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Notes from NOLA

So I'm sick in bed with a cold, back home from our NOLA trip. I caught a cold on the flight back and it's extended my vacation but not in a fun way in a sitting in bed feeling miserable kind of way so I guess I have no excuse not to get to it and write about how our vacation went. So here goes...

Wednesday, Sept 17th
Travel day, we were all on the same flight and by happenstance the girls (Dani, Raye and Dorothy) were sitting in the row ahead of Andy and I. I'm a pretty quiet solitary plane rider so I mostly slept and looked out the window. Got my first glimpse of the Mississippi from the plane. When we landed and went outside the humiditity hit me right away. It's like nothing I'd ever felt before. We got in line to get taxis. Andy and I were staying at the Chateau Hotel in the french quarter while the grils were staying at a condo downtown. We checked in to our hotel and it was so charming! The room was small but it was quaint and right next to the lovely pool. I

Andy and I walked around for a bit exploring the area around us and had a drink at Mollys at the Market. Later went out for our first meal in Nola at Vacherie in the French Quarter with the girls, thus starting our eatin' tour of New Orleans. Here I tried aligator for the first time in my life and it was the best I had it the whole trip. I also got jubolia and catfish wich was all delisious though the portions were huge! Here's some food porn for you..


Catfish and jumbolia

Andy couldn't pick one thing, he got a sampler.

After dinner we walked down Bourbon to Cafe LaFitte in Exile, a fabulous gay bar (that is also the oldest gay bar in the country) at the quieter end of Bourbon where we sat on the balchony and had drinks till the end of the night.

Thursday, Sept. 18
Thursday we took the streetcar up to the city park and checked out the Art Museum at the city park. The art museum had a pretty good collection. Dorothy stayed outside and checked out the sculpture graden which also looked pretty awesome but there was no way I could handle the heat out there to check it out. (Dorothy is a weirdo who loves the sun and heat so where we wanted to do everyhting inside with air conditioning, she always opted for being outdoors and staying under budget). Raye and Dani showed us the singing oak, a tree with many different windchimes it's acutally very peacefull and not as obnoxious as it sounds, on our way out of the park,

Art Museum

The singing oak

Am I seeing double? At the entrance of the city park/streetcar stop.

After the park we headed out to lunch at Liuzza's Resaurant where I tried my first Po'Boy as well as fried pickles (which was a big thing for me to try becasue I think pickles are gross). The Po'Boy was amazing

That is a genuine reaction.

We went our seperate ways after lunch and Andy and I went back for an afternoon of relaxatin in the pool and AC in our hotel. That evening ANdy and I went out to dinner at Irene's across the street from our hotel. It's actually a well known and really wonderful Italian restaurant. It was a delishish dinner. After dinner we met back up with the girls and an hit up Frenchman street where we listened to jazz and went to the martist market. My favorite of the jazz clubs I think was the Spotted Cat where there was a group, Smoking Time Jazz Club, that did a 20s kind of jazz that I really really enjoyed. When we stepped out of the Spotted Cat it had started raining real southern rain. I mean it was pouring. Having been so hot this whole time I absolutely loved it. We stopped at one more place to get out of the rain but as we waited for a cab, there was literlly like waterfalls coming out of the gutters of the buildings it was raining so hard, it was amazing. It was a good night. I had a lot of fun.

The art market

I found a time machine and I made a nerdy contribution to the ground with chalk.

Firday, Sept 19

Friday morning we met up with Kristin who was also in town for the wedding and hit up Lafyette cemetary in the Garden District. We tried to meet up in time for a tour but just missed it so instead we just walked around the cemetary in our own time (which is what I wanted to do to begin with myself). I took ever so many photos as we walked around this is a really small sample.

After the cemetary we hit up a nearby bookstore and Miranda, a friend of Lisa's who was in town for the weekend picked the three of us up and drove us around for a little bit, giving us a kind of a tour. Miranda used to live in NOLA so had background and stories to tell and she drove us around. She took us into uptown and the college area, eventually stopping on a cute very 50s-esq street in Uptown where there was her favorite goth coffee shop was that served Jasmine Tea. We had lunch on that street as well while we were there at a little pizza place that was pretty good. After that Miranda dropped her car off at the hotel and we were all going to take the street car back to Canal street but after being accosted by a crazy man, then faced with a streetcar with absolutly no room, we opted to walk back instead. We lost Fairygril and Miranda in Frenchman street when Kristin found a fairyshop on Royal but I was so proud of Andy for walking all the way home to the hotel. I mapped it and it was only a mile and a hlaf, but in that heat if felt much longer. However, there was still a lot more walking to go, that night was the night we were to go on the ghost walking tour with Lisa.

Lisa, the bride, is a tour guide (as one of her many jobs) and was doing a special private tour for her wedding guests who came in from out of town. We met at Jackson Square at seven and LIsa started the tour...

LIsa was a fantastic tour guide. She was great at telling stories, spinning yarns. For this special tour she told some of her favorite stories. I can't post them all but some of Andy and my favorites were The Sultan's House which was a creepy story. The most gripping and appaulling story was of the LaLaurie House, which, according to Lisa, is usally closed up but was at the time hosting some sort of photoshoot or something. Learned that that the oldest building in NOLA was also just a block from our hotel. Halfway though the toue there was a drink and bathroom break at LaFitte's which was usefull. The tour ended back at Jackson Square and Lisa closed with how much she loves her city and how much it meant for her to share that love and history with us and it got me all teary eyed.

After the tour we went over to Flanagins (convienently aslo right by our hotel) which happens to be Adam & Lisa's favorite place. We had drinks, I had a bite of Raye's burger and it was fucking amazing. We had a great night, drinking, having a good time. It was the most face time with the Bride and Groom we got. Lisa told me about how perfect Adam was for her and how if they had met at any point in thier life they would have always been the perfect match, it was lovely. Andy got a bit trollied and I took him home to the hotel and put him to bed I still had a full drink from the bar (I love the whole to go cup idea) so I sat on the patio by the pool with my cocktail and had a great hour or so just listeing to Jazz on my mp3 player and just breathed in the NOLA night. It was lovely.

Saturday, Sept 20
Saturday was my and Andy's day to celebrate our anniversary since Adam and LIda's wedding was on our anniversary propper. We got up and went out to enjoy our day. We had lunch (at a place that was once a bar hangout of Tennesse Williams) then walked a long the river and took the ferry across the Miississippi to Algiers where we found a lovely little English pub that had a TARDIS in the enterece. I was in my happy place.

After the ferry ride back we took a peddal cab back to our hotel and had the afternoon relazing and being at the pool (kind of the way we spent every afternoon, with the heat) and getting ready for our anniverary dinner out at The Court of Two Sisters.
The Court of Two Sisters is Andy's second favorite resautrant in the country. The place is beautiful. We sat outside in the courtyaed which is seriously kind of like stepping into a Renior painting. The wait staff was awesome. Our waiter was a college student and he was super on it and friendly. We had a five course meal. I had my first serving of Turtle soup which I had been looking foreard to and I absoluetely loved. The ceaser dressing for the salad was prepared at our table. The main was to die for and the meal was topped off with bananas foster also prepared at the table. It was a beautiful anniversay evening and a most excellent meal. It was my favorite resaurant in NOLA for sure. THey even gave us gifts for our anniversary!

Court of Two Sisters at daytime

See Renior painting.

Restaurant kitty

Flambe & the front enterance.

Sunday, Sept 21
Sunday was the day of the wedding. I woke up earlier than Andy and went out to Check out the Frnch Market where I picket up some assessories for the wedding. We met up with the girls for brunch at the Country Club in the Bywater. Here I tried grits for the first time, which were also on my eatin' to do list. After the game folks whent their seperate ways. Ryae and I went to Mollys at the market for a couple of drinks and Raye even got them to turn on the Hawks game while we were there.

Unfortunitly for Raye we had to go home and get ready for the wedding about a half hour into the game.
The wedding venue was a nightclub that was absolutely beautiful and I knew we were in for a delightfully nerdy goth wedding. tWe watched the ceremony from the balchony, as the bride specifically asked us to. The ceremony was camera free so I don't have any pictures of that but it was lovely. There was a hand fasting and a bit of humor in the vows. I had done my eyemakeup perfectly at the hotel and imediately just cried it all off during the ceremony. After the ceremony there were drinks, dancing, the cutting of the cake, the usual whole affair with a nerdy twist, TARDIS and Yoda cookies, Groot and Star Trek cupcakes, lightsabor pretzel sticks, all put together by a bride who had put an astounding amount of work into every tiny little detail of the wedding to excellent results.

The couple take their leave. After the wedding Andy and I hit up Flannagins, where we saw a lot of familiar faces from the wedding aslo having an after party. After an open bar I was in deed of one of those amazing burgers for myself. It was the best damn burger I couldn't finish and surely saved me from a nasty hangover the next day.

Monday, Sept 22
Monday Raye and I had plans to walk around the Garden District which we fulfilled with Dani joining us. We walked around, taking pictures of the ornate , giant houses in the neighborhood and ended up at the Avenue pub for a few drinks. It was very hot that day, in the 90s so we didn't stay out too long before we headed back and went to our perspective hotels.

Commander's Palace, where Andy and I would have our second First Anniversary Date.
Commander's Palace was certianly the fanciest place I've ever eaten. The staff was this well oiled machine, an army of servers who kind of had a whole ballet of being where they needed to be at a specific time thing down. They were certianly there to serve and be not seen or heard, really. They would sneek up on you, be behind you and suddenly your food would arrive in front of you. It was actually a little uncomfortable to me. Though our wine lady was from Seattle and we made a bit of a connection with her. The food was pretty good. The fois grois was good but I would have prefered a little more of it instead of the other bells and whistles it came with (fois gras espresso, some fig puff I didn't care for). The turtle soup (yeah I had to have it again) was good, definitly spiced differently than the turtle soup at the court of two sisters but wasn't quite as good in my opinion. For dinner I had softshell crab, which I had tried a bit of Adny's at Irene's and didn't really care for, but this dish definitly changed my mind. It was delishish, amazing actually. For desert andy had the creme brule and I the cheesecake. We told them it was our anniversary and we got happy anniversary written on our deser and they gave us a copy of our menues with our wine labels attached, which was kinda neat bbut didn't impress me too much until we were getting up to leave, we were told we would be taen to the kitchen to meet the chef who would sign our menus. Now that was pretty neat and impressive. We were taken back, shook the hand of the chef and given a histroy of the building and the Brennan family's ownership of the resaurant. So that was a wonderfully unique VIP experience.

Tuesday, Sept. 23
Our last full day in NOLA we had reservations for a swamp tour early in the morning. We got picked up at 8:30 and drove out around lake Pontchatrain to the swampsite. The tour was about an hour and a half and it was great. We saw loads of alligators, got to hold a baby alligator and got to learn a lot about the animals, history of the area and more. Our guide was a character and a lot of fun. The swamp was far more scerene and clean and beautiful than hollywood makes you think. It was georgous.

After the swamp tour, I went with Dani, Raye and Andy back to Frenchman Street and to Electric Ladyland to get my tattoo done. I've long wanted a tattoo of Gallifrayn as my next tattoo. I really wanted to get a tattoo while I was on holiday. Thanks to Adam & Lisa's nerdy wedding theme I was able to do both. They had am image on thier invitation and I was able to take with me and have them inlarge and trace. I know it's kind of a pain in the ass becsuse it's pretyt much all circles which is hard for tattooists but it actually took less time than I would have guessed. So lets recap what a badass Mir is, in one day she a) held an alligator and 2) got a fairly large tattoo without flinching.

After the tattoo we all went back to our places to relax for a bit. No pool for me with my new tatt but I got a nap in.While I napped Any started packing.  Andy and I went out for dinner and met up with the grils a Flannagins and briefly hit up Frenchmans street. Honestly the last night had bad engergy. It was time for us to go home. I think there's just a point when the heat kinda gets too much and word of rain in Seattle sounded so inviting (unless you're Dorothy).

Sadly though, now home being sick has really taken the wind out of my sails. My apologies if this is a bit disjointed and not all there. I've been writing it in bits over the last two days in bed. Long story short it was a really good holiday with lots of amazing experiences and memorable events. I ate better than I ever have before gone to more fancy restaurants. The city itself I love but could never live in due to the heat. It feels strangely european and yet totally American at the same time, it's totally unique. The hospitlity was fantastic The wedding was beautiful and a lot of fun. Plus I got to step in two time machines (a phone booth and a TARDIS) and got some Time Lord grafittti on my back. What more could a nerd ask for?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
i love the swamp trees!
and....kickass tattoo. i love geometric tattoos! :D
Sep. 30th, 2014 03:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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