I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I was in New Orleans for two weeks for work and I am slowly coming up on my second trip to NOLA (New Orleans, LA). NOLA is what they refer to the city as if you are a local. I was actually staying just outside of the city in Convington. It’s a cute little town across the massive 27 mile long bridge.
For the majority of the time, we were just heading to work, then grabbing some dinner and going back to the hotel to either study some more, or just have some wine and try to relax just to do it all over again. I did my best to wake up in the morning and get a quick workout in and I have to say…I loved it. I was waking up at 5 to 530 in the AM and heading downstairs for a 45 minute workout. And I was meeting everyone at 730 to get to the office. It didn’t hurt that NOLA is an hour behind Boston, meaning I was really waking up at 630 in my time 🙂
We each had our own little apartment for the two weeks. It was so comfortable and some people were joking that it was bigger than their own apartments in NYC.
Who can argue?! The rooms were cleaned daily and we even had a grocery service. All you had to do was leave a list at the desk in the morning and groceries would be sitting in your refrigerator when you got back in the evening. AMAZING. For those two reasons, we didn’t really want to leave.
We had gym memberships at Franco’s, which is honestly the most amazing gym that I have ever been to. It is several floors of just about everything you could possibly think of. If I lived in the area, I would ABSOLUTELY be a member. Everything was so clean and modern. You could spend the whole day there. I also worked out with one of my new coworkers, and she showed me a few new exercises that will definitely be making it’s way up here.
We were also lucky enough to be there for the first weekend of Mardi Gras! A few of us headed in town on Sunday afternoon just to walk around, see some parades and just get a sense of New Orleans. We saw what was described as a LITTLE parade. I strongly disagree, because this was a MASSIVE parade in my experience. And they had the craziest costumes!
So each parade is actually called a Clan, and each clan has a court, queen, etc. This was the queen.
Tons, and tons of floats and people dressed up in these crazy costumes. There were also tons of schools with their dance groups, bands and anything else you can think of that’s fun to watch. Our favorite by far were these guys:
A whole bunch of Napoleon Dynamites! They were hilarious!
This other little kid was cracking us up too. He was so little and was really rocking out. The little kid had some serious moves. I tried so hard to get a picture but this was the best I got:
Even in that you can see how cute he was!!
We did get TONS of beads too. They just chuck them off the floats and you really need to watch because I swear they try to hit you in the face with them. And they whip they at you HARD!
It was so much fun. They were starting to set up for the Superbowl too, so the streets even on a Sunday were madness.
We obviously walked down Bourbon Street as well. It’s definitely not was I was picturing. For a Sunday afternoon, it was NUTS. I couldn’t imagine being there on a weekend night, of even Mardi Gras itself.
For food, we stopped at Cafe Beignet. I was told by so many people that we needed to try an Beignet, so that’s what we did! The cafe is at the music legends park on Bourbon Street.
We all had beignets, and they were delicious!! They are light and fully pastries covered in sugar. I can’t say they were anything good for you, but you just have to try them.
YUMMY. Really sugary though.
The signature drink on Bourbon Street is called a grenade. I can’t say that I tried it but they are apparently really good, and kind of fun looking.
We ended up going to a ton of different restaurants and in the interest of not boring you guys and just getting to the point, I’ll give you a quick 1 sentence review of the favorites.
- Chimes: It is a seafood restaurant that is delicious. The seafood lasagna was the biggest hit but you can grab some other local specialties while enjoying live music. They also have goats in back that you can feed. I went 4 or 5 times to this place and loved it.
- Don’s Seafood: Also a seafood restaurant that was delicious. It is casual and low key. Although I didn’t enjoy my meal because I wasn’t expecting fried foods, everyone else had good things to say. It is definitely a New Orleans original seafood place. I would compare the atmosphere to a nicer chilis.
- Osaka: It is a Hibachi grill that was a lot of fun. The chef really knew how to entertain and has some tricks up his sleeve. The majority of us had hibachi, but the seaweed salad as an appetizer was also amazing. It was the first time I had tried anything like that. The hibachi was a bit salty, but if you ask them to tone down the salt, it’s amazing.
- Copeland’s: Delicious Buffalo Chicken Dippers. We had them as an appetizer and they were amazing. Of all of the places, we were happiest with Copeland’s. We went several times and I we all loved the food. They had a mix of seafood and red meat foods. It still has a New Orlean’s take on it.
- Trey Yuen: The best chinese food I have ever had. Hands down. They don’t over load the food with salt and they really have a unique flavor. I loved ever single bite of my meal there. It was delicious and I highly recommend it.
Those are the guys that I can think of right now, but I am heading back in just about a week for some more fun! This time we will be in the city the majority of the time so I will report back with what it is like when Mardi Gras isn’t in full swing!