New City – New Orleans

A long, long time ago we went to New Orleans. (Over two years ago to be exact- WOW.) I figured I’d finally share about our trip, mainly because we’re still talking about the delicious food we ate and cool things we saw.

A work event brought us to NOLA. We landed on a Thursday afternoon and took off on Sunday, but we squeezed in as much as we could! Also, I was third-trimester pregnant and it was bloody hot in September.

I don’t love cities or crowds or terrible smells that seep up from the sidewalk. We walked down Bourbon Street in broad daylight and that was enough for us. Most of our trip was spent in downtown NOLA, but on the outskirts of the party streets.

While I don’t love cities, New Orleans is stunning. The gothic French architecture and history embedding in every corner literally took my breath away. I could feel the soul of the city. And I could’ve sat and stared at the buildings and cemeteries and ironwork for days & days.

Where We Stayed

We stayed in the French Quarters area at the Marriott. The conference we were attending was on the third floor. It was a clean, beautiful, convenient hotel. Bar and Starbucks in the lobby, roof top pool on the fifth floor, centrally located to lots of sights.

Where We Ate

I’d say 90% of our meals were unforgettably delicious. This city knows how to cook.

Curio | Royal Street | link
Our first taste of NOLA. It was good, but the beauty of the building was even more impressive.

Cafe Beignet | Royal Street | link
First taste of beignets and 10/10 would recommend.

The Carousel Bar & Lounge | Royal Street | link
Such a cool place! We managed to snag a few seats at the rotating bar! The drinks were crazy expensive but good. You’re really just pay for the experience, lol.

Cavan | Magazine Street | link
We took an uber to this one. It was yummy, but I don’t necessarily need to seek it out again.

Cafe Du Monde | Decatur Street | link
We obviously had to try the other BIG beignet cafe. Very yummy. The iced coffee was delish.

The Ruby Slipper | Magazine Street | link
I heard mixed reviews on this one before we went, but we had a great experience with the yummiest breakfast! I was extremely sad to be pregnant and missing out on the mimosas.

Creole House Restaurant & Oyster Bar | Canal Street | link
This one was next door to our hotel and a tasty lunch find.

Crescent City Brewhouse | Decatur Street | link
This was my favorite place we ate & it was a last minute decision on our way to our late night ghost tour. The service was great, the food was INSANE, and the view of the street from our balcony table was lively. (We eventually moved inside because it was also h o t.)

What We Did

Honestly, we did a lot of walking. It was our first time in New Orleans and we just wanted to soak in all the houses and parks and history. We were in awe just taking in the architecture, statues, churches, and cemeteries.

Faulkner House (bookstore)

Ghost Tour
I forget which one we did. It was long and wordy, but we enjoyed ourselves. Honestly, the most interesting part was the information on Hurrican Katrina and the longterm affects.

Rode the Street Cars

We were in town to exhibit at a new convention being launched in our industry. For being its inaugural year, it went pretty smoothly. Our job duties were limited and we were a little overstaffed (because we all wanted to go to New Orleans) so we had quite a bit of time for exploring.

It was hot and it smelled like a city, but in hindsight I would go back. I don’t have any need for Bourbon Street but I wouldn’t mind eating my way through the city, again.

Have you ever been to NOLA? What should we plan to do next time?


My USA Bucket List

Originally today was going to be a March book recap, but I’m going to save that for Friday (aka I need to finish the book). Instead, I’m drawing inspirations from Olya and talking about 5 USA cities that I’d like to visit soon!

1. Atlanta/Savannah


The husband has been to ATL before but I’ve never been to Georgia (other than driving through to FL). I feel like so much happens in Atlanta! I’d love to take a week and visit the city and explore the mountains and visit the Georgia coast! I know there are some fabulous islands just off the coast, too!

2. Austin

I refuse to visit Texas in the summer, but I’d be ok with venturing south any time between October and April. Maybe during SxSW? I really love the history of Texas and I’ve already been to San Antonio, so I feel like Austin a good Texan city to explore next!

3. Los Angeles


Honestly, I’ve never thought about traveling to LA… but Charlene’s post about Warner Bros Studio and all the fun things she and her husband did in LA peaks my interest! I think it’d be fun to spend a week in California and see all there is to see along that part of the coast.

4. Portland/Seattle

While we’re on the West Coast it only makes sense to tour the Pacific Northwest! Do Portlanders and Seattleites get upset when you combine their cities? (If so, I’m sorry!) This part of the US has been on my bucket list for a long time- hopefully we get to visit here soon!

5. Maine


I don’t eat lobster, so there’s no urgency to visit during one of their festivals 😉 I think that Maine is such an interesting state with all its culture and history and nature. I’m a big fan of the cool weather + coastal town combination. Is that weird? Most people want balmy beach weather…. I think Maine would be a great place to read/write/set a novel.

I want to see Hawaii and Alaska, too, but I stuck to the lower 48 states.

Any travel advice or must-see spots in these cities/states? What US destinations are on your bucket list?


Thank You

Thank you to all the men & women who have served, do serve, or will serve in our military.
You sacrifice it all so we can have it all. Thank you.

Thank you to my grandfathers, my uncle, and my brother-in-law.
My paternal grandpa fixed planes overseas in Japan while my maternal grandfather flew them. I am in awe of their dedication and resilience.

Thank you to the wives and husbands, moms and dads, siblings, friends, and family members of military men and women.
I can’t imagine saying “goodbye” and not knowing if or when you’ll get to say “hello” again.

Thank you to the dogs, horses or other animals that have served along side soldiers in the line of fire.
If you’ve never looked into the role dogs play in war you definitely should- it’s amazing.

It’s Tuesday now, but I don’t think “thank you”s are limited to Memorial Day.
So thank you to our soldiers. And thank you to their families.


Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey