stands that I couldn’t quite tell apart.
The French Quarter felt safe and well-lit. All of the alleyways in that part of town are also gated-off, so we didn’t have to worry about anyone jumping out at us from the darkness.
The French Quarter gay bars
The gay bars in New Orleans were practically deserted, which reminded me a lot of Miami during the summer. Many of the gay bars also had electronic pour measurers, so we didn’t get too light-headed that evening.
Two things that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around were the 24/7 bar open times and that we could walk around the streets with alcohol. In Dallas you’ll get tackled if you try to leave the bar even with a water, so walking out of the bar with a full cocktail felt completely unnatural.
The “always open” business model for the bars seemed strange too. We couldn’t figure out when a particular place would be busy — was it 11 p.m. or 5 a.m.? Where was everyone at?
After experiencing Bourbon Street and some of the gay bars, we eventually made it back to the hotel via the Harrah’s Casino at the edge of the French Quarter.
Thankfully, we were both too tired and sweaty to get distracted there.
The last day in NOLA
We ended the trip with a tour of the Garden District — including an old-school Italian restaurant and the obligatory visit to a cemetery.
The flight back to Dallas unexpectedly stressful because I knew that I had to get up at 4 a.m. to start working, plus give my two-weeks notice that day as well.
However, it was a great weekend and hopefully our next trip to New Orleans will be much longer (and less humid!)