Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A quick trip to NOLA

We took a super quick (one night) trip to New Orleans on Sunday. Y'all know I love New Orleans, and I was in such a hurry to get there I got a speeding ticket - oops!

We stayed at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street. With an interior/courtyard-facing room, we didn't hear any noise, which is pretty amazing! It was a lovely and very clean hotel. Small rooms, but plenty of room for us. You can't beat the location.

We spent a few hours walking around the French Quarter, observing the balcony gardens, drinking daiquiris, and buying weird art at the Great Artists Collective. The balcony gardens aren't in full swing, but were pretty nonetheless:

We had a delicious Jazz Brunch at Muriel's on Sunday, then went for a "swamp tour." Unfortunately, this was a bad time of year to go on a swamp tour. The alligators are apparently hibernating! So we mostly saw floating fishing shacks (which are admittedly interesting in their own right).

We didn't see much wildlife at all - a snake, some birds of prey flying high up in the sky, a cardinal and a junco. I'd definitely recommend if you go, you go in the late spring or early fall.

We had an amazing dinner Sunday night at Green Goddess. It is a TINY restaurant with a few tables crammed in the same room as the kitchen. The chef is there hanging out with you the whole time, and making recommendations. I wanted to eat there because when I read the menu online, I couldn't imagine how the dishes would taste - how intriguing! We had: roasted yellow tomato bloody mary with moonshine, a couple of Canadian high-alcohol beers, a cheese tray selected by the chef and including a sweet flat bread, honey almonds, quince jelly, and lavender-infused honey, a crawfish papusa (basically a biscuit with a crawfish mix inside), golden beet ravioli with truffled chevre, avocado oil and pomegranate molasses, and an Indian-inspired lentil pancake with peas and tamarind. IT WAS AWESOME!

After dinner, we saw an equally awesome jazz/funk band, Pat Casey and the New Sound, play at the Spotted Cat on Frenchmans Street.

Monday we ate breakfast at the Trolley Stop, a diner where lots of locals and law enforcement officers hang out. We always eat there - it's cheap and good! We both had spanish-style omelets (and lots of delicious Community Coffee).

It was a very fun, albeit very short trip. Somehow the city just makes us both happy. I'm ready to go back!


Phillip said...

We are going in a few weeks and I'm so excited! I haven't been there in over 12 years. We are also staying right in the French Quarter. One thing that concerns us is where to park? I know we should get a parking lot or garage and just leave the car there but I don't know where they are located and I haven't had much luck finding anything online. Any advise will be appreciated!

Ginger said...

Phillip, our hotel had an attached parking garage, but it wasn't exclusive to the hotel - so if your hotel didn't have one, you could park at the Royal Sonesta's. It was $30 or so a night. When we've stayed on Canal, we've paid about half that for hotel parking (but of course you're away from the action).
We usually leave our car in the garage and take taxis or the streetcar wherever we can't walk. Driving in New Orleans can be frustrating.
Have a wonderful time! Are you going to the botanical gardens? I haven't been because they are closed on Mondays, which is when we're usually there, but it looks nice.

Darla said...

Man you are making me want to go!! Sounds like a great get a way from it all trip..

Randy Emmitt said...

Sounds like a lot of fun except for the speeding ticket! Drove through there once in 2004 on my way to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in TX. Next time I'll plan a stop for a few days.

Janet said...

What a great trip. Your meal sounds so different...good, but what a different fare! I have never been to NOLA but both my kids went in high school with a band trip. It was before Katrina. Sounds like much of the downtown has come back and there is lots to do and see. Maybe one of these days I will get to go.
A swamp tour?? Woooo pretty cool.

Susie said...

When I first saw you were in NOLA this weekend I thought you might had gone down for the marathon. I had 3 friends running it.

Loved the pics! Glad ya'll had a great time!

Phillip said...

Ginger, thanks for the information. Do you think there will be lots of green things to see at the Botanical Garden at the end of March? Your balcony photos look promising! We will have a 9 year old who wants to go to the WW2 Museum so I'm not sure what all we can cram in for a 2 1/2 day trip.

Lisa Blair said...

Y'all packed a lot into a day! I have never heard of the Great Artists Collective, and would like to check that out the next time we go. The Trolley Stop sounds really cool, too. Let's get together again soon!

Dirt Princess said...

I was loving all the pics until I got to the snake! Ugh! Made my skin crawl!!!

FUn trip! I haven't been to N.O. in a while. I should plan a trip this summer

KMG said...

I love N.O. too. it's been a long time since I was there. I was wondering if the french quarter had bounced back from katrina - from the pictures you posted it seems pretty good. Is the court of two sister's still there. it used to be one of our favorite places to eat. what about preservation Hall for listening to Jazz. Am I telling my age. LOL!

Ginger said...

KMG: Yes, both of those places are still there! Preservation Hall was so busy when we were there that we couldn't get in! It was past standing room only.

I can't tell a difference from pre and post Katrina in the Quarter or Garden District. Those areas didn't suffer much compared to other parts of the city (where tourists don't often go).

Jean said...

Thanks for all the great recommendations Ginger! I think that Green Goddess is the restaurant a friend of mine was suggesting. Sounds fantastic. I've been having a New Orleans hankering lately!