Today’s my birthday. I’m not a huge fan of spending my birthday at home because then I just end up cooking and cleaning and doing all the normal mom things I do every single day. I like to spend my birthday being spoiled and doing nothing more difficult than decided what to order at a restaurant. So when Mister announced that he had to go to New Orleans this week for business and asked if I wanted to come along and be there for my birthday, I only had to think about it for about three seconds. I had never been to New Orleans and was super excited to go.
Since Mister had to bring a ton of his video equipment it made more sense to drive. It’s only eight hours from Austin which is not a huge deal. I love to research stuff online so I found us a great Bed & Breakfast. It is so cute and the hosts couldn’t be sweeter. And the chef who makes breakfast is phenomenal. The name of the place is Maison de Macarty and while it’s a bit far from the French Quarter, that’s not a problem if you have a car. We stayed in the former coach house out back and it was delightful.
I have heard almost universally about how gross and dirty New Orleans is, and how nobody really likes it. I have no idea what these people are talking about because I love this place. The architecture is delightful and it makes me want a brightly painted house with shutters in the worst way.
There is such a sense of pride and history in New Orleans. If you think Texans love where they live, you’ve never met a New Orleanian. They’re crazy about their city. I’ve already been on two walking tours that were both fascinating (Tastebud Tours features a great eating tour, and I really loved the historical tour by Bill at Monde Creole.) Culturally, not many cities in America can compare. I mean, Jazz was invented here! If you’re a history buff New Orleans is the best. The Presbytery Museum (on the right side of St. Louis Cathedral) has really fascinating exhibits about Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras. The Cabildo Museum (on the left side of the cathedral) features the history of Louisiana and New Orleans. Lately Ada and I have been reading the American Girl books about Marie-Grace and Cécile who lived in New Orleans in the 1850′s and those stories actually got me kind of primed for a visit.
I’ll admit that there are a lot of tacky bars and souvenir shops in the French Quarter but there are also endless rows of lovely houses, quaint courtyards and cute little museums tucked away. Bourbon street gets packed with drunk people every night and the it and urine are hosed down each morning. We stayed away from The Quarter after dark so we never saw the debauchery. We have spent our evenings at nice restaurants located in the more charming neighborhoods of New Orleans. Last night we ate a place called Coquette and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life.
Mister had to work the first two days that we were here so I wandered around by myself and not once did I feel unsafe. The humidity has made my hair look hideous but that’s about the worst that I can say about this place. If you have a chance to visit New Orleans you should certainly jump at the chance.