We are in N’Awlins baby!
Or is it New Awlins? I swear I heard N’Awlins, but the urban dictionary claims I must be a tourist if my ears are not trained to hear such subtleties. Say it anyway you like, but just make sure you give this city a go-around at least once in your life. I think back to what defined this magical city for me and I cannot seem to favor a topic of discussion but rather I am flooded with all good things: spices, food, jazz, stories, cocktails (and the ability to walk around with one all day), dancing, colors, carriage rides, and beignets …and that’s my short list. Do it right and sleep in until nearly check-out at a local B&B, but do not leave until you have zapped your innkeepers brain of all things New Orleans. Fill up on beignets and coffee from 11am to 1pm. Window shop all day, people watch, stop for street performers (be sure to tip or they will get sassy), and take a horse and carriage ride. When your tummy grumbles for a late afternoon snack, enjoy a steamy cup of gumbo. I would not be too concerned with where it is you stop for a bite as I had no food qualms here, even when walking into restaurants blindly; let your nose lead you for once and take a break from going too, too yelp crazy (and I love yelp by the way). As the skies begin to darken it is time for your ears to be seduced by JAZZ. Live music venues seem endless here, and with the lackadaisical drinking laws, you can go-cup (yep, that’s the lingo) your fruity hurricane beverage anytime if you desire a new tune. How conveniently non-committal. If you saunter down Bourbon Street have fun, but please don’t be surprised if you are asked to enter nudie clubs every five minutes. It’s just part of the experience, and you need just keep walking to decline.
Cajun Grill & Bar
Too classy to be a dive, and not quite the eggs on toast/burger and fries diner. Enjoy their shrimp gumbo as a starter, followed by the fried catfish, oysters, and crab cakes that make up their seafood platter. You will not go thirsty with the endless well of a soda they provide. Fun, casual, tasty, and cheap! This is a family-owned spot, and it is quite likely you will be greeted by one of the owners as they are their often to ensure you enjoy. Perfect for lunch or a quick dinner bite. Come hungry!
Royal Street Courtyard Bed & Breakfast
This beautiful and open restored home is in the perfect location and full of innkeeper intel. Phillip is one of the owners here, and little does he know he may just get scouted to be the next official tour guide of New Orleans (if there was such a title, I’d cast my ballot for him). Check-ins live up to the name, as you are treated like royalty with a full tour and a hand-picked list of places to eat, explore, and enjoy! I liked that the owners live behind the building and are accessible to all their guests, however, they give you your space to do what you came to do: hear, taste, walk, drink, and explore New Orleans. You can people watch from the balcony or catch up on zzz’s for your night out on Bourbon Street; whatever it is you need Royal Street Courtyard provides the comfort of home (and then some) while it sits just a block away from our tourist indulgences. And, their beds are simply delightful – what a great sleep I had!