The South

New Orleans I: A Good Time

new orleans / observant nomad

The first few days back from vacation are always tough. Your mind is in full-time relaxation fun mode, and checking off the to-do list is the last thing you want to do. It seems even harder when you get back from a trip where you’re on the go for most of it. It’s almost like you need a vacation from the actual vacation. Usually I’m really good about balancing running around with relaxation, but in a city like New Orleans there’s always too much to do and too little time.

We left a sunny Colorado and landed in a bitter chilly New Orleans on Thursday. The temperatures were lower in the south than the Rocky Mountains! Which goes to show that travel weather is always a luck of the draw. It didn’t bug me a bit since we had both packed and planned for the weather appropriately. Once we settled into our Airbnb for the stay, we decided to take advantage of the overcast weather and hit up all the touristy spots.

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

We knew that no one would be out, and that meant we didn’t have to fight a crowd or wait in a single line. We warmed up with some chicory coffee at Cafe Du Monde (which Rus fell in love with) and then walked around the quarter for a little while soaking it all in.

After walking for as long as we could take it, we decided to make our way to a cozy bar and warm up. I’ve been to New Orleans once before with some friends and knew I had to take Rus to Hotel Monteleone to see the famous Carousel Bar. Even though we didn’t get a seat at the bar, I’m glad we stopped by again cause it brought back some fond memories of the last time I was there.

We sipped on our hot toddies and quickly made our way to another favorite spot of mine, the Napoleon House.

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

The Napoleon House is one of those special places that maintain it’s old world charm while the cocktails are crafted for a modern century. If you’re looking for the standard Sazerac (done right) no need to look any further. I’d love to save this spot for a sunny day, since the courtyard is intimate and time seems to stand still here.

Now that I had shared my favorite spot with Rus, it was time to start heading back to our place for our inaugural travel nap. On the way we stopped at a few places to shop and gander including Greg’s Antiques. He has an amazing selection of industrial signage and quirky worn objects.

new orleans / observant nomad new orleans / observant nomad

After a nice dinner at the Royal House, we quickly wrapped up the night and decided to stay in. Traveling and wandering around all day totally wiped us out. But the next morning, we were ready to really enjoy a full day.

We got up a bit early to hop further into the Marginy for a great brunch at New Orleans Cake Bakery and Cafe. Walking around the Marginy made me wish we had decided to stay there instead. The area was super bright, cute, and had plenty of amazing houses and hidden gems to explore.

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad new orleans / observant nomad

We spent the rest of the day wandering around the French Quarter in the nicer weather. Wandering in and out of shops, bars, and listening to live music. Rus got to try his first (and probably only) Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s. We even accidentally happened across a practice run for the St Patrick’s Day Parade floats. They were giving away beads, dolls, and other little gifts to people just walking by. All donned in their kilts and blasting awesome classic music at top decibel.

To be honest we just spent the rest of the day day-drinking and exploring. We ate here and there, and had a nice fancy dinner at Kingfish. Afterwards we headed back to Frenchmen St so we could listen to some live music and explore the area a bit more. I really love a little reggae bar there called Cafe Negril. They always have the best live music and it’s a total dancing spot stuffed with people.

Both cases are perfect examples of the juxtaposition of culture you’ll find in New Orleans. From one hour to the next, you never really know what is going to happen or peak your interest. You could be following a regalia of Irish men singing atop their green homemade floats, or grooving to Bob Marley next to some metal palm trees and christmas lights.

Basically New Orleans is always looking for an excuse to have a good time.

new orleans / observant nomadwant more? read new orleans, part two

What do you think?

Leave A Comment

I love this post! It makes me want to pick up and drive to New Orleans now. Overall your blog here is such a soothing + lovely online space. I’m diving into some of your old posts now :)

Brianna

Hey Allie, thanks! I love New Orleans and recommend it to everyone. And hope you find a good post or two – ha!

Always wanted to visit New Orleans. Well, especially after the AHS Coven

Brianna

omg yes! I love that show. Also probably the reason I went into every voodoo shop while I was there.

New Orleans is such a fantastic and fun city! I have family there but it’s been several years since I’ve visited there — and I wasn’t even aware some of the places you shared existed! Like that antique store… omg! Heaven. :)

Brianna

Really? That’s awesome. There are parts to New Orleans that never change, but I feel like you could never run out of new places to explore or eat at. It’s crazy!

I just got back from NOLA and loved it! So fun seeing all of the beautiful places we visited through your eyes.

explore