Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Orleans Valentine's Weekend

We spent last weekend in New Orleans with mom and dad. I believe it was my best Valentine's day ever. Martha and Clark stayed at our house and watched the boys and took care of everything so I had total peace of mind while we were away. I have the best in-laws.
We flew direct on Southwest to New Orleans around lunchtime on Thursday. I am so glad southwest has started flying direct from Austin again. It makes the trip so easy! We got to the condo around 3pm and after unpacking, walked down the street to Fresh market to get some breakfast and snack food. After we stocked the condo, we took the street car down to the quarter and walked down to Frenchman Street. We had an early supper at The Three Muses where we listened to Tom McDermott play the piano and tried to ignore the loudest drunk woman ever at the table beside us.
When we finished our meal, we walked down the street to The Spotted Cat to see Miss Sophie Lee and her band. We enjoyed their set immensely and even did some dancing. during the break we chatted with the band, so happy to reconnect with the friends we made at dad's birthday party. Sophie invited us to have lunch with her family on Saturday and to watch the Krewe du Vieux parade with her Satirday evening. We excitedly accepted and settled down to watch the second set. After a bit, we walked across the street to Electric Ladyland Tattoo so I could get my dad's signature "Lucky" tattooed on my side. It was so funny to watch my parents' worried faces over the wall as the watched me get my tattoo. They were so concerned that it was hurting me! It was a quick tattoo and we were out of there in time to see John Cleary at the d.b.a. He was amazing.
Friday morning we woke up late and lounged in the living room, sipping coffee, chatting and exchanging Valentine's cards. We took the streetcar down to the quarter late morning and made our way to lunch at the Green Goddess. This is a place I have long wanted to visit and we were thrilled when we arrived and found there was a quiet table inside for us! The food was amazing. It was the best meal of the trip for me- a perfect Valentine.
After lunch we hopped in a cab to meet a real estate agent. She took us to look at two houses uptown. We were mostly just dream shopping. I love to get to look at real estate when I'm traveling. It's the best way to really see a place.
We walked back to the condo when we were done and had a nice rest and a chance to read and listen to music on the CD player. Then we got back on the street car and went to Pesche for dinner. This was an amazing dinner. We had a great booth in the corner where I could see the kitchen. We had the fattest, freshest oysters to begin, then hushpuppies, two whole baked fish, chili vinegar brussel sprouts and marinated beets. Plus several delicious cocktails. The service was top-notch, the prices reasonable, and the food amazing. We will go there again. When dinner was over, we made our way home in a food coma and went right to bed.
Saturday morning we took the street car to the quarter and ambled down Royal to Frenchman street to meet Sophie and her family for lunch at the Three Muses. It was so great to meet everybody and we all had a wonderful lunch with fantastic live music. Sophie introduced us to her husband and kids and in-laws and family friends, the Grahams. The Grahams invited us all over to join them at their house that evening to watch the Krewe du Vieux and have gumbo. We were in!
We spent the afternoon exploring the French Quarter. We visited the French Market, buying some trinkets for the boys and a light up headband for me. We got some bloody marys and ambled down Royal Street trying on wigs at Fifi Mahoney's and even buying one! Finally we plunked ourselves down at Patrick's Bar Vin for wine and a cheese and fruit plate. We were exhausted and it was a perfect pit stop. I love that bar. Michael and I discovered it during our anniversary this summer and it has replaced the Hotel Monteleone's carousel bar in our hearts.
Finally it was time to pick up wine and snacks and walk back to Fauberg Marigny to the Grahams' house. I slipped on my wig and headband and we made our way there, passing the Krewe headquarters on the way. The Grahams' house was lovely and it was a perfect place to watch the parade. The Krewe du Vieux parade was crazy and raunchy and there were lots of lots of penises everywhere! I handed most of the throws to Sophie's children, but I kept a few of the more raunchy items. The second parade, the Krewe Delusion was close on it's heels and it was beautiful and fun and raunchy too. They only threw handmade throws and I got two beautiful handmade bead necklaces.
After the parades went by we had some marvelous gumbo and then expressed our deepest gratitudes to our hosts and began walking back toward Frenchman street in search of a taxi. This proved close to impossible. We searched and searched and were about at our wits end when we finally found a young man in a minivan taxi who was willing to take us home. It was a circuitous route and of questionable safety, but we were still grateful.
Sunday morning we woke and cleaned and then walked down to Superior seafood for a last New Orleans brunch before we had to head home. We were utterly exhausted from the day before, but all completely satisfied with our fabulous weekend.
I love New Orleans. I especially love it in the cooler months. It is so neat to have local friends there and to get to know the city from a local perspective. Anytime anyone wants to go to New Orleans, let us know. We are in!

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