So what do you say when your husband calls and says “I know it’s kind of crazy, but I was thinking we should go to New Orleans for 4 days?” You say yes! Kudos to Chris for finding Parisian Courtyard Inn, a charming B & B in the Garden District, (great location, highly recommend), and for buying Lonely Planet’s guide book. (Or get the App.) So off we went into the madness and beauty of Lundi Gras and Fat Tuesday, then the quiet reflection (and recovery?) of Ash Wednesday, then home again on Thursday. The bad news? Not nearly enough time to explore this beautiful, historic, artistic,  atmospheric, and hedonistic city. The good news? We will be back!

Fueling up for our Fat Tuesday adventure in the French Quarter @ French Truck Coffee.

Trolls and their roadies!

Huge Ass Beer. Think that says it all.

How cute is this Mom/Dad bandito couple! Complete with bambino!!

These guys were so cute. Do you spy Chris aka Photo Bomber?

Not sure the Scouts of America would approve of these two. But we did! And they gave us bandanna beer cozies!!

Can I just say Rangers Town! ( I mean seriously y’all…)

I didn’t think unicorns could be scary but…

Mardi Gras Angels. Love them.

Tulane’s Mardi Gras Tree (on a very gray Ash Wednesday).

The Tree of Life, Nola’s most iconic tree that is over 600 years old! (Audubon Park)

Fried Oyster Po’ Boy, YUM! Now back to reality…and dieting.

So as you might have guessed this is not a fashion post, though I will share outfit details below. This is more about having the freedom to explore and experience life and actually doing it. This wasn’t a long-planned, mapped-out trip. We kind of let the days take us where they did. A benefit of that? We walked. And walked. Since the city basically shuts down for the Parades (see my Instagram), we made walking our daily workout. And walk we did. Day 1 (actually night) = 4.5 miles, Day 2 = 8.4 miles, Day 3 = 8 miles, Day 4 = 3.7 miles. What that means is that if going to the gym can’t factor into your plans, you can still get a workout in. (We also squeezed in a couple of short YouTube yoga sessions and some plank time!)

So before I get into fashion deets, let me share just a bit about this one-of-a-kind city. The first thing Chris and I felt was kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz… we’re not in Kansas anymore. While I’d been to Nola as a child, I had sketchy memories…the Mississippi Ferry, an ancient cemetery, oppressive humidity and heat, the pool at our French Quarter Hotel. So this was really an all-new adventure for the two of us.

To quote Lonely Planet, “New Orleans has ever been a place for exiles and seekers: French aristocrats and frontiersfolk, rebel slaves, defeated slaveowners and mixed-race children of uncertain status; American explorers, Spanish merchants and Jewish refugees, prostitutes and nuns, musicians, artists., homosexuals, and recently, those seeking to rebuild and revitalize an almost-drowned city.”

While Mardi Gras is totally crazy, our experience was overwhelmingly positive. The Parades were so fabulous (see my Instagram!), the people beautiful and friendly, the food (fried and) delicious, the alcohol free-flowing (hello Sober Days!), the city totally in control and on clean-up detail before daybreak. All I can say is that if you haven’t been, you must go. And go again. We’re already looking into Jazz Fest.

Special thanks to Madi Bigott @bigeasystyle for some great insider tips. We crossed a few off but even more reasons to go back…

What we did:

St. Charles Streetcar, which runs 24 hours a day and with a Jazzy Pass you can ride it for exactly 24 hours for just $1.50.

Snug Harbor, where we took in the late set of the Uptown Jazz Orchestra!

Mr. B, total dive bar but amazing Bloody Marys complete with pickled okra. (My new addiction!)

Magazine Street, EVERYTHING! (But in particular: Joey K’s (fried Po’ Bo!!!), The Rum House (Margaritas and Nachos!)

Lafayette Cemetery, a Garden District must-see.

The Garden Districtcan you say ARCHITECTURE!

Audubon Park

What we missed:

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Dressier restaurants like Galatoire’s and Commander’s Palace (next time!)

Bacchanal Wine (next time!)  

WW ll Museum (everyone says you have to go!)

Seriously, you could make Nola a yearly pilgrammage and lots of people do. Now we know why.

Aside from my first “throw” (aka beads!), I was wearing: Banana Republic “S’il Vous Plait” Sweater (sold out but similar here), Madewell Skinnies (sold out but these are super cute), Birkenstock mules (I honestly believe they have helped cure my Plantar Fasciitis) and Prada crossbody (consignment and has traveled the world with me) but check out this and this on the RealReal.

Photos by Chris & MP Allegaert






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