Monday, August 6, 2012

New Orleans Here I Come!

This week I'm heading down (or maybe I should say I'm heading down and over to New Orleans for the week). New Orleans is one of the places on my bucket list I want to visit, and this will be the first time for me. An author and reader conference is happening this week and since I know many familiar faces who will be there, it's the perfect excuse to go so I won't be all by my lonesome.

New Orleans is fondly call NOLA, or so I've been seeing from various people on-line. Also, going in August may make me melt into a puddle of sweaty goo (how do you like that visual?) because the weather forecast is calling for hot and humid and in the 90's, which is pretty much what it's like near me. There might be rain also, so perhaps I should take an umbrella just in case?

I've been doing my research about NOLA and thanks to and The Rental Show, I found some fun facts about this world famous city:

New Orleans is the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana.

It's where opera was first performed in the U.S., back in 1796.

The Superdome is the largest enclosed stadium/arena in the world. The first U.S. theater was established in New Orleans.

Poker was invented in New Orleans in the 1700s.

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, which still reigns supreme in the city today. Later, jazz spawned both the blues and rock and roll.

New Orleans is known for specialties like beignets (locally pronounced like "ben-yays"), square-shaped fried pastries that could be called "French doughnuts" (served with café au lait made with a blend of coffee and chicory rather than only coffee); and Po' boy and Italian Muffuletta sandwiches; Gulf oysters on the half-shell, fried oysters, boiled crawfish, and other seafood; étouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, and other Creole dishes; and the Monday favorite of red beans and rice. (Louis Armstrong often signed his letters, "Red beans and ricely yours".) Another New Orleans specialty is the Praline local /ˈprɑːliːn/, a candy made with brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, butter, and pecans. The city also has notable street food including the Asian inspired beef Yaka mein. (Wikipedia)

I'll be staying at the Royal Sonesta Hotel smack dab on Bourbon Street.

Squee, a pool to cool off in!

"One of the most luxurious hotels on Bourbon Street, The Royal Sonesta Hotel, opened in 1969 but the hotel’s site dates back to 1721 when Adrien de Pauger first laid out the city of New Orleans. The land once contained stables, houses and even a brewery. The architectural style of the hotel is one that is unique to New Orleans. The exterior was designed to look like a typical 1830s row of houses" (New Orleans Online)

I had no idea there was a few casinos in the area, specifically Harrah's: (Blackjack is my game of choice).

I have a bad feeling I'll be spending my time eating, since NOLA is well known for their cuisine. There's so many restaurants to choose from! How will I ever go to them all?

LaBayou Restaurant is right nearby and they have all the traditional NOLA cuisine, especially gumbo, which I've never had.

"Home of "True New Orleans Cookin'" This French Quarter favorite offers simple yet sophisticated food, wine and traditional New Orleans service in our Cajun , Creole Restaurant. Whether you are enjoying a traditional New Orleans dish or sipping on a cocktail on our very large balcony, overlooking the excitement of Bourbon Street, this hot spot embelishes all the French Quarter favorites you are sure to love."

Happy Hour seems to be big also. There's one in my hotel every day from 4-7pm with $5 drink specials. And I was told I must stop by Pat O'Brien's, best known for their signature Hurricanes.

"Served in a Pat O'Brien's logo glass and garnished with an orange slice and a cherry, the fruity red concoction was created during World War II when liquor such as whiskey was in low supply. In order to purchase just one case of these liquors, liquor salesmen forced bar owners to purchase as much as 50 cases of rum, which was plentiful. In an effort to use the abundance of rum that Pat O'Brien's acquired, the recipe for the Hurricane evolved with the help of an eager liquor salesman. The name came soon after when a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp was used to serve the fruity rum cocktail."

Jazzy Sunday brunch is also the thing to do while in NOLA! Mojitos Rum Bar and Grill has a jazzy brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. And with the name "mojito", how can you go wrong?

I can't wait for my NOLA vacation! And I won't be alone on this trip since Mho Fho will be coming with me to check out all the sights.

Mho's bringing some snacks for the flight. Yes, they're Scooby Snacks. Don't judge.

For those who have been to New Orleans before, do you have any other restaurant, bars, or attractions suggestions I should go to and where I can take pictures of Mho living it up? Should I visit a museum or two? And most importantly, what do I wear? What type of clothes should I pack?

And for those who want to live vicariously through me, I'll make sure to take a lot of pictures and report back all my fun.



ros said...

I really enjoyed the New Orleans School of Cooking:

KB/KT Grant said...

I saw the school there. Everything is all about food. I'm going to have to be rolled on the plane home. O.o

Monica said...

You gotta go to the Cafe Du Monde for some of those beignets!! :) Wish I was there too. Have fun!

KB/KT Grant said...

My plan is to go there and be high on sugar and caffeine.

Ren said...

I wish I could suggest some places but after having the Hurricane from Pat O'Brien's (among other drinks) most of my memories are blurred lol

Enjoy yourself and please update us :)

Eva / TXBookjunkie said...

I'm so looking forward to the food. Here's where I wish my stomach was larger and there were more meals in a day. LOL.

Looking forward to meeting you in NOLA!

Blodeuedd said...

Have fun!!! :D I have never been and sadly I do think I will never go :/

Twimom227 said...

Cannot wait! See you tomorrow!