Some Final Thoughts on New Orleans, in words and pictures

Although a bit damp, our trip to Nawlins was a blast – I deem it a total success.

We arrived on Wednesday evening and took a shuttle bus from the airport to our hotel, the Grand Boutique on St. Charles Street in the Garden District. We wove through the French Quarter first, giving me my first glance – I loved the gas street lamps mixed in with neon signs. The balconies are as majestic and cool as I’d imagined, too.

Our hotel had a very cool, Art Deco vibe, and we liked our room – we checked into Room #1, the first time that’s ever happened to me. I didn’t even know they existed.

grand boutique lamp

We walked down St. Charles street after getting settled, and noticed that the stretch is teeming with restaurants ranging from little pubs to Emeril’s Delmonico (his national headquarters are a bit down the road, too:).

emeril

We noticed one that had a sign reading “bar, grill, gameroom, and laundromat.” If that isn’t convenient, I don’t know what is.

We walked a long way down St. Charles, past gallery row, and into the Quarter, where we settled on a German brewpub for dinner. I had the burger with Marzen-flavored sauce (a dark beer) and one of the beers itself. I wasn’t really listening when the waiter asked me if I wanted a half-liter or a liter; or maybe I wasn’t absorbing how much a liter actually is. Either way, this was the result:

marzen

The next day, we walked to a luncheonette on St. Charles, the Trolley Stop Cafe, for what we figured would be a pretty standard breakfast. I wanted grits, so I went with the Trolley Stop Special, and ended up with the best. Pancakes. Ever.

These things were so sweet, so delish, so crispy-on-the-outside and soft-in-the-middle, they didn’t even need butter or syrup. ArcherVision theorized that part of the secret was vanilla extract.

The giant plates of goodness were enough to keep us fueled as we walked back to the Quarter to scope out Bourbon Street and the surrounding area. We got caught in a downpour and got totally soaked – but we still got to see a lot of the area and take some photos. I bought my one and only souvenir, a t-shirt, when we spotted this place. It didn’t seem right to leave the area without something:

jax beer

That night, we attended a family celebration for my cousins, Jen and John, whose wedding we were in New Orleans to attend. We joined up with my aunt and uncle, two more sets of cousins, and a couple of members of the wedding party, and went to the hotel’s restaurant, Copeland’s, which had a snow bar – real ice and snowflakes on the bar and the taps – and an ice wall with bottles of liquor mounted in the floes.

copeland's ice bar

That night went late, and much imbibing did occur. But we were well enough to get out the door the next morning for a second visit to the Trolley Stop and a little photo safari around the Garden District. Here are a couple of my faves:

flag

doorway

stained glass window

umbrella

…and one for the many cupcake-lovahs in my blogosphere:

cupcakes

Then, it was on to the wedding (video here)- and what a gorgeous, Victorian affair it was. The ceremony and reception were held at the House of Broel on St. Charles, a private estate the owner, Bonnie Broel, rents out for wedding services for which she serves as officiant.

The ceremony was in a garden with white lights scattered in the greens and a koi pond stretching into the middle of the seating area – and dancing took place in a parlor with a hardwood floor and a full mirror-wall on one side, facing an array of tapestries. The whole house has a Versailles kind of motif going on — easily one of the cooler venues I’ve ever been in and ideal for a gorgeous wedding.

house of broel

The only part of the trip that wasn’t fabulous was the plane ride back – ArcherVision already wrote a pretty comprehensive post about it, so I’ll let you take a gander over there. We’ll definitely be going back, though – we have yet to take a cemetery tour and get our voodoo on. That’s the rule – always leave something for next time. Thank you, New Orleans!

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