Happy Wednesday, everyone! The weather is still kind of…unpleasant over here, and as we slowly climb out of this winter funk, I’ve been getting the itch to travel. I’ve been thinking about past trips, and I realized I never shared stories/pictures from our New Orleans Road Trip!
I met Alison when I was a freshmen in college and she was a junior, and we quickly became friends. She graduated in 2007 and went off to New Orleans to get her PhD/MD at Tulane, but we still stayed close all these years. She has been the best travel buddy, and we’ve seen each other through a whole heap of boy drama. I was so happy that she found The One, and I couldn’t wait to celebrate with them in New Orleans!
They chose a New Orleans wedding for obvious reasons–they both live there, and Alison really wanted a Nola wedding. We were so excited to take the trip down south. We had some sort of brain aneurysm and decided we would road trip it up (with a toddler!), but luckily my parents drove with us to help with Aida. Alison is also friends with my oldest brother, so that was really nice to see him and his family that weekend as well.
Road tripping with a toddler is no joke. We kept plenty of snacks, toys, coloring books, and even broke down a bought a Kindle Fire so she could watch her two favorite movies–Trolls and Sing. It was a huge help to have my parents with us, because that meant two extra people to keep her entertained in the car and to run around with her whenever we stopped for a break.
We arrived around 8pm Thursday night, and we were all exhausted. Most of the wedding party and guests were staying at Columns, a beautiful house that was converted to a bar/hotel/restaurant.
We quickly unloaded and unpacked everything, and somehow we managed to get Aida down for bed without too much difficulty. I was a little uncertain about what we would do when Aida was asleep (since we were all in the same room), but luckily there was a landing on our floor with a sitting area. I sat there, relaxed with some wine and crawfish mac and cheese, and kept an eye on the monitor. As our reward for surviving the second leg of our trip, we treated ourselves to some bread pudding.
The next day we went out and did some exploring! I was so excited to show my parents around Nola, since they had never been there before. We took the streetcar downtown (another stressful endeavor with a toddler), and walked around the french quarter. Matt treated my mom to a frozen beverage, and she thought it was so funny that she could walk around and have a cocktail! We hit up the aquarium first, and Aida loved running around and seeing all the fish and other animals.
After the aquarium, we walked around Jackson Square. We’re catholic, so I knew my parents would want to go in and have a look around St. Louis Cathedral, which is really a beautiful building to check out, no matter your religion.
At that point, we had to hustle and get some lunch, because I wanted to get Aida back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. We stopped at Palace Cafe to eat, which is another New Orleans favorite of mine. My dad got the Bananas Foster for dessert, and he was one happy camper, and I got a fried green tomato with my meal, so I was one happy camper.
Once again, by some miracle we managed to get Aida to settle down and sleep for her nap. Matt hung out at the hotel and I went with my brother and his family to the rehearsal. We ended up arriving at the very end of the rehearsal, due to some transportation mishaps that I do not wish to relive. Needless to say, it was an exhausting afternoon walking around in the heat and humidity, so I was ready for a quick shower and a strong beverage.
The rehearsal dinner was at Columns, which was very convenient for us. I had hoped to have Aida join us for a little bit, but it was just too overwhelming for her–there were people everywhere, it was extremely loud, and to add to the noise and confusion, there was an actual Scottish bagpipe player going to town on some tunes (Alison’s dad is scottish). My parents took her and my niece and nephew upstairs to our rooms, and I think they had more fun playing with each other and with Pop Pop (who of course breaks all the rules and lets them stay up past their bedtime).
And that’s where I’ll end it, friends! I’ll pick it up next week with part two of our adventure.