Last year I took a solo trip to NYC for my birthday, and after having one of the best travel experiences of my life, I decided that I'd like to take a trip every year for my birthday, if I can. Travel is so important to me, and making it a priority during a time when I'm already reflecting about my own life is valuable.
This year I jumped on the birthday train with my friend and fellow Capricorn, Shawn, on a trip to New Orleans. I've been to the city a few times before while I was in grad school in Mississippi, (my awesome roommate at the time Priya even threw me a surprise birthday there!), and I was eager to get back. New Orleans is like Vegas but with history. Now I could launch into a million things about New Orleans; it is a treasure trove to say the least. But this particular trip was meant to be a more touristy, tear-it-up trip, so I'll leave the Katrina-segregation-economy discussion for another time and for someone more knowledgeable than myself.
Here's a quick round up of what I was up to in Saint Country (aka where I ate, and what I wore when I was eating it).
Essential travel outfit. I love this hat, but can't bear to pack it in my bags, so I always end up wearing it when I travel. Add stretchy jeans and my most comfy Nike Juvenates and I'm set.
I arrived mid-afternoon and the rest of the day was spent getting settled and ready for our big dinner. Being a tall gal, it's always hard to find maxi dresses that are indeed long enough and flatter my shape. I turned to ASOS Tall, and it didn't disappoint. In fact, most of the awesome pieces I rocked on this trip are courtesy of ASOS, as it is a tried and true favorite of mine.
This cutout, high-slit number is all drama, and one of the most daring things I've ever purchased. I loved it! These mid-height beige heels were comfortable enough to take me to white table cloth dinner at Anunciation to the bars on Frenchman Street.
The next morning we recuperated in style, and indulged in the Jazz Brunch at Court of Two Sisters. It was all brass instruments, viney canopies, and white linens--- the stuff NoLa dreams are made of. Food was DELICIOUS, but the service was a little lacking for the price tag.
This was a divide and conquer, roaming day. The travel group was large, and we split up to explore the parts of the city we pleased. This casual look was very 70s inspired: a short-sleeve denim dress, accessorized with suede booties (2 year old Guess, similar here) and cross body bag topped with oversize round sunnies (similar).
I try to stay away from crowded popular spots when I travel, especially when I go to places I've been before, but after being fattened up at brunch, a familiar walk was welcome.
I took this chance to buy souvenirs before I forgot! A few of us chose to stay around the French Quarter. The Market, the Cathedral, and Cafe du Monde, of course.
That evening, a few of us went for a quick drink at my favorite restaurant in NoLa, Cochon. We met up with the rest of the pack at Drago's (we sprung for the one in town over heading out to the larger one in Metairie). The place has more of a Biloxi feel, as it is connected to a hotel casino, but it ended up being the best food we had during the whole trip! The rest of the night was spent out on Bourbon St, in a haze of purple lights, and beads. No I did not "earn" them!
The next day sent us out a bit farther to Magazine St. I like to think of Magazine as New Orleans' version of S. Broadway. Boutiques and coffee shops galore.
We drank our weight in coffee and bloody marys, and enjoyed the nice lazy day. I went for sporty chic with a sleeveless black tank (similar), olive body con midi skirt, and sneakers. I think the tightness throughout offsets the matronly length of the skirt, and the faux leather jacket tied up gives it edge.
Later, we set out for Mexican food and another Bourbon night. By then, we'd established that Channing Tatum's bar Saints & Sinners was our favorite. Awesome music, cheap drinks, and room to move. We eventually made it to The Beach up the street, which is a large open-air bar, and chatted up some Auzzies on an American adventure, before retiring for the evening.
Our last day was pretty relaxing, for me at least. The others went on a gator tour, but being in the swamp for 4 hours sounded like the last thing I wanted to do. Instead, I opted to visit the restaurant that came the most highly recommended to me for the trip: Sylain. We had tried to get a table without reservations the day before and were told it wouldn't be possible for hours. Out of stubbornness, I don't like being told I can't get in somewhere, so I slid into a spot at the bar all by myself, and ordered up. I went for the house burger and fries, which were a real treat. The place is very Southern gothic, and the cuisine is buttoned-up American. I enjoyed myself, and my meal was a close second to Drago's a couple of nights before, but the hype is definitely more about the vibe than the food.
Soon enough, it was time to hop on a jet plane back home. NoLa was great and gracious to me, as always! I'm already planning next year's birthday trip; I'm thinking somewhere with a beach....