The South

New Orleans II: Spontaneity

new orleans / observant nomad

Happy Monday y’all. I love saying y’all. Makes me wish I was born in the south so I had some excuse to say it more often. In New Orleans I can get away with saying it though, because no one knows I’m not from there. Shh, don’t tell anyone.

Besides saying y’all at every opportunity, I also took every chance to soak up the sunny weather of our last days in New Orleans (if you missed part one, you can read about it here). The change in weather allowed us to spend a lot more time walking around the city including the Garden District.

After waking up a little late in the day, we took a cab over to  Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar for some eggs over easy and freshly squeezed OJ. Then we took a little walking tour of some of the more famous houses within the neighborhood. We learned a little bit about the architecture of the time and the history of New Orleans which is absolutely fascinating. I even got to gander at the Anne Rice house and the beautiful place where they filmed Benjamin Button.

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

After walking around all day we headed into the Business District, where there are plenty of amazing restaurants to try. We landed on Cochon Restaurant to switch it up from all the seafood we’d been having.

Of course we had to try fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise, which was spicy and satisfying. Rus got the savory ham hock with sweet potato & brussels sprouts which fell off the bone and smelled heavenly. We ate several more dishes, including a rich and creamy mac + cheese, before heading home and passing out far too early in a self-induced food coma.

The next morning was our last day in New Orleans, so with the sun shining and temps rising, we decided to take our time enjoying the French Quarter.

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

We had one last must-visit restaurant on our list—Cafe Amelie. I tried making a reservation for brunch a few weeks in advance with no luck. I thought, heck, why don’t we just give it a shot? So we strolled down Royal and walked into this romantic and charming little courtyard and put our names on the list. It was only an hour wait, so we decided to walk over to Petite Amelie for some coffee and a croissant.

To distract ourselves we strolled down Royal St peeking into all the art galleries and vintage stores. Purchasing voodoo candles, pralines, local ceramics, and other kitschy souvenirs for friends and family. So it was safe to say we worked up an appetite.

Cafe Amelie was my favorite meal of the trip. We started with famous shrimp and grits, which was the perfect balance of smokey grilled shrimp and bright citrus + cheesy grits. Rus devoured the chicken and waffles with andouille gravy, and I savored the amelie french toast in southern pecan sauce. Not too sweet at all! Afterwards it was time to walk the Quarter and enjoy the weather. We spent our last hours meandering, listening to live music, watching street performers, sipping crazy cocktails, and visiting local shops.

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

new orleans / observant nomad

As I’m writing about my entire experience I know it sounds like we had an absolutely carefree trip, but it might surprise you to know that as we headed back to the airport, I realized that I was a bit relieved to be heading home.

In my last trip to Austin, I arrived without a very solid plan. I had a place to stay but not much more. And unfortunately, some things fell apart. In the end I still had a great time, but I came away feeling I should’ve made more of a plan. So this time around I felt some kind of residual pressure to make something finite.

I arrived with an itinerary that I told myself was for “just in case” scenarios. But it quickly became a hard and set reality. We started planning out everything. But the predictability became a little… regimented. Blah! I couldn’t help but feeling that I had spent too much of my time planning our next step instead of taking my time enjoying where I was.

It wasn’t until we opened up our night to hit up one of my favorite jazz reggae clubs and go with the flow that our good times really hit. So it goes to show that it’s important to have a little bit of a plan, but make sure to leave room for a little bit of spontaneity. Because New Orleans, has got plenty of that to find.

What do you think?

Leave A Comment

Those buildings are amazing!! Dreaming of a house like the white one

Looks like ya’ll had such a great time! I just visited New Orleans not too long ago and I’m already dying to go back!! Seeing these made it a little easier. ;)

explore