North America,  Travel

A Mental Health Break in New Orleans Pt. 2

Our first day in New Orleans honestly felt like 3. From having woken up at 5 in the morning, driving 600 miles, and then staying up until midnight – you could say we were pretty exhausted.

On our next day out, David walked and I mildly limped (thanks blisters) to our next food stop – a brunch place with vegetarian food and cheap mimosas. What better way to start our weekend in NOLA than with day drinking.

Goals & Garbage - A skeleton in New Orleans

While consuming said sparkly beverages, we reviewed our game plan for the day – check out French Quarter Fest, EAT MORE, and see a drag show – because I recognized one of the performers from St. Louis.

After eating way, way too much potato rancheros, and washing it all down with mimosa, we began our trek to the festival.

As we wandered on, we got caught in the French Quarter once again and began milling in and out of shops. We popped into a hot sauce shop where David bought Obama-themed habanero, found ourselves at Pat O’Briens getting authentic (& far too strong) hurricanes, and perused a shop selling skull-centric household items.

I wanted to buy everything and then bought nothing.

Goals & Garbage - Hot sauce in New Orleans

We heard the festival before we saw it as we got further into the French Quarter. We walked past tarot readers and I remembered how, last year when we visited, we paid someone to read our fortune. She told us we were very fertile and would have athletic children. Naturally, this scared the shit out of me. I am not ready to be a soccer mom.

French Quarter Festival was fine, though we were getting sleepy from our hurricanes. It was a bit overcrowded and storm clouds were beginning to roll in. We sat on a bench, along with a bunch of other tired people, slurping our drinks. One couple bought a King Cake inspired bread pudding but didn’t like it, so they handed it off to us.


Goals & Garbage - King cake bread pudding in New Orleans

After realizing we couldn’t get into the festival mood, we began our walk back to the Airbnb for some more coffee (and maybe a nap?). As we walked, it finally hit me that the reason for the excess of empty lots in all of the neighborhoods was because they were damaged houses torn down post-Katrina. Somewhat coincidentally, we rounded one corner and saw a tribute had been put up in a park.

At the Airbnb, I consumed some heavily creamer-ed coffee, and we watched a couple episodes of It’s Always Sunny to rejuvenate. When it began to get dark, we made our way back out into town.

We had some time to kill before the drag show, so we walked in and out of art shops along the way. I found a holographic card of Jesus herding dinosaurs and definitely dropped $10.00 on it.

We then stopped by a dive bar serving vegan food (is there anything better?). We ordered some loaded tater-tots and washed them down with beer. I realized at this point that I would probably need to run 100 miles when I got home to shed all of the calories we were consuming.

To be sure we were really fatties though, we then walked to Cafe Du Monde. Last year, we’d attempted to order beignets but it was just too busy. Now that it was 11 pm though, we were able to sneak in and finally try New Orlean’s tried and true treat. It was everything I could have dreamed of. They were so much better than any of the other spots we’d tried, including Morning Call and Cafe Beignet.

We sat close together on a bench and ate the little fluffy clouds while laughing. It was perfect.

Goals & Garbage - the author and her boyfriend

It was then time for the drag show. Everything after this point becomes a blur, not because I drank too much, but because of the events that unfolded. I am not quite sure what happened, but things with a drunk heckler got far too out of control – he got up on stage and proceeded to remove his clothing. Every. Article. My midwestern innocence forever scarred, we and a few other couples fled the club to get away from the sweaty nakedness.


The most New Mexico thing to have happened to me was when I slipped and fell into a cactus. I think this situation now serves as the most New Orleans thing to have happened to me.

Goals & Garbage - Skeletons in New Orleans

The next day, severe thunderstorms hit and we ended holed up inside. Much of the morning was spent watching more It’s Always Sunny and worrying about the rental car getting hail damage. At one point we fled to a vegan brunch spot, where David got fake chicken and waffles from Seed. They were so good – I have attempted to emulate them twice at home.

Later that night we went to a concert. David’s favorite band, Circa Survive, was playing and we happened to be there at the same time which was a lucky coincidence.

Sunday morning, we awoke, grabbed more beignets (of course), and were off. Back to Mississippi gas-stops and Taco Bell. Back to Missouri-land. Back to the cold – it was even snowing when we returned the rental car.

(As I write this now, spring finally (briefly) hit and now it’s basically summer. Guess all my initial complaining paid off!)

Until next time, NOLA…


Getting there: We rented a car – flights would have cost us double!
Staying there: We stayed in an Airbnb room, rather than an “entire place”. I try to do this as I feel Airbnb’s model for “entire place”‘s can be unethical.
Wearing there: I got that black dress on Amazon and it is honest to god my fave. So flowy, so comfy. I wear it everywhere now, just ask David. If you do buy it though, size down!
Shooting there: Images are all captured on my Nikon D750 with my 35mm lens.
Etc., etc.: Don’t be a creepy, rude, asshole heckler.

Note: Nothing in this blog post was sponsored and all thoughts are my own. Post contains affiliate links – click on them and do your Amazon shopping to support me! 

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