I don't like to brag, not that I don't ever do it, but I spent a week in New Orleans by myself. No husband, no kids.
I know, right?
My original plan was to go for a long weekend and run the Rock-n-Roll half marathon for the second year in a row. A work conference came up a few days after the race, and before I knew it, I had plans to stay the week. Here's a little glimpse at how I passed the time.
Ashley and I rode down together, and our friend, Shannon followed behind. We rolled into town around 7:00pm and immediately went to the French Quarter for some food. We had gumbo (and some of us had whiskey) at Maspero's. It was pretty tasty. Ashley headed back to our apartment and Shannon & I met up with some Memphis friends who were in town for a philosophy conference. We had drinks at Bar Tonique and then dancing at dba until the wee hours.
Saturday we slept in, then did our shake out run on the way to the convention center to get our race packets. After some expo shopping we ran over to Mother's for some po-boys and more gumbo. Then we walked back to the apartment and spent the afternoon resting. It was awesome.
For dinner we walked to the Bywater to check out Pizza Delicious. It was seriously more amazing than I could ever put in words. Yes, it's the newest, hippest place to east pizza in New Orleans, but it's is worthy of all praise. So damn yummy.
And carbo loading wouldn't be complete without a beer named after my favorite street: Nola Hopitoulas.
We took our time walking back to the apartment and I was in bed before 9:00pm! We were up at 5:00am and ready to race. We met up with our group of 30+ Star Runners at the Drury for pictures and pep talks.
I had to point out the awesomeness of Ashley's number to her.
The race itself was really great. I had some issues with it last year, but felt much more prepared this time. Ashley and I decided to run our own races and not stay together, so it was bittersweet. It's definitely more fun running with a friend, but I didn't want to hold her back. Unfortunately, not having her to push me resulted in a less than stellar time, but I was happy to have made it on my own. (Ashley killed it!)
Post race we went Uptown in search of po-boys, but ended up eating pizza again at the Midway. It was deep dish deliciousness. (Also a hot spot for families.)
Next we went back to the Bywater to visit my buddy Amy, her husband, and adorable son.
From there we went to back to the Quarter for popsicles at the Meltdown. I somehow let Ashley leave town without a popsicle last year and it wasn't going to happen twice.
Next up was dinner at Green Goddess and then to a friend's house for the Oscars. When we got home at 11:30pm, we were SPENT.
Ashley and Shannon had to leave Monday morning and I had promised Ashley beignets & coffee, so we got up extra early to go to Cafe du Monde. It really isn't crowded at 6am on a Monday if you are looking for a good time to go!
Drinking coffee at 6am was dumb because I had planned to go back to sleep when they hit the road. I watched the Walking Dead on iTunes instead. Then I met the Chockleys, one of whom happened to be in town for a donor relations conference, for lunch at Stanley.
Stanley has rockin gumbo and some really tasty po-boys. They also have homemade ice cream. YUM. Definitely another good family spot.
Steph went to her conference and Chip & I went to daydrink with the Rattons, who also came in town for the race, and then stayed late to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
My daydrinking bar of choice is Bar Tonique. They have happy hour from 12-5p! I tried a milk punch for the first time. Not bad.
We split up for afternoon resting and then they had nice fancy couples dinners. I went to Root with a friend of mine who lives in town. It was one of the craziest menus I have ever seen. My friend and I had fun with the wait staff and can now tell everyone we have eaten face bacon.
After dinner, we ran into the Rattons on the street. My friend went home for some shut eye (some people actually have to work in New Orleans!) and the Rattons and I went for a nightcap at the French 75 bar and then some more dancing at bda.
Needless to say, Tuesday was a long day! My cousins, who I was staying with, took me out to breakfast and then we went to a movie and then to pick up one of my youngest cousins from school. It was a lovely way to spend the day.
At 6:30p, I headed back to the Bywater to have dinner with Amy, John & Leo at Booty's. Booty's is new and specializes in street food. It was pretty good, but not as good as some of the other places I've been in the Bywater. After dinner we hung out at their house and got all caught up on each other's lives while (slowly) drinking tequila.
On Wednesday I moved from my cousins' apartment to the Hyatt. My friend, Colleen, took the train up and kept me company between my meetings. For dinner we went to Domenica for their most awesome happy hour--half price drinks and pizza. Yes, more pizza. This one had carrot puree and beets.
After first dinner, Coleen's sister-in-law, Tiffany, joined us for a drink at (where else?) Bar Tonique and then second dinner at Sylvain.
Thursday was all work for me, but thankfully Borgne, which is a John Besh restaurant, was in the lobby of my hotel. It's heavenly. See my Beet & crabmeat salad? Yum.
Borgne was so heavenly I went back for dinner with Colleen, Tiffany, and Colleen's brother, Andrew. Behold the fried oyster and spinach salad.
Ok, enough food. I was actually on a scouting mission for Mary's upcoming bachelorette party, so we commenced checking out fun bars. We went to the Sazerac bar in the Roosevelt, the carousel bar in the Monteleone, and then the private lounge at House of Blues.
By Friday morning I definitely felt like I had an excellent handle on the local eating and drinking scene. After the close of my seminar, Colleen and I made one last trip to Mother's, stopped in Central Grocery for to-go muffalettas for our menfolk, and had one (maybe it was two!) last popsicles at Meltdown before hitting the road home.
I'll be honest, I didn't want to leave. It's been a long time since I had that much freedom. Thankfully, the feeling passed and I was very happy to come home and see my smiling (yet oh so pungent) boys! Many thanks to Warren and my mom for holding down the fort in my absence!