New Orleans

This past weekend was my lovely BFF’s bachelorette party.  Lauren requested a girl’s weekend in New Orleans, LA.  I had never been before, and I was very excited to go.  But for the very same reason, I was nervous as Matron of Honor to plan a fun weekend, since I knew nothing about New Orleans.  Enter my co-Maid of Honor, Jessie and our fellow bridesmaid, Mary.  Mary the groom’s sister, just happens to live in New Orleans!  Between the three of us, I think we planned a pretty stellar weekend. Phew, planning crisis averted.  But enough about planning, since I’m pretty sure I am the only person who thinks that the planning is a vital part of the story. :)

Friday morning, we all arrived and made our way to our adorable rental house.  It was so nice to have a house instead of a couple hotel rooms for the four day weekend.  We were just a few blocks from Bourbon Street and were able to walk almost anywhere we wanted to go.  Once we dropped our bags, we walked right to our first Mary-approved restaurant, Coops, for Abitas and po boys.  I had the fried shrimp and oyster po boy.  To say it was a good choice would be an understatement.

Then we got straight into New Orleans/tourist mode.  It’s not bad being a visitor in New Orleans due to the ability to bring your adult beverage along for the ride.

We were there the weekend after Mardi Gras and remnants of the festivities were everywhere.  Or maybe this is just what New Orleans looks like all the time.  There really are balconies everywhere!  It was so charming.  My favorite was seeing cats lounging on the balcony railings.  Prince would be the first to fall off, of course.

We did make our way to Jackson Square for a little bit of history.  Don’t ask me what I learned though…

Friday night, we had a fabulous Italian seafood dinner.  I didn’t get any pictures, but rest assured there were four types of seafood involved in my meal alone.  It was delicious and our waiter was a riot.  I think we applauded him when he served each course.

I want to note that I doubt we could have found bad food in New Orleans, but Mary never steered us wrong.  Each and every single meal was delicious!  And the hospitality of the servers and bartenders was always incredibly impressive too.

Saturday we did more sight seeing and went on a cemetery tour.  But not before stopping into the courtyard at cute, little Pat O’Briens for a hurricane.

Happy girls!

The bachelorette is the one with the shades.

We packed up our hurricanes and off we went on a walking tour of New Orleans and the St. Louis Cemetery Number 1.

This is Congo Square, where slaves would gather beginning in the late 1700′s to dance, play music, and perhaps do some voo doo?  Our tour guide said that Marie LaVeau, the famous Voodoo Queen, was rumored to come to Congo Square.  These gatherings were part of the origin of New Orleans R&B and Mardi Gras.

Here we are in the cemetery.  The cemeteries in New Orleans actually have tombs, rather than grave sites, for the most part.  It was actually very interesting to hear about the “logistics” of tombs.  Let’s just say that they are very space-efficient.

Here is Marie LaVeau’s tomb.  The X’s are left by people making a wish or request at her tomb.  If they are circled, it means the wish came true.  People leave offerings at her tomb as well.  If you don’t want to deface her tomb, you can leave an offering of three of the same item instead.

Here is my favorite fact that I learned on the tour.  Marie LaVeau, Voodoo Queen, was also a devout Catholic.  Go figure.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be back on Monday with the second half of our adventure!  We weren’t quite so touristy for that half… ;)

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