Earlier this month I traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana with ten other awesome ladies to celebrate a 30th birthday. Most of our group traveled in from here in Nashville but a few others flew in from out of state.

We all traveled in on a Thursday. Me and one other lady drove up on a Thursday afternoon. The 8-hour drive surprisingly went rather quickly. Of course a stop at Whataburger was made as we passed through Alabama.

We arrived in to New Orleans around 10p that Thursday evening and were greeted by goodie bags on our beds from the birthday girl. The bags were filled with everything we needed to survive the weekend: Sunglasses (with our nicknames),a silicone wine glass, candy, a mosquito repellent band, Emergen-C, Liquid-Iv and glow stick bracelets. After spending the evening chatting and settling in we turned in for the night before our first full day of NOLA exploring.

Friday we started our day off the most touristy way possible with breakfast at Cafe Du Monde – nothing says healthy breakfast like fluffy dough covered in powdered sugar, right? However, it was so worth it! If you have never been to New Orleans you must go and try them. I promise!

After breakfast, we decided to walk off all the calories we ate and walk around the French Quarter. We stopped in to a few places to window shop and few stopped to get drinks here or there. The best place to get a drink for the value is Fat Tuesdays. Buy a refillable cup (which also makes a great/cheap souvenir to take home) and then return to any of the Fat Tuesday locations around downtown and get a refill (it’s only $10!). I mixed their Pina Colada and Strawberry Daquiri (aka Miami Vice).

After more walking and window shopping, we stopped in to a shop to make our own voo doo dolls. It was actually quite an interesting experience. I was under the impression that voo doo dolls were intended for bad, when actually there are ways to make them for good. We had to name them and were able to decorate them however we wanted. After they were all decorated they were “awakened” by a certified voo doo doll maker in the shop, they were “fed” – which is adding an oil to them – and we were instructed to “feed” them once a month by adding a drop of our perfume. We also filled the dolls with things that we were hopeful for like love, money and success – here’s to hoping for the best! It was actually a fun experience, but am I believer in the whole thing? I’m not quite sure…yet.

At this point we were exhausted from walking around all day in the heat that we decided to head back to our airbnb and take a nap. Before heading out that night we stopped at a place called, Deanie’s, which was a recommendation from our Uber driver. It did not disappoint! I don’t think we had a bad meal the entire time we were there. I ordered a shrimp basket and there was more than enough for me. Also, I loved the fact that instead of a basket of bread as an app they bring your table a bowl of mini potatoes that have a bit of a spice to them – they were fantastic! We also finished off our meal with their Gold Brick Sunday which was absolutely delicious. Our server, Kiki, was very kind and I could not recommend her enough.

We had plans to hit up Bourbon Street that evening after dinner for a few more drinks and…entertainment. We had shirts made to celebrate the birthday on Bourbon done up in the birthday girls favorite colors of course. Since I am not a big drinker or fan of going to bars I much prefer Bourbon Street during the day. However, I do recommend you to check it out at night if you have never been. Even though we were long past the Mardi Gras celebration their was no shortage of bead throwing and mask wearing. The birthday girl had a great time and that’s all that mattered.

Nola_bourbonst

After we arrived back to our airbnb, we decorated the basement for the girls night in party we were going to have the next night.

Saturday morning we slept in a little bit and made breakfast at the house – eggs, bacon, sausage, and cinnamon rolls. After getting ready a few of us split off to take a tour of a cemetery and learn all about their burial process. This may sound a bit morbid, but it is actually quite interesting because it is different than a normal burial. There is so much history that comes from the wonderful city of New Orleans – some of it creepier than others. I was in the group that took the cemetery tour, the others had split off to go do some shopping at a local mall. After our tour, and another great lunch at Joey K’s, we took the train to the mall. The train was actually the best, most-cost effective way to get around the city. Download their metro app and purchase a transit ticket – it works for both their train and bus system. Just keep in mind their train does NOT have air conditioning and it gets very hot in NOLA.

After doing some shopping we headed back to the house to have a girls night in celebration for the birthday girl’s dirty thirty – which was Friends (tv show) themed. We all had shirts from the show, drank a little bit (or a lot in some cases), played cards against humanity, ate cake, had some amazing pizza from Reginelli’s (they had cauliflower crust – which made me so excited!), it was some of the best pizza I have had! In addition to taking jello shots and jamming to some Lizzo (who was actually in town when we were! Sad to miss her!).

It was the perfect ending to a perfect (yet super hot!) weekend.

Sunday, we woke up and cleaned up our messes, packed our bags, loaded up the cars and made our way over to Ruby Slipper for some brunch before heading home. I know I have already mentioned this but we did not have a bad meal in NOLA. NOLA knows what’s up when it comes to food that is for sure. I had the cinnamon roll pancakes with bacon and scrambled eggs. Although they were delicious, I could not finish them. I definitely recommend you stop in there if you visit, there will probably be a wait but it is worth it!

After having brunch we said our goodbyes and various groups headed home in their different ways. I stopped through Kentwood, Louisiana on the way home, the hometown of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears! I am a fan of both and have actually been through Kentwood one other time prior to this trip. I took a couple photos by the “Welcome to Kentwood/Home of Britney Spears” sign and even got to see her beautiful home (driving past from the road of course). I will always keep my fingers crossed that one day I will get to meet Brit.

NOLA is a wonderful city and I am looking forward to my next trip back whenever that may be. The only thing we did not do that I can recommend to do is take a haunted walking tour of the French Quarter. I did this on a trip I took to NOLA a few years prior and I loved it! We may not have experienced anything but learning the creepy side to NOLA was a thrill! We also did a cajun airboat tour through the swampy bayou side to see some alligators. The lower 9th ward is still fairly abandoned as well from Hurricane Katrina. If you drive through the area you will find homes that areabandoned or marked up from search and rescue efforts.

I can’t recommend a trip to NOLA enough, and four days was plenty of time for us girls to explore and enjoy the weekend.