Last Wednesday, after some morning work, I took a nonstop flight to New Orleans to spend the weekend with Sarah. By the time I got to Baton Rouge, we had time to grab some Thai food. Then, S crashed. Me too.
On Thursday, we grabbed a quick bite at Starbucks (the only place open on Thanksgiving morning) before driving down to NOLA. If we drove on the interstate, the trip would have taken just over an hour, but since we had time to kill and a desire to see something new, we elected to follow the mighty Mississippi all the way down to New Orleans. The drive took about three hours, but we passed it quickly with plans for the future.
We got to NOLA in mid-afternoon, a bit peckish, but too close to dinner to merit lunch. Instead, we wandered the French Quarter, snacked on beignets at Cafe du Monde, and took photos. Dinner was at The Bourbon House, on Bourbon St. I had oysters, turducken, dressing, and a sazerac. S had turkey, dressing, and smashed sweet potatoes. The turducken was entirely underwhelming, but the drink and dressing made up for it. After dinner, the Carousel Bar for a nightcap.
On Friday, we walked about 7.5 miles from the French Quarter to Audobon Park, along Magazine St. There were plenty of shops all along the way, most of which we stopped in. The weather was cold and rainy, so we were thankful for the respite. Breakfast at Surrey's was rockin' - shrimp grits and biscuits! We were hoping to get some Xmas shopping done, but the only stuff we bought was for ourselves.
After Magazine Street, we took the streetcar back to the hotel and prepped for dinner: Korean BBQ with friends. After dinner, the Ritz for drinks and desserts and jazz!
Saturday was more low-key. Small breakfast, carriage ride through the quarter and cemetary. We also bought a painting for home. We had eyeballed it in October on my last visit, and this time, we pulled the trigger. Saturday afternoon was a nap, and then to dinner...
...which deserves its own paragraph. The Commander's Palace was epic by every standard. Our waiter knew our names when we sat down. He made good recommendations for drinks (though I think S prefers dark rum in her Mai Tais). I had a harvest salad (greens, cherries, citrus), duck (roasted and crispy, with mushrooms and savory bread pudding), and another world's-best-pecan pie. S declared her dessert to be the best cream-cheese cheesecake ever.
Then, back to the hotel for a siesta (finally getting the hang of how to pace ourselves in the Big Easy) before heading out to hear old timey jazz at The Preservation Hall. We were late to arrive, but standing in the back meant that I could dance. After that, we were going to hear a brass band blow the roof off of a club, but since the club was smokey, we abandoned that plan in favor of meeting up with some pals for a nightcap.
Sunday was a little lazier. We ate at a cafe in the Bywater neighborhood called Satsuma, took a quick disaster-tour of the lower ninth ward, walked in a swamp, and got back to Red Stick in time to watch Harry Potter.
This morning, I met S on set for a few hours. She introduced me to some cast and crew, including her bosses and some actors fro Friday Night Lights. Then, back to NOLA to catch my flight. I tried to find some Rowan's Creek bourbon (a discovery from Thanksgiving dinner), but was unsuccessful. Maybe S will find some next week when her mom flies out for a visit.
Flying now. Spotty internet.