Last week I went to New Orleans, a first for me. This was one city that was on a my bucket list to visit. Since an author/reader conference was going on as well, and many familiar author and blogger faces were going to be there, I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to go and not be all by my lonesome, wandering around an unknown city or sitting in a corner behind some potted plant in a corner. (those days of sitting in a corner behind a plant in the lobby are long gone)
My flight was only 3 hours and very uneventful. I arrived around noon and took the airport shuttle to the hotel. The drive took about 30 minutes and gave me the chance to see all the sites. The hotel I was staying at is called the Royal Sonesta Hotel which is right smack in the middle of Bourbon Street. The Royal Sonesta was a beautiful hotel with lovely architecture, filed with plants and the rooms were nice and airy with comfortable beds and a bathroom more than a size of a closet.
Hotel Courtyard and pool. The pool as on the third floor. My hotel room:
Since I arrived early and no one I knew was around I decided to explore. I grabbed my handy dandy guide book and looking like a complete tourist, I explored Bourbon Street. Because I was hungry, I ended up a restaurant a few blocks down called LeBayou and enjoyed some authentic New Orleans cruisine:
I wanted to try the alligator but it wasn't in season *KB pout*, so instead I got a sampler of everything from rice and beans to crawfish and shrimp. It was le yum!
After my big lunch, I walked it off by roaming around.I found out there were two used bookstores in the area and scoped them out. Beckham's Book Shop and Librairie Book Shop are owned by the same person.
Other interesting things to see:
You're allowed to walk around with alcohol as long as it's in a plastic cup. There were many with plastic cups and plastic yards full of creative booze type drinks roaming Bourbon Street, usually starting at 6pm. During the day it was quite but after 6pm it was craziness! People drank and partied into the wee hours of the morning and every morning the city washes down the street with a bleach soap cleanser to wash away last night's debauchery. Across the street from my hotel is a cute place called Cafe Beignet. There you can eat outside, mainly in their courtyard for breakfast and enjoy a New Orleans staple-coffee and beignets!
Another well known place for beignets is Cafe Du Monde (I kept saying Cafe Mons because we all know my mind is in the gutter). There you can get a plate of 3 beignets for under $5 and it's right near the Mississippi River.
The glowing beignets! Or if you prefer, the sparkly ones. Don't eat these if you're wearing black or dark clothes. The powdered sugar will stick to you.
The oldest Catholic church in the United States
Now I save the best tourist attraction for last. The French Quarter might be filled with many restaurants, bars and stores, but there are also quite a bit of specialty shops. One of the first people I met who flew in was Monica at the Obscure Vixen blog. She grabbed her trusty camera and I joined her as we scoped out even more of the sights, specifically one store I noticed in my tourist guide called Second Skin.
Me being a tourist and posing for Monica
Second Skin, one of the best sex toy shops in the French Quarter
On the front door of Second Skin. Yes, every sex shop, including this one has the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, usually next to the Sleeping Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice! I wanted to gag myself with a gag ball when I saw the books being showcased. Most of the time, the books were in plastic wrap. Seriously, WTF?
After our travels, Monica and I want back to the hotel to meet up with some bloggers and authors such as Twimom Jen, author Carolyn Crane, Jen at Red Hot Books (who was the best tour guide ever!) and author Teresa D'Amario for some nighttime fun (pretty tame nighttime fun, but still fun!)
Teresa, Carolyn, Me, Jen Red Hot and Monica. Twimom Jen took the picture.
Next up Mho will take over and the camera hog will show off all the wonderful people he posed with.
One of the many sights on Bourbon Street. Drunk Homer.