Hipilicious and I visited New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) for a week in June this year. It was a semi-impromptu trip (not for me, I am paranoid about planning!) that ended up working really well for us.
We stayed at an Airbnb and I’ll keep using this formula of selecting places to stay:
- Near a bus stop – so that not much is spent on Ubers and Taxis
- Private space where there’s hardly any interaction with the hosts
- Reviews that use the words, “Clean” “Good/Dependable wi-fi” and “Safe neighbourhood”
We got to NOLA at different times, Miss. H was coming in from Kenya and I was from a work trip in Portland. When I landed in NOLA, my AT&T line wasn’t working. AT ALL. And I had no other means of hailing an Uber. Talk of panic mode. I had never been to NOLA before so I was pretty freaked out. Imagine having 3 huge bags then no way of leaving the airport. It would have been easy to hop onto a bus if I had no bags…. I used the free wi-fi at the airport to ask for an Uber then run out as fast as my 3 bags would allow to look for the Uber. God was merciful, the driver found me. And I got to the house where I had a very happy reunion with my sister. Funny thing is I went to Atlanta after that and my AT&T line started working again. Very very weird.
We had so much fun in NOLA. We had so many plans and we decided to categorize them as hers and mine. Mine were mostly around sight-seeing, eating and sleeping. Hers were around shopping! So we agreed we’d only sleep at night, we’d spend the mornings sight seeing and the afternoons shopping. And that we’d go out every single night. IT WAS AWESOME.
My Top 3 Places To Visit in NOLA:
- The Bayou. Take the option from these guys. Their boats are bigger so if it is raining you won’t get drenched and the guide we got was H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S – case in point, “How do you call an alligator?” “Hey Alligator Hey Alligator Hey”.
- Frenchmen Street at night. The music. The vibe. It is electric. You can’t get into just one jazz venue. Every single jazz club has amazing musicians. It must be difficult to get a job as a musician in NOLA, it seems that everyone is really really great. There is a group of young dudes that play on this street every night and this was the highlight of Miss. H’s entire trip. After one such performance, she turned to me and said, “Turudi home”. I’ll put Bourbon Street during the day as well as at night on here. I have never seen so many bars and so many drunk people in one single street. It is a sight to see. There are all levels of crazy on here, a visit to NOLA wouldn’t be complete without this.
- A tour of an actual plantation. This still haunts me to date. Seeing the lives that the slaves captured from Africa had to live, the work they had to do; this was heart breaking. It actually helped me understand the African-Americans better. We went to the Whitney Plantation and it felt so real.
My Top 3 Places to eat in NOLA:
I’d say the best thing you can do in NOLA is eat, eat and eat – there is so much amazing food to eat in NOLA, it is ridiculous.
- Eat Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. As we realised, this is similar to eating mandazi with powder icing sugar. But, it is such a NOLA thing to do, it should not be left out of an itinerary. Queues to get in can get crazy so the best timing would be before lunch hour and late in the evening.
- Eat at Dat Dog. I’d go back to NOLA just for this. I dream of the Bacon Werewolf Hotdog.
- Runway Cafe – Messina at the Terminal. These guys had amazing food and the best part is that it is a restaurant located at a very busy tiny airport. I love planes so this was an awesome experience. They have daily specials so you can get a really filling high-class meal at quite cheap.
And as a bonus, find a Po’Boy. Eat it. Then ask about the history of Po’Boys. Thank me later.
NOLA has such a strong heritage and history. I was so sad in the same equal measure that I was happy to be experiencing new things. I didn’t understand the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused till I saw it with my own eyes. I can’t believe that there are others who will be as affected after Hurricane Irma and all the rest that are making landfall.
Pictures from the time in NOLA – taken via phone cam, I actually don’t own a camera anymore…….