Monday, August 6, 2012

N.O. Part I: Lakes of Pontchartrain

 I’m finally getting around to sharing our amazing long-weekend jaunt to NEW ORLEANS! This is gonna be good. So good that it’ll two posts to do it justice.

You know how Chris and I get into something, and then take it to obsession level? Like we did with The Kennedy’s? Or like Grey’s Anatomy? Well…it happened again.

We’d both never been to New Orleans before, and had always wanted to go (who doesn’t). Lucky for us, Chris’s friend Mary from UGA just happens to live and teach there with Teach for America. She had nothing but great things to say about her new city, and she invited us to come any weekend in the summer, so Chris and I jumped on cheap flights back in May.

So I took a half-day off of work, and after a slight rain delay in Atlanta, we were on our way.

I knew I was in love when we were over Lake Pontchartrain. Something about the aerial view of that lake (actually an “estuary”) got me real excited. Its size is breathtaking, and I knew we were NOT in land-locked Atlanta anymore.

Anyway, after I said “Lake Pontchartrain” about 38 times, annoying both Chris and the people behind us, we met up with Mary in the airport and the adventure began. 

 We warned Mary about our tendency to ask questions. And a lot of them. And usually they’re super random and obscure. It’s a curse.

It was interesting to get chauffeured around the city. We were both really surprised by the one-way streets and the constant U-turns. Glad we flew!
Beads in the trees

Mary lives in the “Mid-city” part of New Orleans, and it’s the cutest area ever. Every house comes complete with a balcony, which Chris was THRILLED about. She wasn’t leaving NOLA until she had a picture of herself on a balcony. Don’t worry, Mary had one.

We felt like the Kardashians

So for dinner the first night, we ate at a precious little Mexican place around the corner from Mary’s house called Juan’s Flying Burrito. She was so great about making sure we hit up some GF friendly places.

I had some amazing (and Cajun-spicy) tacos, and some of their signature Sangria. The place had so much charm and character; it would definitely be one of our regular spots in Atlanta.

After dinner, we hit up one of Mary’s favorite bars, TwoMile Limit. It seemed like a nice little neighborhood place, and it was great because we could walk there from Mary’s house. My favorite part about it was the doorbell. Yes, we had to ring a doorbell to get in. The outside of the place was a little on the sketchy side because of the bars on the door and the lack of windows, but once inside, the bar looked much like any neighborhood bar. But way cooler because there was a doorbell.
Chris and Mary had some dough-bites, which were shots (of tequila I believe), chased with a mini cupcake! Super cute, and I was super jealous.

After Twelve Mile Limit, we made our way to Frenchman St. It’s apparently the Bourbon St. alternative for locals. It reminded me a lot of Athens, GA, which is always a good (great) thing. We hit up The John, which is named after a toilet, then made our way to Maison for some live music and dancing. We stayed out till the early AM in true NOLA fashion. The party really doesn’t stop down there. We felt lame for going home around 4am...
Frenchman St.

Christy on the John at The John

The next day, we felt surprisingly great, due largely do sleeping in I think. We spent the first part of the day driving around the city so Mary could show us as many areas as possible. 

We drove by Mary’s TFA school from last year, saw some amazing historical parts of town with some of the most beautiful homes ever, drove through the French Quarter, then had a well deserved BBQ lunch at The Joint in the Historic Bywater district. 

We'll take that one.

Mary's school last year.
Mardi Gras floats

Above-ground cemetary
Patio at The Joint
I had a hard time deciding what to order, and Mary had so many recommendations, so I had to order a little bit of everything. The brisket and the pulled pork were awesome, but the collards were spectacular! I love me some greens, and these were some of the best ever. Besides Nate’s, of course.


After lunch, we headed over the Magazine St. for some shopping. I think it was probably my favorite neighborhood we spent time in.
The shops were so cute, and very walkable. We felt like locals, so now we pretty much are. We have a vacation shotgun home on Magazine St. now (in our heads). 
Us in front of our new place!
Mid-Magazine drink
We got some great t-shirts from Storyville. Aren’t they cool?! I wish they’d come to Atlanta. I could have spent some serious money there.

Mary also took us to Fleurty Girl, which was a sweet and hilarious little lady-shop. We wanted everything. And someone (CHRIS) is now obsessed with Fleur-de-lises…

And the best is yet to come. The rest of our trip continues tomorrow... 

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