New Orleans has been at the top of my travel list for years now! With Bayou St Blonde happening for the second year in a row, I knew this would be the best time to go. Bayou St Blonde is a class/conference put on by The Left Brain Group. It is a two-day private event for salon owners and stylists all over the States. The owner picks beautiful locations all over New Orleans and invites stylists to teach cut, color, styling and more.
When i think about New Orleans the first thing that came to mind was all the amazing seafood. I have an amazing client who shared with me a bunch of her favorite places to eat and visit. Shout out to Kat for having such great picks! Not just a tourist, but lots of hole-in-the-wall places.
Day 1 Deanies Seafood was our first stop in the French Quarter. Giant Soft shell crabs and deep fried shrimp. Oh my! I will most definetely come back here again. Now, I had to make a stop at the famous Carousel Bar at Hotel Montelion. This bar was featured in Girl's trip and another reason I wanted to visit. It actually moves like a real carousel and pretty funny if you have a chair and one of your friends doesn't because then they have to walk along with you as the bar moves. I'm still not sure how the bartenders dont get dizzy as they work. The French Quarter isn't so big, so you really can walk all over the whole time. Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo was probably one of the creepiest places I went to, but was also cool to experience. I walked in with the intention of buying a Voodoo Doll or charms, but chickened out because of my catholic guilt. We ended our night getting some of Cafe Du Monde's famed beignets. Be sure to grab a chicory coffee and your own personal order of beignets because they are simply amazing.
Day 3 The second day of class was at The Chicory, which is an event venue and I was ecstatic i could walk to there, just 4 blocks away from my hotel. This place felt a little more dark and romantic and also would be a beautiful wedding venue. For lunch we dropped by the fairly new Auction House Market, there are 6 different places to choose from inside. If the interior of my home could look like the inside of this building, I would be the happiest girl in the world. I'm still trying to convince my husband to have lipstick wallpaper just like they had in their restrooms. The grand finale of the class was at Marigny Opera House. It might look familiar to some people since Solange got married here. I believe it was once some sort of church. The beautiful high ceilings made it feel so grand.
Day 4 Daylight Savings happened to be this week and we kept trying to figure out how much time we lost since we were two hours ahead but then time went back an hour. The time change really messed with me and I was up at 7am, ready to take on the day. For brunch, we went to Two Chicks Cafe and had the most delicious french toast and shrimp po' boy. Our next stop was getting creepy visiting the Garden District. I had to stop by the Buckner Mansion. American Horror Story Coven, which happens to be my favorite season in the series, was filmed in this beautiful Mansion. Just a couple blocks over is the famous Anne Rice house where she grew up and wrote The Vampire Chronicles saga. The house is actually said to be haunted and judging by the goosebumps it gave me, I believe it. We walked and shopped on Magazine St. until it was time for us to go to the Pelicans vs Hornets game. Smoothie King Center is where they play and I was hoping to see former Kings player Demarcus Cousins but he's out for the season.
Day 2 Our first day of class was at The Pavillion Of The Two Sisters in a room with huge windows overlooking the gardens and fountains. This place is so beautiful and I would seriously consider getting married here if I lived in New Orleans. Our next destination was the New Orleans Jazz Market which has a bar and great acoustics. I don't think there is a single bad seat in the place. The Jazz Market is my favorite stop from our first day in class and we got a special treat of Burlesque to finish the day. There was one woman in particular, who danced to Electric Chapel by Lady Gaga which knocked my socks off and I have the craziest video that you will just have to see in person. For Dinner, I had even more amazing food at Felix Oyster Bar. I recommend the seafood gumbo and oysters. Bakery Bar happened to be a couple blocks from our hotel and was the perfect spot for a late night dessert. The Irish Creme Rainbow Cake absolutely hit the spot.
Day 5 Our last day in New Orleans, we spent the morning at the WW2 museum. It takes about 3-4 hours to get through the whole place and is broken up into 5 buildings. They have the dog tag experience with every entry. The dog tag gives you details about a person who lived through World War II and you follow along with their story. It felt so real to see exactly what my person went through with the audio and video. At the end of the tour, they email you their story so you can always have it. In the last building, the Boeing Center, you see a bunch of the planes they actually used. The top floor was probably the scariest thing I've ever walked across and I'm surprised I didn't have a panic attack up there.
Our trip came to an end and I cannot wait to go back! There are so many things O still have on my to do list. This city is so beautiful and the southern hospitality was so real. I look forward to returning next year. Does New Orleans sound like a place you would want to visit?