New Year in NOLA

In 2018, New Orleans celebrated 300 years as a vibrant unique city that brings people from around the world to party in the Big Easy. My twin and I spent the last days of 2018 in this crazy /fun city and kicked off 2019 doing what we do best; exploring new cities. This was a long-awaited visit but a last-minute trip.

On the list of states that I needed to visit, most of the states are located in the Pacific Northwest. That means Washington, Oregon, Wyoming and also the non-continental states of Alaska and Hawaii. But then there was also the one little state in the south that I had yet to visit and that was Louisiana. Crazy that I had been to all the states around it but never across the state line.

As I’m drawing closer to my deadline for my 30 before 30 list, I am trying to be more intentional about going after the things left over on my list. So this past Christmas, I was trying to determine New Years plans. I’m not one that really likes going out to party for New Year. I’ve celebrated in St. Louis, Kansas City, and it didn’t seem like New Year’s in DC would be any different (correct me, if I’m wrong). So I went to the drawing board and the idea of New Orleans came up. So with me and my bestie since high school, we pulled our resources together to plan another epic road trip.

She agreed to let use drive her car. I agreed to drive down and pay for gas and she drove back while I flew home to DC. Hotels were mostly paid with points as a Hilton Honors member and the rest we split between us. No game plan, no firm itinerary, just drive there and figure it out on my own. Now you are probably curious about where we went, what we ate, and how we spend New Years so I’ll just throw all that info in below.

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Lodging

Courtyard by Marriott New Orleans Metairie (2 Nights ): Free parking but not very close to downtown. Great place if you have a car. Afforable without being completely out of the way.

Aloft New Orleadns Downtown (3 Nights): Close and walkable to Canal Street where you can easily navigate to the French quarter or catch a street car to other parts of the city.

Transportation

Personal Vehichle (3 Days): We specifically looked for hotels that had complimentary parking. During the daytime of New Year’s Eve. We parked in a parking garage with Premium Parking on Canal Street and Saratoga. You can pay for this in advance online.

Pro Tip: Don’t drive on New Years. 1) You will probably be intoxicated and 2) Traffic will be HELL getting out of the French Quarter and Downtown

Street car: Thanks to my twin who had been to New Orleans before knew there was a streetcar that wasn’t just for tours but an actual form of public transportation. This took us too and from anywhere we needed to go and stopped at all the hot spots. One day pass is $3. Can’t beat that

Lyft: After the clock struck midnight, Lyft prices skyrocketed. A $12 ride was now $50. So us savvy travelers used our day passes for the street car and rode it as far as we could out of the French quarter. Only then did we look for a Lyft and sure enough we were able to see a reasonable price and avoid traffic.

Other than those forms of transportation. I walked everywhere and just took a Lyft to the airport when it was time to go.

Attractions

Rose Bowl Parade

Café Du Monde

Garden District

Bourbon Street

Jackson Square

French Quarter

Frenchmen Street

Blue Nile

Jazz Museum

Chapel Hats

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Food

City Diner:  Alligator Sausague Po’Boys

Bourbon Heat: Fried Pickles, Alligator Sausage, Hurricane

IHOP

Cajun Mike’s Pub and Grub

Creole House Restaurant and Oyster Bar:

Acme Oyster House: Chargrilled Oysters

Ruby Slipper Café:

Carmelia Grill: Muffaletta

New Orleans Original Daquiris

Café Beniet

Drinks: You start on one end of bourbon, pick up a drink and pick up another along the way when you last drink is empty. I can’t even remember all the places we stopped to get drinks.

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Attractions

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I was on a hunt for pralines for the longest time. By the time, I was ready to buy them at the end of the trip, the stores were closes so I had to get them at the airport but I was told the family or company that makes them sell them all over so they are the same praline’s wherever. Not sure how true that was but I at least I was able to take a piece of the New Orleans back home with me.

Now there are a lot of things that I couldn’t capture in a blog post. For example, my twin’s phone stopped working. This meant she had to drive nine hours back to STL with no music, no GPS, nothing. All she had was printed out google map directions and her Apple Watch to make phone calls to let us know she was ok.

 So you will have to stay tuned for the podcast about the shenanigans of road tripping with the bestie