NOLA Oh NOLA

New Orleans, Louisiana

Can I be honest here? As a new blogger I feel like I owe so much to you and I failed. I didn't visit City Park, Frenchmen Street or take beautiful photos of the amazingly colorful buildings. Hence why this blog has taken me a week to post. I feel like I need to do a revisit and try again but it would in turn erase all of the great things I did get a chance to experience.

The thought of traveling to New Orleans emerged after viewing the popular film "Girls Trip" and the desire to attend Essence Festival. Late last summer, my mom and her friends made the decision to embark on the ultimate girls trip to NOLA. The excitement rubbed off on me and I contacted my own friends and they were just as excited to go. We found a hotel with one room left to spare and booked it immediately; thank goodness it was actually a nice hotel. 

Where did we stay?

Photo courtesy of lepavillon.com

Photo courtesy of lepavillon.com

We stayed at the Le Pavillon Hotel on Poydras Street, a hotel located in the Central Business District aka where everything is in walking distance. This hotel was easy to fall in love with, the lobby was filled with rich art and antique furnishings - it really made you feel like you took a step back in time. My absolute favorite part (and everyone else's) was that at every night at 10pm the hotel serves complimentary peanut butter and jelly sandwiches alongside milk and hot cocoa. The hot cocoa was the absolute best I've ever tasted and I contemplated on asking for the recipe multiple times! There is a beautiful story that goes along why the hotel serves this nightly treat however I won't share just in case you ever make your way there (no spoiler alerts here). 

Photo courtesy of lepavillon.com

Photo courtesy of lepavillon.com

What did we do? 

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Well for starters the gang and I attended Essence Fest 2 of the 3 festival days. It was definitely an experience, to see Black women unite and come together to enjoy one another, brands, food, drinks and music was truly a beautiful sight to see. I also learned that crowds may or may not be my thing but I enjoyed myself nonetheless. The workshops and meet + greets with celebs were super cool and the Essence Festival app was truly a lifesaver! 

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When we weren't at the Convention Center we toured the streets of New Orleans and really took in the beauty of the city. I found myself quite talkative on the many short lived Lyft rides as I yearned to know more about their lives. It was alarming to realize just how much Hurricane Katrina devastated their lives. In conversation the topic would just come up so regularly and they would explain how it affected every thing that made them well them. It was humbling to see how far they have come and how much I take for granted on a day to day basis. Rarely do I sit and think about what I would do if everything was to be destroyed. 

For the night life my girlfriends and I landed on the infamous Bourbon Street every night, I must admit I had fun listening to the different styles of music all while sipping on mango daiquiris.  

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Where did we eat? 

It's no surprise that New Orleans isn't short of great food. Going,I had in mind that I wanted to try the local favorites like gumbo and jambalaya, both did not disappoint. If you're going to NOLA anytime soon I highly suggest visiting these spots below! They were great!  

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Neyow's is a cafe that draws a lot of celebrity attention, along the walls when you first walk in you'll find a gallery of famous faces. Once our food arrived we knew exactly why. The flavor of the food was impactful, across our table you could find rice and beans, chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, pork chops and more! If you do decide to head over here prepare for a wait its a popular spot! 

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On July 6th, my mommy's birthday :) we opted to dine at a more upscale restaurant and The Chop house is did not disappoint! The food and wine was simply outstanding. The ambiance was filled with a live piano player who also double as an amazing singer. This night was so special and the staff was impeccable (Hey Brandon!). This is a top choice and if I ever return to NOLA I'm stopping here first. 

Photo courtesy of chophousenola.com 

Photo courtesy of chophousenola.com 

The last eatery I can't go without mentioning is Cafe Du Monde. We visited the location inside Riverwalk Mall right along the Mississippi River. Here we indulged in the most amazing beignets. It was my first time ever having one and let's just say my love for fancy donuts went up a few notches. 

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Ultimate travel hack

Photo courtesy of thecontainerstore.com

Photo courtesy of thecontainerstore.com

I may be totally late to the party however before taking this trip I went to one of my favorite stores The Container Store and picked up a fine mesh intimates bag. This little bag came in so handy and made unpacking a breeze. Its a discreet bag that you toss your dirty clothes in. I loved it so much that I want to share it with YOU! Details on how to win this bag coming soon!