Since I just got back from a long weekend in New Orleans, I'm skipping craft coverage today because I just have to share some highlights! I made a quick trip down on Saturday to help my friends Katherine and Jonathan tend to wedding-related tasks in preparation for their big day in October. Luckily for me, most of this involved watching Katherine get her hair and makeup trials, eating delicious food and wandering around the French Quarter. I thought I'd do a top ten list (not ranked in order because I can't choose!) of the things I enjoyed so that you can do a little midweek armchair traveling.
1.) Seeing the house above, which has been in Katherine's family for generations and is fondly referred to as "two seven", in person. It's so grand and beautiful that I'm a little embarassed by how little this photograph conveys. (It was also the house used in Benjamin Button.)
2.) Being in a place where it's not only spring, but all of the plants were completely strutting their stuff. It was so great to be surrounded by green.
3.) This po'boy from Parkway Bakery & Tavern where I had lunch with my good friend Poppy Tooker. My sandwich (shown above) was half shrimp and half oyster, dressed—which means lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. I let Poppy order for me since she's a regular and followed her instructions about adding hot sauce. Have you ever had fried oysters? Sigh. They are so ridiculously good. Particularly when smooshed in French bread and covered with spicy mayo.
4.) The banana pudding (complete with Nilla wafers and slices of banana) that I took home from Parkway and ate later that evening. I'd forgotten how good pudding is.
5.) Cafe Au Lait. We tried to go to Cafe du Monde for beignets (sort of like a donut that's covered with 3 inches of powdered sugar) but the line was down the street. But I still had a cafe au lait and enjoyed every sip.
6.) Looking at and tasting the sweets (like the ones above) at Sucre, a shop on Magazine street. Their macaroons are featured in the current issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, but I was more interested in their chocolates. Oh and their cakes, which were all covered in edible glitter!
7.) Dinner at Adolpho's, a Creole-Italian restaurant on Frenchman Street. If you ever go, don't even look at the menu. Just ask what fish they are serving, choose one of the locals from the Gulf with Ocean sauce. It will change your life. Or at least make you question why it took you so long to get there.
8.) The fact that most of the trees on St. Charles Avenue were still filled with Mardi Gras beads.
9.) A marathon cheese tasting at St. James Cheese Company to choose cheeses for the wedding. They have impressive plans for the cheese, which I am keeping a secret for now since I don't want to steal any thunder from the actual event. (Though you can bet I will share when the time comes!)
10.) Walking around Audubon Park in a slight drizzle. The oaks are majestic and it was a lovely place to spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon.
As you can tell, I am feeling very fortunate for this experience. After spending two full days in a city with such a strong sense of place and history, I couldn't help but consider the city's past and everything that the people there have gone through and marvel that they are so warm, welcoming and open. I'm so happy I have a reason to go back in a few months!