NOLA Good Deed Goes Unpunished…

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mtomlinson
just keep swimming…just keep swimming….
My better half turned a milestone and as a consolation for him losing his youth, I decided to surprise him with a trip to New Orleans!
It was two months of secretive planning, covering my tracks, telling white lies and hiding guidebooks and itineraries right under his nose.  There were only two times I thought he was onto me, but after the big reveal it turns out, he had no idea.
The yellow and blue box colour scheme was a giveaway…
the state colours of Louisiana…but he didn’t notice the clue!
I told him about the trip on Thursday night and we left on Friday night for Detroit.  (love that Park Sleep Fly deal!).
We flew out to New Orleans and arrived Saturday night.
Spirit Air…what gave it away?
No it wasn’t St. Paddy’s Day…
The first thing we did was get something to eat which, frankly, was the thing I was most looking forward to in NOLA.  I spent those two planning months finding the most appealing food offerings and NOLA did NOT disappoint!
First stop:  Juan’s Flying Burrito (Lower Garden District)
Juan’s was right down the street from our AirBnB, and it was delicious! I chose it because he likes Mexican food, which can sometimes be a minefield for me, but I had scanned the menu ahead of time and found something new to try (yes…NEW…and I don’t EVER try new food…)
The delicious menu at Juan’s…I recommend the Chips and Salsa la Fonda…best salsa ever
My first “new” dish…FISH TACOS!
We got the chips and salsa, and though the salsa was too hot for my taste buds, it was also super delicious and I couldn’t resist eating it!  I also tried fish tacos for the first time, and while it was yummy I can’t say it got added to the favourites roster.  But I tried something NEW!
After Juan’s we walked around a few blocks, though everything was pretty much closed.  Here are some snaps I took…apparently I became fascinated by the tile letters (that I soon discovered are EVERYWHERE in the city):

My old namesake!

Of course no culinary trip is complete without checking out the local donuts.

I got the 7-layer and he got the chocolate glazed.
Sadly, I couldn’t give high praise to the District Donuts.  They came up short, much like the shortcomings of a cupcake…the topping was yummy but the dough was not.  Oily aftertaste does not a tasty donut make.  I didn’t even finish mine, and actually liked his better so I ate most of the chocolate one.
Meanwhile, on day two…
I really wanted to try Surrey’s Juice Bar, but sadly we didn’t make it there on this trip.  We began our day 2 adventures with a trip on the St. Charles streetcar to the French Quarter, but our first stop was at Avenue Cafe for coffee and tea.  It was a nice enough place but pricey.  I got tea, he got coffee, I got a  Spinach and Feta turnover, he got a muffin.  Then we hopped on the streetcar.
clang, clang, clang goes the trolley…
The streetcar is pretty cool…it’s old-timey and rickety, has a lot of character plus the ability to really pack people in.  And it was only about a 10 minute ride to the French Quarter which was nice!  Though, I had miscalculated when we arrived and we got there WAY too early, so we had time to walk over here:
Cafe Du Monde is apparently THE place to get beignets, though, truth be told…ours sucked.  Do you see inside that bag?  That’s not even a smattering of powdered sugar.  That’s an insult is what that is.  When I took a bite into it, it was dense, tasteless and all around uninspiring.  It did NOT live up to its hype.  But again…I can say I tried it!
Then we were off to here:
Knowing how much he likes history I thought he’d enjoy a romp around one of the oldest cemeteries in the south.  This is the one that has that old voodoo lady in it:
I had never heard of this lady before I told people I was going to NOLA, is she the most famous former resident because everyone seemed to know who she is.  Or maybe I’m surrounded by voodoo queens and never realized it.  Wait…this is starting to take shape…
Personally the grave I was most fascinated by was this one:
The sign is for my friend Alex, and he quite enjoyed that I took this photo for him.  Why?
Because he loves Nicholas Cage…don’t you?  And now we know where that National Treasure will end up. 🙂
Here’s another interesting tomb:
and this is interesting too:

New Orleans is sinking at a rate of 3 inches every 100 years (according to our guide) and that’s why the row of tombs at the ground level have been eaten up by the earth. Isn’t that interesting?

This was our guide Elizabeth, with Free Tours by Foot and she was really knowledgeable!

After we finished the cemetery tour, we headed here:


Then over to here:

so we could eat here:

Deanie’s Seafood: French Quarter

Yep, those are boiled potatoes you are seeing.  They bring that to your table instead of a basket of bread.  The potatoes are boiled in the seasonings they use on their seafood. And like everything in New Orleans, it had a spicy kick to it!

I am not a food adventurer but I figured, if I’m going to try crawfish, New Orleans is the place to do it.  And just for kicks, I thought I’d try oysters too.  (was I going crazy!?)

I was not brave enough to try a raw oyster.  So I got the cooked ones instead.
here goes nothing…
Surprisingly…I didn’t mind the oysters!  Would I get them again…probably not.  But I tried them!
THIS on the other hand.  Another challenge entirely.  I just couldn’t do it. The idea of pulling the body off the head and peeling out the tail…*shudders*…I couldn’t.  He had to do it for me.
And crawfish tastes a bit like shrimp. I had 2 pieces.  Meanwhile, he had…

This is the advice we learned POST-crawfish (which would have been handy beforehand)…

apparently if they are straight it means
they were dead before they got boiled up. ew.

After we were full of seafood we walked around the French Quarter.  Here are some photo highlights:

Stopped in to see a band (the Day Walkers) on Bourbon Street
Got some so-so Gelato
went to Jackson Square, saw a bunch of art I didn’t buy
stopped here for some ½ price pizza
not bad for $6.50!
we went here for the 8:00 show…it was awesome!

Day Three:

Morning Call, City Park
I thought this place was going to have a breakfast menu, but it really only had beignets.  I wasn’t jazzed to try more beignets, given that the Cafe Du Monde ones were so unappealing. Thankfully the ones at Morning Call were as they should have been:  light, airy, warm, delicious…and I got to put on as much powdered sugar as I wanted!  Yummy!


sadly the rain also came out to play on Day 3, but so what?!



Given that Canada had been in a non-stop blanket of snow, I was so happy to see flowers!



Houses like this are everywhere in NOLA!

Cue the singing angels please. The best part of the whole trip is next:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you….Willie Mae’s Scotch House (Treme)

Well what can I say that hasn’t already been said on Yelp…by Emily H for instance:



This is by far and away the BEST fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, and rates in possibly the top 3 of meals I have eaten in my entire life.  It makes me sad to look at this photo, for I don’t realize two things at the moment it was taken: 1.  How fucking delicious that meal was going to taste and 2. that it’s probably the only time in my life that I’m going to get to taste it

If I were on death row…this would be my last meal.  THAT’s how good this meal was.

After the heaven of Willie Maes, we braved the pouring rain and walked along Magazine Street to look at all the cool shops and neat-o stores.  I didn’t take photos of them because it was so rainy.  But we did stop here for gelato…


We were so worn out by the end of the day, we stayed close to our neighbourhood and ate here for dinner:


those were the most disgusting “tots” ever.  Sweet potato tots. ew
Turkey burger wasn’t bad though.

The next day it was back to the airport to head home:

Unfortunately, I woke up not feeling so well…

…and felt worse and worse as the day wore on.  The day after I got home, this happened…

you give me fever!

…and it turns out I have this…

…and I feel like this…

My kittie is trying to make me feel better with her love…

…and not even a plate of Willie Mae’s delicious fried chicken would help because I have no appetite.

Well, you know what they say….

Maybe I got some voodoo cast on me without knowing it?  In any case, two weeks of suffering after a three-day getaway isn’t a good tradeoff.  I’m really looking forward to being well again.

In the meantime, I’ll head back to bed so I can dream about that fried chicken some more. MMMmmmmm…


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