A Weekend in NOLA
Hi there! It’s me – the lady who talks a lot about all the things she wants to do and then gets overwhelmed and drops off the creative planet for a month. I had a chance to spend a long weekend in NOLA with my mom for her birthday and it was so refreshing. We went in with few plans and one goal – to spend time together.
Impossible to fail really.
Finally Taking a Break
It turns out this weekend was exactly what I needed.
We stayed in an Air BnB hosted by a couple of artists who have been creating since the 50’s. Their house was filled with canvases and sculptures they had created plus stashes of art they had acquired over the years from friends and people they admire.
The air conditioning was slow to start and there wasn’t a proper shower, but there was an incredible balcony overlooking an entry-way filled to the brim with tropical plants that run wild in the warm-weathered city.
We started with breakfast at my favorite tourist spot – Cafe Du Monde. Every time I know someone visiting New Orleans, I ask if they would mind bringing me a box of beignet mix – I am shameless when it comes to beignets. I love them. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but something about the doughy powdered sugar combo gets me every time (which probably explains my recent affinity for Dutch Baby Pancakes – they’re basically a combo of my two favorite sweets: Beignets & Flan.)
We explored the antique shops on Royal Street. Winding in and out of the buildings that were apartments and homes at one point, but now serve as shops filled with old French artifacts and family heirlooms from what was once a very extravagant city.
Every storefront is run by a different artist or shopkeeper. Handcrafted wood pieces, photographs from the aftermath of Katrina, and of course masks to be worn during Mardi Gras festivities. There is so much personality in every shop.
One of my favorite discoveries was Krewe, locally crafted glasses and sunglasses. I can’t wait to order these bad boys when I have some extra cash. They are definitely pricey when compared to something like Warby Parker BUT, each pair of frames is hand carved from plant-based acetates, making them more durable than your standard frames (better for you and the environment, too). And if you are drawn to the wire frames like I am, each pair is made from 24k Gold plated Titanium, so they are super durable but also come with a lifetime warranty.
Mid-day we stopped to break for lunch. While all the food we ate on the trip was incredible, I loved this lunch more than anything else we had. We ate at a spot tucked into Royal Street called Cafe Amelie. A few shared plates – Beet salad, Gumbo, and a Smoked Salmon BLT – left us both so satisfied. Naturally, we both opted for dessert because that’s what your second stomach is for. I ordered an affogato and was in heaven. On top of the food being incredible, the prices were super reasonable. It’s a place that I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone without having to warn them that they would be dropping some serious cash.
Saturday was our day of extravagance. Both breakfast and lunch took place at restaurants known for their incredible New Orleans inspired dishes.
The first was Galletoire’s – a spot that my mom had miraculously not been yet. My Great-Grandmother grew up in the French Quarter and our family burial plotis in Lafayette #1, so my mom has speant a lot of time in New Orleans for different family events over the years. I was excited that the restaurant recommended by our hosts was one she hadn’t had a chance to try because we got to experience it together.
It was incredible.
I am a big fan of Shrimp Creole and this one was particularly good. What really blew me away, though, was the service. Our server simultaneously made us feel as if we could stay at the table forever, and were so welcome to do so, while still keeping our meal moving along. Anyone who’s worked in the service industry knows what a feat that is and it was very much appreciated.
For dinner we went to Commander’s Palace. On my first trip to NOLA as a ten-is year old, my aunt was almost turned away because she was not properly attired. She was wearing *gasp* shorts. I have a vivd memory of her defending her Lily Pullitzer Bermuda Shorts to the Maître d’ and still giggle every time I think of it.
This blew my mind as a kid but I came prepared this time around (though the dress code seems much more manageable these days.)
Everything in New Orleans is a Good Idea.
Sunday we drove an hour or so into Mississippi to Biloxi. We spent the day attempting to find family in the town’s main cemetary and then stopped by the outlets on our way back into the New Orleans.
Biloxi is a tiny little Coastal beach town that our family moved to when they left New Orleans. Admittedly, there is not a ton there, but it is beautifully calm place to take a walk on the beach.
When Monday came around, it was time for both of us to return home. We stopped at Cafe Beignet for one last bite to eat before heading to the airport. It was a super cute little spot, and we totally lucked out by getting there early enough to beat the line that formed around the corner while we were eating.
Can’t wait for another trip to NOLA and hope this gives you some great ideas for things to do! -xx
Lokal Hotels have this A-Frame set up just right. Did you ever wonder what would happen if Airbnb joined forces with old school hotels? I’m pretty sure that’s how the Lokal Hotels concepts are born.
I have been wanting to paint a mural for a very long time. In fact, it has been my New Year’s Resolution for the last two years. Over the weekend I went to a workshop on taking sketches from small to big scale – i.e. mural size, taught by Gemma O’Brien (so much internal fan-girling.) After the workshop, I can finally stop second guessing my instincts about the how of mural painting. Once my basement is not a flooded wasteland I am going to attack the back wall as a test of my new skills!
Hello friends! It’s been a while. We have some really exciting things going on behind the scenes here at smoorelovin…Notice I said ‘we’?? Yes! Exciting things are coming, a certain someone is going to be joining me in contributing to the style section of smoorelovin! I can’t give too many details just yet, but get excited 🙂