A Birthday Weekend in New Orleans

Flytographer

A Birthday Weekend in New Orleans

A birthday on the road is always more fun than a birthday at home, so after last year’s trip to Miami, Lauren and I decided to plan another birthday trip. Since I was turning thirty, we wanted to make it special, so we grabbed a few girlfriends and headed to a new city for me to explore: New Orleans.

Flytographer

After arriving late Friday night, I dropped my bags off in our gorgeous FlipKey loft, freshened up, and walked down Bourbon Street to meet the girls. I was immediately overwhelmed by the chaos that ensued in the streets. I had known that New Orleans had a reputation for being wild, but it still took me a bit by surprise as I wandered the streets alone.

Eventually, I made my way through the crowds and met the girls at Saints & Sinners, which reminded me more of a frat house than bar. I had a drink and danced a bit before heading back onto the street in search of food.

Bourbon Street

After a day of work and two plane rides, I was so hungry that we just headed to the first restaurant we saw; I don’t even remember the name of it. I ordered a super sweet cocktail and fried shrimp po’boy, exactly what I needed. Then, we headed back to the apartment to rest up for the next day’s busy activities.

Po'boy

The next morning, we headed straight for Cafe du Monde for some of their famous beignets and a cup of cafe’ au lait. I’ve always heard about Cafe du Monde, and I am happy to say that everything lived up to the hype; I could have gone every day if I had had the time.

Cafe du Monde

With our stomachs satisfied and our clothes covered in powdered sugar, we decided it was time to start drinking. We headed directly across the street to River’s Edge and got four Bloody Mary’s for our walk back to the apartment. One of the best parts of New Orleans has to be the fact that you can stroll down the streets with a drink in hand.

River's Edge bloody mary

We rested up a bit, then a few of us decided to get our hair blown out before we got dolled up for our Flytographer photo shoot. This was a surprise from the girls, and I was beyond excited to have another Flytographer experience. After donning our best attire, we hopped in a cab and headed for Napoleon House to meet Lizzie, our photographer.

In the beautiful setting, we ordered drinks, I had their signature Pimm’s Ginger Julep, and a muffaletta for the table to split. After one bite of the muffaletta, I wanted to eat the whole thing on my own, but I knew I had to save up for dinner. We laughed, talked, and got to know Lizzie, while she snapped our photos.

Flytographer

Napoleon House Muffaletta

Then, we made our way outside and toward Rue Royale for some more photo opportunities. We attracted quite a bit of attention as we strolled down the streets, giggling the entire time.

Flytographer

Flytographer

From Rue Royale, we headed to Bourbon Street and straight to the Jester for some classic cocktails in styrofoam cups and took the party to the streets. Bourbon Street is famous of the characters you meet on the way, and I’d say we met quite a few.

Flytographer

Flytographer

Sadly our time with Lizzie eventually came to an end, and we were all sad to see her go. In both of my Flytographer experiences, I felt as if I had gained a friend. With Lizzie, I think we all felt this way, and it was hard parting ways. We continued to bar hop and drink until it was time to head for dinner.

We had reservations at Emeril’s Delmonico in the Lower Garden District, and as soon as I entered, I remember feeling as though I was in Beauty and the Beast. I had a Scarlett O’Hara cocktail, since I adore the film and her character, and the duck leg confit on an orange scented waffle, because I can’t seem to resist duck when it appears on a menu. For dessert, since it was my birthday weekend, I had the chocolate chip cookies, which are made even better by the touch of salt that is added.

After our long day and delicious dinner, we were stuffed and worn out from our escapades. We had plans to head out, but all of us were too exhausted to make it happen, especially because we had one more day of celebrating ahead of us.

The next morning, we got up ready for our brunch reservations at Commander’s Palace. Since this was my actual birthday, I was excited to begin the celebrations with a good meal and drink.

Commander's Palace

This was another place where I felt as though I was in Beauty and the Beast. I’m assuming it’s the Southern hospitality at these establishments that caused me to feel this way. The food was delicious and the setting of the restaurant was so charming.

After three courses, and a few drinks, we were stuffed and ready to make our way back to the loft. Lauren and I then decided to take one more wander down Bourbon Street with another cocktail in hand.

NOLA

Eventually, we headed to Rue Royale for some shopping and stopped to listen to a band who was playing on the street. The air was warm and the music was so good, nothing inside me was ready to leave New Orleans and head back home.

Band on Rue Royale

Since I still had some time left before I had to head to the airport, we decided to get our palms read. Afterwards though, it was time to head back to the loft to grab my bags and head back home. While I wasn’t ready to leave, the trip was still the perfect way to spend my birthday weekend and ring in a new decade. I also realized just how lucky I am to have friends who would meet me anywhere to help me celebrate.

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Comments (13)

  1. lola

    LOVE this post!! can’t wait for your 31st birthday… where do you want to go?! xoxoxox – love you always and forever

    1. The World Wanderer

      Love you, pretty lady!! So grateful I’ve been able to spend my birthday with you two years in a row!! Where to next year?? 😉

  2. Lance | Trips By Lance

    I’ve been to New Orleans so many times over the past 19 years (wow, I’m old). It makes me happy to read about someone’s first experience. Imagine being a college freshman, arriving in town at 11 p.m. on a Friday for your first visit to Bourbon Street. That was me back in 1995. One of the greatest things about living in Memphis is being within driving distance of a weekend trip to New Orleans. So happy you had a special birthday there.

    1. The World Wanderer

      You are not old! You just got there way earlier in life than I did. I cannot imagine being a college freshman and experiencing Bourbon, although, I think in college I would have immediately liked it. Turning thirty, it was a little more difficult to take to it right away, haha.

  3. Traveling Ted

    New Orleans is a crazy town. Last time I was there I fell face first into a shrubbery. I am kind of glad there was no one with a camera following me around. Would love a po’boy sandwich about now. You look amazing btw.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Awww, thanks, Ted!! Haha, I am glad the camera was following us earlier on in the night. I didn’t fall into shrubbery, but I can see how one would. Just glad I didn’t find myself there in college. 😉

  4. Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes

    This made me want to go back to NOLA so badly! I have a cousin who lives there, maybe a trip is in order! So glad to see you had a blast 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Ohhh, you should go back! It’s always nice to have family spread out to visit. 🙂

  5. Leah

    There aren’t many American cities that I love more than NOLA. The unique atmosphere, food, and revelry are just a few reasons I love it so much. I can’t think of a better place to spend a 31st birthday. It looks like you had a proper Cajun celebration.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Totally understand your love for it. I absolutely fell for it, especially through the food, haha

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