All good vacations must come to an end. But before I get to the end of this amazing vacation, let’s jump right into day 5! If you missed the first two parts of my epic New Orleans vacation so far, check out part one and part two!
Eric was in sessions for the morning of day 5 and I was scheduled to go with the other conference companions to a New Orleans cooking class! We all got to sit and watch our instructor Ann cook and talk about the history of New Orleans. Then we got to eat everything she cooked and it was incredible! We all left with the recipes for gumbo, red beans and rice, corn bread, pecan pie and pralines; be sure to watch for the next few posts as they will be all Creole cooking!
I walked back from the French Quarter to the hotel and met back up with Eric as he was done his sessions for the day. We decided to do what we know best in NOLA… walk, drink and eat! We walked back down to the French Quarter (yes, I did get A LOT of steps on this trip!) and popped into a restaurant for a bite to eat and a drink. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the name of the place! But this is where we tried oysters!
As part of the conference, we were all going to have an evening on the Creole Queen paddlewheeler boat on the Mississippi River! We were treated with amazing views of New Orleans from the Mississippi, great music on the Creole Queen, dinner and drinks! Dinner was a full buffet of salads, prime rib, vegetables, potatoes and of course, gumbo and red beans and rice!
We started day 6 off with a walk down to the Mississippi River and grabbed a late breakfast at Poppy’s Timeout Sports Bar. With a view of the Mississippi we each had chicken and waffles and a Bloody Mary drink.
Next off we were heading to the Audubon Aquarium as we heard the night before that it was awesome; and it was! They have a huge portion that showcases huge sea turtles, sharks, huge sting rays and many other creatures! They also have a jellyfish exhibit, seahorse exhibit, sea otters and penguins! Definitely worth checking out!
We were ready for lunch by now and went to Daisy Dukes for a small bite – an alligator sausage po’boy and Duke’s special hot wings. Oh, and bottomless Bloody Mary’s that are garnished with things like okra!
We still had some time before the conference closing gala dinner so we headed over to the Civil War Museum. This was quite interesting and they had a lot of artifacts and personal belongings. The building itself is very cool looking too!
We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the gala. Once the gala ended it wasn’t too late so we decided to head back into the French Quarter and have a couple drinks. We had hand grenades and stopped into Pat O’Brien’s for their hurricanes, and walked around Bourbon Street until we found a place to sit and enjoy some jazz.
Day 7 the conference is over so the whole day is just for Eric and I to tour. We started early with a tour of two plantations: Laura Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation. At the Laura Plantation, our tour guide took us around the house and property and spoke about the Creoles, the Cajuns and slavery for over an hour. We hopped back onto our bus and went to Oak Alley were our guide took us on a half hour tour of the house and then we had an hour to explore the grounds ourselves. The trees on Oak Alley are something to see themselves. We also drove by Joseph Plantation, where parts of 12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained were filmed!
Back in New Orleans now, we headed out for our last dinner in NOLA. 🙁 We went to Mulate’s, the Original Cajun Restaurant and being our last meal, we pigged out. We started with a platter of appetizers including frog legs, tilapia bites, fried crawfish tails, calamari, hand pies, fried alligator and stuffed mushrooms – a big plate of brown and deep-fried!
Then for our main, we both had fish platters – Eric had the blackened catfish and I the blackened redfish. Both came with cajun jambalaya, coleslaw, a baked potato and crawfish étouffée. I wasn’t kidding when I said we pigged out!
After dinner we did another walk down and around the French Quarter and headed back to the hotel to get ready for our flight home the following morning. This trip was epic; the sounds of beads hitting pavement; the smell of beignets and icing sugar; the trumpet and tuba band on the corner; the crowds on Bourbon Street every night; the history of this city; the way your glasses fog up as soon as you leave the cool air conditioning and into the humid hot NOLA air; the way everyone says “How y’all doing?” or “Have a good daaaay” even if they don’t know you; the food; the 300 year old building architecture; I love everything about New Orleans, Louisiana and we will be back! As they say in NOLA, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” or “Let the good times roll!”
What was your favourite vacation ever?