Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Three Days In NOLA - Day 1: The French Quarter

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Three Days In NOLA - Day 1: The French Quarter

Back in February I decided almost on a whim that I wanted to go to New Orleans and experience Mardi Gras. Okay, I knew it wasn't going to be the traditional Mardi Gras since we are living in the time of Coronavirus, but I also knew it was probably going to be one of the only shots I was going to have in my lifetime of experiencing Mardi Gras when it wasn't packed elbow to elbow with people. The  pandemic sucks, but hey, there was the silver lining, right? Jason was supposed to accompany me and Allison, but wasn't able to get the vacation time approved from work on such short notice. But y'all, that was not going to stop us from going anyway. Thankfully Mariah's boyfriend already had the week off of work since he was going to be our dog sitter, so he decided to fill in Jason's spot to help with the 14 hour drive down there. And probably to keep me and Allison in line. We ended up adding 4 more hours onto the drive time because the south was getting hit with ice and snowstorms. I'm going to apologize to all of you in the south that we make fun of for freaking out over a little snow, because that shit we drove through was unreal. Black ice causing crashes everywhere, slush scraping the undercarriage of my car, and for the first time in my life having to rely on the kindness of strangers to help dig me out of a snowbank (which was Kyle's doing, but who's counting?) But, eventually we white knuckled it through and made it to NOLA in one piece.

And those snowstorms left the temperatures less than idea since it rained almost the entire time we were there and it was freezing! Luckily we had in and out parking privileges at our hotel, The Drury Plaza, and were able to go back to our room to warm up between stops around the city. On day 1 we decided we'd stick to The French Quarter, walking the more touristy areas like Bourbon Street and Jackson Square.
 



Because of the cold, rain, and virus, we really did have most of the place to ourselves. We ended up walking much of the French Quarter so I could admire the creole cottages and shops that were decorated for Mardi Gras. 





 

Allison wanted to stop by some of the voodoo shops while we were in the area, and after reading some of the yelp reviews, I was a bit hesitant to go into any of them. Most of the reviews said that the shops staff were rude, would yell at you if they saw you with your phone in your hand because of the no photo policy (due to the shrines) and if you got too close to the shrines (which are all built into the store displays). Rev. Zombie's Voodoo Shop seemed to have all negative reviews, but we bit the bullet and went in anyway.

The store was tiny, but they were great with only allowing a few people at a time in to shop and followed all covid guidelines. The security guard was very friendly, and nicely told us about the no photo policy before sending us in, and even though the cashier didn't really acknowledge me, he did manage to grunt out a thanks as he handed me my bag. Most of the other voodoo shops were closed (seemed to be the consensus amongst shop owners to close for Mardi Gras weekend because of the drunk and rowdy tourists), but we also managed to pop into Voodoo Authentica. While I didn't make a purchase here (though Allison did), I liked the overall vibe and how nice the employees were. 

Jackson Square was closed as well, and during the times when we aren't in a pandemic there are usually horse drawn carriages out front for guided tours around the area. But Cafe du Monde is a few minutes walk from this point, so even if you can't get a carriage ride, it's not far to get a taste of those famous beignets. 

I want to point out that I felt very safe in the French Quarter, HOWEVER, the three of us stuck together at all times and did not stay out past dark.We ended up going back to our hotel for dinner by 7pm, so I can't really give a fair assessment of the nightlife here. My friend Rosey did not love NOLA after dark though, and you can read her account of the area on her blog HERE

I'll tell you all about YardiGras in my next post, and all about the local eats soon after! 


If you've been to NOLA, love it or hate it? If you haven't been, is it on your travel bucket list?




28 comments:

  1. Yes, I remember when you caused ice storm going down there.
    Looks like a very tacky city, so much colours and details and ornaments, I'd probably need to be sedated to visit LOL It kinda looks like satanist Sodom and Gomorrah LOL probably even more so during the festival, right? What did you buy in voodoo shops?

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    1. I don’t think it’s so festive and colorful other than at Mardi Gras. You would LOVE The Garden District. Big mansions, gorgeous landscaping, lots of beauty to be seen there and not packed with shops and tourists.

      We just bought a few trinkets. Got myself a voodoo doll that’s supposed to bring in steady business. As soon as Jason is done with my laser room I’ll put him in there and see if he works lol.

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  2. I’ve never been and no, it’s not on my bucket list. I do love the colors and the buildings and mansions, but it’s always seemed dirty and decrepit as well, which is a turn off for me. Plus ,the crowds of drunks, though it looks like you avoided that. The drive sounds horrific! So glad you made it safely.

    My son and his wife are looking into finally going on a honeymoon to Europe at Christmas. Currently, it seems to be a lot less crowded, so they are crossing their fingers that it continues.

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    1. Actually, I was shocked at how clean it was there. Much cleaner than other big cities like San Francisco, NY, Philly, and even Paris. Of course like I’m any big city you’ll see quite a few homeless, but we were never approached by any the whole time we were there.

      Oooh, what part of Europe will they be visiting? I am dying to go back and think this would be such a great time to do a road trip through a few countries there. I’m itching to do Scotland and Northern Ireland, but the Cotswolds are super high on my list too.

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    2. I know she wants to go to France and he wants to take her to Germany to show her around, as he lived there one summer.

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  3. P.S. By any chance did you watch the Real World New Orleans season? It was a great one!

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    1. I did not, but now I’m going to have to see if I can find it. Maybe it’s on YouTube.

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    2. I rewatched it on youtube about six months ago. They lived in a really cool mansion.

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    3. The mansions in the garden district are beyond fabulous. Some of the most interesting I've seen in this country yet!

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  4. I have a couple of friends who live in New Orleans but I've never been there Looks like you had a good time though.

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  5. Geniales vacaciones a mi tambien me gustarĂ­a conocer New Orleans. Bellas fotos te mando un beso

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  6. I've never been to NOLA but would love to someday. Seems like you made the most of it, even with the weather!

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    1. I hope you do! I know we have a lot of the same interests, so I think it’s safe to say I think you would love it there. We didn’t do the cemetery ghost tours, but that sounds like something right up your alley!

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  7. I've never been, but after watching The Others for years, I really wanted to go. I also follow Jensen Ackles on Instagram. He goes there often b/c his wife is from there and their posts make it seem like a great place! I was at a business meeting once with someone that lived in New Orleans and they told me some scary stories. Apparently, if you walk down the wrong street at the wrong time bad things can happen.

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    1. I didn’t know they were regulars there. Too bad we didn’t see anyone famous while we were there. My cousin is obsessed with Jensen so that would have been cool to have a sighting of him.

      We walked down a lot of streets, so I’m glad I didn’t go down any of the scary ones. It all felt very tame/safe, but we all had our fingers on our pepper spray just in case shade stuff went down.

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  8. Oh very good place
    Thanks for share with us

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  9. I would like to see the real mardi gras one day

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    1. It would be a much shorter drive for you than me. I hope you make it, Adam!

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  10. Yep. Going into a snowbank sure is no fun indeed. Looks like a colorful spot where you strolled about though. Out buying voodoo dolls to put spells on people you don't like? lol

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  11. Aw you're the sweetest to link me! I have thought of going back to see if we just did NOLA wrong, but my teen doesn't want to give second chances. ;) I'm glad you had such a nice time. Smart to be in before dark. I'm sure that was the biggest part of our problem, we should have planned this part of our journey, and gone out just during the day. It wasn't that kind of a trip though, it was a 'wing it and see where we end up' kind of trip. My son doesn't like those kind of trips, he has since told me, lol. We had a great time going up, but not many woohoos! coming back. Ah well, I enjoyed it. :) Next trip will be carefully planned. I only have a few years left before the youngest grows up and I want him to enjoy himself on our trips (if Covid passes and we can even go on trips).

    So, Kyle got you in a snowbank, huh? That is not the best way to impress your girlfriend's family, ha! Glad you are all okay! Black ice is not to be messed with... I remember that very clearly.

    The matching hats are cute. I love the pictures you got of the buildings. New Orleans has beautiful trees too!! Did you come across the huge potholes?

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    1. Jason is a planner too. I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal because some of the best moments happen when things aren't planned. But I get the stability of needing to have structure when it comes to things like that.

      OMG, the potholes! Yes, they were ridiculous. I told the kids that These Must Be The Potholes The Size Of Texas Rosey Was Telling Me About!! LOL.

      The trees were gahhhh. I have a things for trees and those trees were gorgeous. Especially the ones in the garden district and the fancy mansions. I love southern trees!

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  12. I haven’t gone, but lived sort of close to there when I was in Savannah, GA.

    We had snow once living in Atlanta. Everything shut down. They don’t have the equipment to clear the streets.

    Such a pretty place.

    The flooding always makes me nervous there.

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    1. It was bad in Atlanta when we drove through. Everything was shut down. I saw tractors trying to clear the highways. It was crazy.

      I agree about the flooding. I'd love to live around the area, but the weather scares me too!

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  13. Beautiful! Very colorful and nice places. I would like to visit NOLA (Mardi gras) at oneday.

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    1. I hope you do. It's such a neat place to explore!

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Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :) Except promotional posts with added links. Those will be deleted.

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