We survived The Crescent City, although it wasn’t because of lack of effort on our part. New Orleans, you win again. So we initially wanted to head down for Mardi Gras, but because of new jobs, it was delayed until French Quarter Fest; although we spent more time exploring, as well as punishing our livers and waistlines, than enjoying all the local music. There was just so much to see and do, as well as eat and drink, that within the 3 days we were actually there, we tried to fit in as much as possible. We definitely did that and then some. Since we didn’t check in to the hotel until midnight Friday, we pretty much hit the ground running. A quick drop of the bags and we were off to Dat Dog, and things escalated quickly. After a fill of amazing dogs, we made it to Decatur St. for Molly’s and The Abbey Bar. That’s one of the great things about New Orleans, you feel welcome all the time and not treated as a tourist, especially in some of the great dive bars the city has to offer. Plus I was nicknamed baby bear by the bartender at The Abbey; long story. Anyways, walking into Molly’s once again, I felt like I had just been there, despite it being almost 2 years ago. After having a few beverages, it seemed like a logical decision to go to Café Du Monde at 5 AM. Hey, there are no lines and we were able to sit inside. Try going there at 10 AM; you’re waiting in line with the rest of the tourists. The next morning we were off to Willa Jean for brunch. A short walk from the hotel, it’s an amazing space with great food, and even better people. Plus they have a frosé; a frozen rosé. Enough said. But you gotta love a place that hands out complimentary mimosas while you wait. I love this city. After brunch it was off to Jackson Square for more beverages, music, and family time, followed by 3 for 1 beers and Pat O’Brien’s. Life’s a marathon, not a sprint right? We eventually stumbled down to the river for some festival time. We really were lucky how perfect the weather was the entire trip. It was sunny and in the 70’s every day; absolutely stunning. After a short stop to refresh at the hotel, it was on again. Now it was to the new Ace Hotel and Josephine Estelle for beverages and a few snacks. We opted for the fried cheese, Parmesan soufflé, and asparagus with a fried egg. Great cocktails, good food, and a beautiful bar; quintessential New Orleans. And this is still the first day! My feet and liver hurt just thinking we have 2 more days of this. And so many to-go drinks; frozen mango daiquiris, frozen Irish coffee from Molly’s, etc. Still no hand grenades though! Everyone always says they need a vacation from their vacation. I truly needed one though. By the time Monday got here, I felt like death. I knew going in were gonna go at it hard, and trust me, we did. Staying up until 5 in the morning eating and drinking terribly, as well as walking all over the city, it eventually catches up to you. But the next day you get up, shower off the dirt of the city, and hit repeat; then begin with a to-go frosé and a sticky bun from Willa Jean. It’s New Orleans, you rally. Have I mentioned how much a love Nola? There were plenty of other highlights of trip though; lunch at the timeless Commander’s Palace with the .25 cent martinis (limit of 3 by the way), dozens of oysters at Acme, late nights at the Erin Rose, bottomless dranks at Cane and Table, the lamb burger from The Company Burger, relaxing at The Palace Café, great music at The Maple Leaf, and strolling along Magazine Street. Man, I had such a great time. I didn’t want it to end. We did so much in such a short time, but there was still so much more we wanted to do. We almost need a solid 2 weeks just to explore the whole city, rather than just The French Quarter. I need a lot more money, more time off, and a possible liver transplant to do it all. Oh well, at least I have Mardi Gras to look forward to next year. Lord help me. Cheers foodies!