My partner woke up a few weeks ago and nudged me awake (i was pissed) and said he found cheap tickets to New Orleans. I had been dropping massive hints that I really wanted to go to NOLA at some point and because he was adamant about not going during their hottest period I knew November/early December might work best for us so when he nudged me awake and said we could fly down for a 4 day trip and pay about $347 I was sold and we booked immediately. I believe 4 days in NOLA is more than enough time to truly get to know and feel the city and I have documented every piece of it. So with that being said…
I am about to DIVE all the way into what we did, what we saw, ate, stayed while in NOLA and I want to be as transparent as possible so I will be including costs and whether or not things were affordable or worth the splurge. I love reading travel guides but hate when people don’t explain how they paid or what they paid. I can’t in good conscience take a trip and not show people the hidden costs of things.
Buckle up and get ready for a very festive ride!
WHAT I PACKED:
I have learned a few tricks from my travels in the last few years. I am a chronic over-packer and right before I flew out to Portland I wrote a blog post dedicated to my over-packing ways by only using a backpack. Fun fact: I still over-packed and managed to not wear 1/2 of what was in the backpack AND i brought back a sweater, pants and sneakers. So I wanted to try and do things differently this time.
I packed as follows:
-> 1 dark wash (black)
-> 1 light wash (high waist)
-> 1 white shirt, 1 striped shirt, 1 vintage band tee
-> 1 grey sweater
-> 1 pair of comfortable sneakers (not as comfortable as i thought)
-> 1 pair of boots (worn on plane and gave me massive blisters)
-> 1 fjallraven kanken that has been my go to travel backpack
-> 1 floral print dress
-> 1 leather jacket (worn on plane)
We booked through Spirit Airlines and after reading so many negative reviews I will be the first one to say – you get what you pay for. The flights were cheap and since it was a 4 day trip we weren’t all that concerned about having a shitty flight because once we touched down we were going to be go,go,go.
The biggest negative of Spirit Airlines is their bag policy. I knew from my trip to Portland I could pack a backpack and be fine but this go around I wasn’t prepared – i literally couldn’t bring more than said backpack and had to roll up my purse and camera inside of the backpack in order to avoid an absurd $50 checked bag fee. Bruh. I was extra stressed because I am a chronic over packer and hate feeling like I don’t have options. But alas, I managed to knock it out of the park and pack the absolute necessities and actually wear everything.
Our flight was dumb early (6am boarding time) and while I normally would get an Uber to the train station and go to the airport that way – no trains were running at the time we needed to leave so we ended up booking a lyft to take up straight to the airport which worked out wonderfully and cost about $60 from our house to Newark. By the time went through TSA and all that jazz I ended up in a terminal with ZERO coffee (what a travesty) and just nibbled on my protein bar and promptly passed out.
Wow. Day one was probably the toughest for me because we hit the ground running the moment we touched down at the airport. As I stated before we weren’t able to check into our airbnb until 4pm and we landed around 11am so we dropped our bags off at the office and headed towards coffee and booze! We stopped at a coffee shop (i wasn’t impressed) and I ordered a pretty standard iced almond milk latte and regretted it so we threw those out and decided to find food before i got hangry – we ended up at Elizabeth’s in the Bywater area. I ordered potatoes with crab cakes and a fried egg on top and Y’ALL, that breakfast got my life together real quick. I even taste tested some praline bacon (too sweet). The atmosphere was chill and very laid back but lively and reminded me of the neighborhood eatery where everyone knows your name and doesn’t mind tourists. After finishing up breakfast we ended up going to a cute little place called the clubhouse where we enjoyed light drinks on their sun porch and just soaked in all the fresh air and warm weather.
After we left that adorable little sun porch we ventured down to Bourbon Street and picked up beignets from the famous Cafe du Monde and I of course, needed another shot of espresso to get through the rest of the day. I will say that I was meh about the beignets – they were good but it was such a tourist trap I understand now why all of the travel blogs I read said to try another cafe around the corner.
Day one consisted of landing in great weather and hitting the ground running while eating, drinking and soaking in ALL of the sights – pictures and videos below.
I have to say the highlight of my trip to New Orleans was the jazz bands playing everything from Gnarls Barkley to *NSYNC (I was a Backstreet Boys gal) while sipping on my favorite beer – Abita Purple Haze and lemme just say it tastes fresher since its made in Nawlins. Videos below are the jazz bands I was obsessed with. Also there’s a video of a guy who could rap while standing on the corner and add in anything and everything from the girl stumbling down the street to the grannies who were ready to take off their shirts for beads.
PSA: This pictures bothers the hell out of me. I hate when white people in particular love to stand behind a group of black kids and take that token white person photo while on vacation and they can take it home and show their family that they were this close to kids who were busking for money. I guess she redeemed herself by hading them a twenty for their troubles but i had to snap the photo because it grinds my damn gears.
THE FINAL DAY:
I feel like we saved the best for last. We booked the standard graveyard tour everyone says you need to do while in New Orleans and got the hear the story of Mary Laveau who wasn’t as into witchcraft as people say – she was just really good at eavesdropping and being nosy.
That’s all folks! Thanks for stopping by =]