the bean was hanging out with the ILs, who we planned to meet up with for lunch. with a little time to kill, the hub and i decided to venture out for a walk in the hot, sticky new orleans sun. we stopped in one of those tacky souvenir shops, where we found an entire wall dedicated to hot sauce.
i gotta admit, i kinda liked what they did with the antique piano.
as we strolled along, i tried to read all of the plaques and signs that adorned most of the buildings we passed. i love getting a history lesson as we sightsee.
this shop caught our eye, and we headed inside to pick up some sweets.
i'd happened to mention to the hub that i wanted to see the bourbon street bar owned by channing tatum, and since he'd walked the area while he smoked a cigar the night before, he knew exactly where to take me.
we went inside, where it was totally empty after a late night of debauchery.
i scooped up a souvenir tee, and then we headed back out. and because we were curious, we stepped inside this shop:
there was tons of freaky-deaky stuff in there, as expected, along with giant "NO PHOTOS ALLOWED" signs everywhere. i didn't want to get busted in that joint, of all places, so i obeyed. we picked up a bracelet as a souvenir for the old lady - a handmade piece from ghana that was for "protection," and i knew she'd love it.
by then, it was time for our lunch reservation. we'd chosen to dine at NOLA, one of emeril lagasse's local restaurants, and the bean and the ILs were already seated at a nice table on the second floor.
we decided to try several starters, along with their homemade rolls:
new orleans-style crab cake:
emeril's barbecued gulf shrimp:
and pork cheek boudin balls.
for my entree, i'd chosen the shrimp & grits. oh, so good.
the hub had gone with a boring cobb salad, having filled up on starters.
the bean chose the buttermilk-fried breast of chicken, served with bourbon mashed sweet potatoes and a delicious cream gravy.
knowing that we'd likely go out for some sort of treat later, we decided to skip dessert and took a ride down in the elevator towards the exit.
to burn some calories from that fantastic lunch, we decided to take a walk. first, jackson square (in the daylight this time):
we stopped to check out this vendor's wares - salvaged vintage windows from local storefronts.
a few blocks away, we stumbled across the french market.
here, she found a nice frozen treat to cool herself off a bit.
and just across the street was the venue for the annual "satchmofest," a celebration of jazz music dedicated to louis armstrong.
it looked super crowded and crazy hot, so we skipped it altogether and headed back to the hotel to relax and refresh. the hub and the bean decided to head back up to the rooftop pool, but i wasn't really feeling it. instead, i headed out to find something i'd seen when we first arrived:
a little later, we headed out to grab one last dinner in n'awlins.
the bean found herself being serenaded and did a great job of smiling appreciatively. i would have been so incredibly awkward, heh.
the hub and i both opted for a seafood boil and were appropriately garbed by our server.
i'd thought our lunch at NOLA was fabulous, but this right here was my most favorite meal of the whole trip. i can get down on some crab legs, yo.
when the ILs offered to take the bean for the night so that we could spend a little quality time together, they were met with zero protests from any of us. once she got settled, we went back outside into the nighttime heat and headed towards bourbon street again. although it looks crowded, the hub assured me that it was nothing compared to the previous night.
i love how there are so many little alleys and courtyards tucked away behind the main streets, like this:
we decided to stop at lafitte's blacksmith shop bar - built in the early 1700s, it's the oldest bar in the country. and it was once owned by pirates. cool.
the hub steered me towards the spotted cat, a live jazz club he remembered visiting when he was in the area for a work conference a few years ago. just before we got there, we stumbled upon this little very cute, hipster-y open-air market.
because we were right there, we decided to stop for a late-night snack.
another history lesson.
when we got back to our temporary home, i pulled up the health app on my phone...just out of curiosity. and look at that - counting the couple of miles i'd run on the treadmill that morning, i'd basically walked a half marathon over the course of the day.
i figure between all that walking and sweating, the macarons and beignets and rich meals were pretty much a wash. don't you think?