We woke up and were pretty tired from staying out later than usual, but we made it out and about and decided to check out the French Market!
A beautiful statue of Joan of Arc, a gift from France to New Orleans.
It was SO cold and windy this day... and Kyle forgot to pack a jacket... so it was a little rough. But we made it out to the Market and walked around a bit looking at the different vendors.
It was interesting, I guess I expected it to be a little more authentic (like the AMAZING market in Saint John!, here), but a lot of it was folding tables with vendors selling run of the mill jewelry, t-shirts etc. This was certainly not the case for everyone! We went ahead and grabbed three mardi gras masks for souvenirs at the tables and then headed back to the start of the market.
We were cold and pretty hungry, so we decided to try out one of the vendors for some lunch. We stopped at a place called 'Mother Nature's Cupboard' and placed our order for a Buffalo Shrimp Po'boy, a Crab Cake Sandwich and a basket of their Apple Beignets(!). :) The service was good, the beignets (which were ready first) were AMAZING! We decided that they were our second favorite! The Shrimp Po' Boy Kyle liked a lot, I am not a fan of bleu cheese... so I would have liked it better in a different style. My crab cake sandwich was also pretty good, the middle was not as 'done' as I would have liked. But the greens and tomatoes were super fresh and everything but the very middle was tasty! Overall it was a good lunch with excellent beignets for a reasonable price.
We then went back up to some of the more unique vendors. I purchased more souvenirs for myself and for friends and family. I found a nice water color of Jackson Square, some pearl jewelry for myself and for upcoming birthdays/holidays and hot sauce for my dad.
My favorite booth was this little table that sold gorgeous handmade headbands & 'fascinators' (inbetween a hat and a headband) . It is called Bedford Falls Headwear.They were all covered in flowers or sparkles or feathers (if not all three!). I had such a hard time choosing that I actually had to eat lunch before I picked... but I ended up with this GORGEOUS number! I think it's super fun and not too crazy to wear on a regular basis... but nothing like you could purchase at a store. So unique and gorgeous.The woman at the booth was really sweet and helpful. She even gave me a bunch of free post cards since she was out of business cards! :) The lady who was there when I made my purchase was also very sweet. What do you guys think of this lovely headband?!?!
After we were done at the market we headed back out to the quarter through Latrobe Park, which was gorgeous and unexpected! Very small, but really pretty!
We visited some touristy shops on the way back to the hotel and picked up things like pralines (They call them Prah-Leens in LA, but here we call them Pray-Leens anyone else want to weigh in on this? haha), a cookbook for me, a LA spoon for KC etc.
When we reached the hotel we unloaded our packages and took the car out to the garden district to a bookshop called Maple Street Book Shop. It is a book shop that has been around since 1965 and is housed in two cute little houses (one for new and one for used books). The used book building was being remodeled, so we just visited the 'new' one which contained a little of each.
As soon as I walked in, I loved the place. So many windows, books and other amazing things to look at! I spent some time in the Children's room and then perused the young adult and adult rooms. The prices (for used books) was not the cheapest (but then again I typically get mine at Goodwill and Library Booksales!) but I ended up with four books to add to my collection! :)
After that we drove out to City Park and since it was chilly and dinner time we decided to get dinner and beignets at Morning Call Coffee Stand (a beignet recommendation from the women at the gallery from Post #2). It was very fun and cute, it's been open since the late 1800's! The waiters are all dressed up in uniform and fun hats. Ours was very nice, but reminded me of a sort of big city, fast talking guy that you would see in an old movie. So funny.
I ordered gumbo, KC ordered an alligator sausage and then we shared a basket of beignets and a cafe au lait (we never drink hot coffee... but it was chilly and we wanted to try it!)
Sadly, I am not a gumbo fan. I guess, or perhaps I am not a fan of this particular type of gumbo. It was very fishy for me, but I am glad that I tried it. KC's alligator sausage was tasty. It essentially tasted like a regular sausage with a little more heat to it.
Our beignets came without powdered sugar, because you have an entire shaker full on your table. So we proceeded to shake, shake, shake until they were perfectly covered and then dip them in our cafe au lait, which had also been recommended as something to shake powdered sugar into! :) It was tasty, but it didn't take the lead from Cafe Beignet.
Eating beignets is a messy process... especially when you sprinkle your own powdered sugar... and add coffee. But I think, if it's not messy... you probably aren't doing it right! ;)
After dinner we went back to the hotel and rested for a bit. I caught up on some travel journal entries & post card writing before we headed back out to the Quarter.
We decided to visit The Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street for drinks. I had heard about the carousel bar while doing online research before the trip and knew that I had to go. It's exactly like it sounds, a bar that is also a carousel. It spins very slowly as you enjoy your drinks (one rotation every 15 minutes). The carousel is very ornate and gorgeous, not necessarily bright and whimsical like the ones you find in parks etc. The whole lounge is very luxurious and old fashioned looking. The walls are deep green and there are portraits of flappers on the walls. It's a really lovely atmosphere.
We took a table near the bar, ordered our drinks and were sitting at the bar before our drinks were delivered! :) It was really fun. I ordered a Pimm's Cup, because I really like Pimm's but have never had one out. It was really good. I ended up ordering a second one and Kyle tried the Sazerac (a New Orleans-y drink, that is pretty purely alcohol and super strong.) My second Pimm's Cup had strawberries in it, so it was even better and KC enjoyed his Sazerac.
It was fun to enjoy a fancy bar scene; one because the bar and lounge were so beautiful and old fashioned, but two just because we typically don't go out to bars, and on the off chance we do, they aren't nearly so beautiful. We didn't mind paying a little more than we usually would for the experience. (can you spot our reflections in the mirror below?)
After we finished our drinks we walked back to our hotel and called it a night, since we knew we would be leaving around lunch time the next day.
Have you ever done anything out-of-the-ordinary on a trip?
I would love to hear your story and how it went below! :)