Sunday, December 13, 2015

New Orleans - part 3

This is the last post! And you guys, it's got a whole bunch of photos of buildings, so just bear with me. I have a thing for architecture.

Wednesday was our last full day in New Orleans, and we walked the most this day. I did a little exploring on my own that morning around the warehouse and business district, near where we were staying. Which I def should mention! We stayed at the Old No. 77 Hotel and if you're traveling to New Orleans soon, I highly recommend it. It's an old warehouse converted into a hotel, and newly renovated. It's very... hip. Hipster central. There's no other way to put it! We loved it, it reminded us of our beloved Austin, haha. But seriously, it is a cool hotel. It's got a fantastic restaurant downstairs and an espresso bar that we frequented, a lot. And it's not in the French Quarter, which was a huge plus. No crazy people at night! Much quieter I'm sure. But it's just a few blocks away from the Quarter, just a short walk. It's in the warehouse district I think. Near lots of good food, art galleries and museums, and the convention center if you're there for that sort of thing. And it's actually really affordable! So yes, highly recommend if you're looking for a place to stay in New Orleans and want to avoid some of the chaos of the Quarter.

This place with the fantastic blue doors and windows is a Children's Museum! Those doors with that brick! Heart eyes.

We met up with a couple pharmacy friends for lunch and then headed over to the Garden District. We were told by someone that we had to visit, and that the houses were beautiful. Naturally I was in! We walked down Magazine Street which was full of fun shops and cafes! This side of town had a much younger crowd, I don't know if there's a college around there or what, but there were tons of young folks!

And thanks to a recommendation from a friend, we stopped at Sucre for sweet snacks! Oh man, that place is dangerous. Dessert central. Little cakes, macaroons, truffles, gelato... basically heaven. I got a couple macaroons and this little chocolate mousse cake with GOLD LEAF on it. Because why not? Brendon the ice cream king got gelato, of course.

And then we found another cemetery! Lafayette Number One. I loved it. I actually enjoyed this one more than St. Louis No. 1 because this one was much greener! Trees! Also this one was a bit more organized, and bigger I think. And surrounded by gorgeous massive old homes.

And then we went house hunting! We found a little website with some "must see" houses in the Garden District, so we found those and drooled over all the others in the area as we explored.

While admiring this house, which is now home to the Women's Guild of the New Orleans Opera, we met a little old lady who was waiting to get in for a meeting of some sort. She told us about the house and I swear would have gladly brought us in with her, but the woman who came to unlock everything was like NOPE. Very cool place to have meetings though, huh?

Christmas decorations, on point everywhere. New Orleans is a classy lady when it comes to her decor. Martha would be proud.

I think this was Ann Rice's house. Vampire Queen!

And of course, a kitty cat. This cat was so serious. She or he was not interested in passersby, at all. She was just like, "Yeah, this is my house. Don't come near it." We did find a very friendly orange kitty on our way back who bounded out of his yard to get some attention. Crazy cat people, we always find out of town feline buddies.

That's it! A gazillion photos of buildings and a couple of our faces. Seriously, such a good trip. It was such a good note to end our sort of extensive traveling while pregnant spree. I'm thrilled with how well my body held up, I was tired by the end, but I managed to do everything we wanted to do. And now I'm ready to rest, ha!

I must share details on where we ate, because we did not have a SINGLE bad meal. Seriously, everything we had was marvelous and surprisingly very vegetarian friendly. I love big cities. I'm sure I'll miss some place, but here's highlights/what I can remember, in no particular order: Salt N Pepper (Indian, pizza, po'boys, you name it), Viet Orleans (sushi, vietnamese food, po'boys! Oh man they had a tofu po'boy/bahn mi that was out of this world), La Divina Gelateria (gelato obv, but also sandwiches and pizza), Domenica (fancy but real real good), Cafe du Monde (obviously), Stacks (grilled cheeses!), Seed (the best vegan restaurant we've ever been to), Salon by Sucre (a restaurant by a dessert shop? Yes please!), Carmo (tropical veggie friendly food and fresh juices), and Cafe Fluer De Lis (breakfast central, all the benedicts). Plus breakfast and coffee quite a few times at our hotel's espresso bar, Tout La. Plus MORE coffee other cafes around town. Basically we ate like royalty and it was fantastic. And if you're like OH MY GOD THAT'S SO MUCH FOOD, keep in mind, I'm pregnant. We were there for five days. And we almost always split meals. It was all so good though. I think New Orleans wins hands down for best food on vacation.

AND I have to say, because I generally groan at the mention of attending pharmacy related events, I enjoyed this one. We got to see so many pharmacists we haven't seen in a while, and it was really nice. It was kind of like a UT reunion, even though everyone graduated in May. It was nice to see everyone and hear what they're up to. And gosh, everyone was so kind! I sometimes feel awkward and out of place at pharmacy events, but not this go round. I felt very welcomed and not so awkward. And a special shout out to everyone from the Central Texas VA that came to midyear and let me tag along to all your meals and outings. Thank you for being so nice and making me feel welcome, on this trip and otherwise. You guys are like a little family and it's so lovely. We are very lucky be a part of this program, especially at this nutzo time in our life. Pharmacists are some of the nicest people. And the weirdest. In the best way. :)

So that's it! New Orleans! Thanks for surviving the photo barrages and endless prattle from my brain. This was a really good trip. A fantastic last little vacation for the Hogans before we are a family of three. Life as we know it is quickly wrapping up! I'm a little sad, but mostly very excited. Our next vacation will be with a baby. Eeeee! Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later and smoother rather than rougher. ;)

Here's the whole New Orleans trip!

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