If you didn’t already know, the Boyfriend and I went on a long weekend trip to New Orleans. I wasn’t able to fit everything we saw and did into one post, so if you missed it, check out Part 1 to find out what happened on Friday night and Saturday.
We woke up a bit earlyish after crashing Saturday evening, so we decided Sunday had to be the day we fit in as much as possible before leaving after breakfast on Monday. However, we also chose to do whatever we wanted when we wanted, with only a couple exceptions. When we weren’t shopping or eating, we were stopping at locations that I wrote about in my Vampire Tour of New Orleans post.
First, we went out to find breakfast. Since Café du Monde is ridiculously crowded during the day, especially in the morning, we headed out to another cafe that supposedly had excellent beignets, Cafe Beignet. There was a long line there as well, but not nearly as bad as at Café du Monde.
While we waited, I happened to see a display of poison rings in the window of a jewelry store. If you know anything about French history, poison rings, also known as pillbox rings or funeral rings, were popular during the 16th and 17th centuries. They were used to kill unsuspecting victims for a variety of reasons, usually political, as well as to hold keepsakes, especially for loved ones who passed away. My first thought was of a certain scene in Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon involving the apothecary. I knew I had to have one for myself, so I stepped into the store while the Boyfriend stayed in line.
After that, we got through the line and were lucky enough to get a table so we could eat all the food we ordered. If you’re ever in the French Quarter, and you have a craving for beignets or a crawfish omelet, you can’t go wrong with Cafe Beignet.
With our breakfast eaten, we decided it was time to shop. We went into every store we thought looked interesting as we wandered around, including Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. The Boyfriend wanted to find a decent book on Voodoo for something he’s writing, and I was a bit curious. My curiosity turned into a feeling of foreboding once we got further into the store, and I became even more uncomfortable the longer we were in there. Then the Boyfriend pointed out that I was standing directly beneath a hand carved wooden Ouija board. Normally I’m not superstitious or put much stock in potions, spells, and other things like that. I do believe in magic but only within the confines of the fictional worlds I read about in my books. However, that store was legit. It wasn’t anything like the touristy wannabe Voodoo store we saw later. While not everything made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, all I wanted to do was buy the tarot cards I found and get out of there.
We decided to head back to the hotel to give our feet a break, so we stopped at the Central Grocery to pick up a muffuletta on the way. While eating it, I discovered that I had never had Italian bread that was made correctly before. I can now say that real Italian bread rivals French bread, and I want to learn how to make it.
Once we had eaten our lunch and cooled off, we headed out again, but this time to the French Market. Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed with the wares. It was like every other flea market I’ve been to and full of cheaply made goods from China. The food section, however, was excellent. We took a short break to sit down and drink the fruit smoothies we bought at the Organic Banana and then we finally found jars of Mayhaw Jelly at French Market Produce (we had been looking everywhere).
From there, we went looking for a shop that sold socks because, by that point, I had a spot on my ankle that had been rubbed raw by my shoes. When I packed for the trip, I remembered to pack my running shoes in case my other shoes didn’t cut it, but I forgot to pack the right socks to wear with them. Of course, I switched to my running shoes almost immediately after getting to New Orleans. When I realized my mistake, the Boyfriend sweetly gave me the spare pair of socks he packed, but I wore those on Saturday. I thought I’d be ok with the little “footies” I packed, but I was wrong.
We hadn’t planned on eating dinner so early, but shortly after we found my new socks, we came across a little restaurant called Cafe Amelie. We remembered that Cafe Amelie had been one of the listings when we searched for places that had shrimp and grits. We were starting to get tired, so we thought it must be fate. We chose to sit outside in their little courtyard. Well, the weather suddenly changed and it began to rain. The wait staff quickly set up large table umbrellas, but even then, we found ourselves getting very cozy with the two couples at the table next to us. They were in New Orleans for Southern Decadence, and I think chatting and laughing while helping keep all of us and our food out of the downpour turned a potential disaster into a hilariously good time.
After the rain had stopped and we were full of yummy food, we waddled back to the hotel. We decided to rest for the remainder of our last evening so we could get up early on Monday. Also, the Boyfriend surprised me with a 20th anniversary limited autographed edition of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I don’t know where or how he managed to find it, considering the 20th anniversary was 19 years ago, and it’s never been opened, but he once again gets the Best Boyfriend Ever award.
We decided to go to the other cafe that had been recommended by the hotel desk clerk, Cafe Envie. We quickly figured out that Cafe Envie is where the locals go. We definitely stuck out as we stood there staring at the menu trying to decide what to order. While I was eating one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in my life, I overheard customer after customer get asked something along the lines of, “The usual, [insert name here]?” I have yet to find a cafe like Cafe Envie in Austin.
While our trip to New Orleans wasn’t perfect, it’s one I’ll never forget, and I will go back again one of these days. There’s still so much to see and do, and I wish we had had a week.