Who Went -Seven Texitas aged 19 to 60 hitting New Orleans for a landmark birthday. Four flying in from Houston and Austin and three road-tripping it in the Subaru.
What We brought: Great sunhats, walking sandals or booties, cool jewelry, easy dresses,skirts and shorts. The old KIKKer playmate cooler filled with wine and some snacks. A portable Bluetooth splash tune speaker.
Where we stayed: Inn on Ursuline, Marie Laveau’s old guest house from mid 1800’s. Best location and setting we have been at in a long time. Situated between Royal and Bourbon street at the quieter end of the party. Only five blocks from the local hangouts on Frenchmen street, 4-5 blocks from either the French Market or Jackson Square and a walk against the flow to everywhere else. Guesthouse walls were so thick; we did not hear our speaker from outside the door. Sweet little courtyard and Kuerig coffee machines in the rooms.
Be warned that stairs are rickety and steep for second floor rooms and we needed a designated climber to help a couple of our group up the stairs after a particularly fun night. Also no frig or microwave but we didn’t need that with the trusty playmate.
Where we grazed: NOLA is a food paradise. Clover Grill on Bourbon for hot dogs, omelettes, grits, club sandwiches at 1am on Saturday morning. Café Pontalba at Jackson Square on Saturday 11am for crab cakes Benedict and French toast with Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. Loved this place because big French doors all open to the Square on a rainy Saturday morning so we could people/dog watch, like seeing the Great Dane who relieved himself right in front of the St. Louis Cathedral with a big audience. Sleepy from breakfast, some returned to hotel while a couple of us planned next meal at the Gazebo in the French market at 1pm for shared gumbo and Greek salad with a Nola Blonde ale and a margarita. 3pm feeding at Muriels at the bar for a salad with shaved Manchego cheese and crab imperial on French bread with wine. Fiorella Café at 7p for crab bisque and unbelievable fried chicken (plus more wine) and a chance to be reacquainted with Ashley the manager and Alaura the bartender. A break in eating until 1am Sunday for a Lucky Dog on Bourbon Street. A 2am visit by
those who didn’t eat hot dogs for another early am diner breakfast at the Clover Grill. Hangover food – ribs from a grocery store on Royal between Ursuline and Esplanade early Sunday morning. Later Sunday morning racing to check out and loading our car, we met a lovely retired couple who directed us to Croissant d’Or Patisserie for a farewell breakfast.
Where we guzzled: Aside for all the locations above except for the Clover, JC’s Deli on Decatur provided a quick, cheap place to buy beer with good selection. Also tried to stop there between bars to grab a Perrier. The Magnolia Bar on Decatur for margaritas, various stands in the French market for frozen drinks including a Mocha Almond Freeze with ice cream – yum. Hotel Monteleone Carousel bar for beer, wine and Sazarac cocktails. Bombay Club at the Prince Conti Hotel where all is British and made good vodka gimlets with olives and a Kir Royale cocktail.
Where we partied: Friday night on Frenchmen street at DBA with tremendous band. Saturday night at the Golden Lantern gay bar, which was hosting a drag show and had the friendliest people we met on the trip. Most of the time, our best party experiences were on the street since one of our group was underage and couldn’t go in some of the clubs.
Where we shopped:
- Great jewelry at the open-air market on Frenchmen street next to the Spotted Cat. Fun but expensive to shop while partying. Lots of great things to purchase without too much buyer’s remorse.
- Hats on the store at the corner of the French Market where Decatur and St. Peter split.
- Fun cheaper clothes at Lindsay’s on Decatur.
- Weeping Angel pictures from the French Market
- Jewelry and ponchos from California Drawstrings
The Best Parts: Finding our Poor Dumb Bastards band friends from Houston (PDB) in town. We met up with them at the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone and shared NOLA war stories. Ended up sharing off pictures of all our respective dogs. Fur People Love – the common denominator with 90% of the people we meet
Taking a back street to Frenchmen Street and running into 12 guys dressed like Elvis (Twelvises) celebrating a divorce.
Meeting two friendly cross dressers outside the Golden Lantern and finding out about the Drag Show. Inside it was like an episode of Cheers with Jeff manning the bar and a sweetheart from Indiana helping us figure out who everyone was. All women should carry themselves like Drag Queens – the confidence and the star quality was incredible and it had nothing to do with body shape, age, or income.
Running into two second line wedding parties – the first where we practically ambushed the bride and groom leading the parade.