TECHNICALLY our second day, but the first was a full 10 hour drive – which you can check out here.
Let’s lay the ground work for this – It’s my dearest friend Elizabeth’s 30th birthday and I (along with 4 of our other friends) are traveling to New Orleans for the weekend. The plan was to spend three full days in New Orleans and two days of travel.
DAY #1 Of our NOLA trip
Just five of us started out on Friday morning, waking up around 10:00AM (the sixth person to arrive later that evening).
Waking up about 10, we walked a few blocks down to a local cafe called Gracious Bakery to have a quick bite to eat and pick up our King Cake before taking on the French Quarter. Here we sat in this bright lit bakery sournded by locals and the smell of warm, baked goods. I picked out a fruit and bran muffin and I think it changed my life a little.
A short walk back to our cottage and we packed into the car to make our way to the French Quarter. Greatful that Elizabeth had rented a darling cottage home in Uptown, New Orleans – it was just a 15 minute drive to the Quarter. We parked in valet (well worth the $20 for peace of mind during the day).
From the parking garage, we started to wander up and down the streets of the French Quarter. My god it was overwhelming, but in the best way possible. Jazz music filled the streets from the first time we opened the car doors. Colorful people in vibrant costumes crowded the streets. It was so colorful and breath taking, we stopped at the corner of Bourbon street and just took it in for a second. (See our still smiling faces, from the beginning of the trip – we were EXHAUSTED by Sunday afternoon)
From here we wandered. We made it down to City Park, marveled at the Cathediral facing the Mississippi River and OF COURSE we stopped for Bignets at Cafe Du Monde. Local artiest filled the streets with their art and sculptures, gardens were filled with tourists picnicking for lunch and still jazz filled the air every where we walked.
Filled up on pastries and chicory coffee, we made our way to a local farmers market to pick up sandwiches to enjoy along the water as we walked back to our car. On our way back, we stopped at the French Quarter National Park Office to get Elizabeth a stamp for her passport. If you are in town, be sure to stop here – they have a free small State Park Museum!
Exhausted – we made our way back to the car and drove home. We munched on leftovers at home and took a quick nap. As we prepared to see our very first Mardi Gras Parade!! (If you are in town for Mardi Gras, be sure to download their parade float tracking app! It really saved us a lot of time, avoiding traffic and getting a good spot for float viewing).
The only thing I really have to say about parade floats – OH MY GOD. It’s intense. There are so many people packed on the streets, it’s a bit hard to move around. The floats were not just passing out beads too, they were passing out gifts and LOTS OF CUPS. (I got pelted in the face just once, make sure to look out!) It was so WILD, but honestly so fun! The floats are so creative and unique, it was really neat and well worth our time! Here’s a picture of Elizabeth with all of her catches!
We did so much on this weekend trip, I will be splitting up the articles for the next few weeks – so stay tuned for that! I cannot wait to share with you the rest of our trip, we really had a BLAST!
You can check out all of my pictures on Social Media (links below). Have you ever been to Mardi Gras or traveled to New Orleans? I’d love to hear about it below! As always, thank you for reading!
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