Hey all! It’s exciting to see the world opening up a little so we have a little more to enjoy as of late! A month or so ago we made it to the swampy spoopy land of New Orleans once again, to finish what we started haha. (Spoilers, I don’t think we’ll ever be tired of New Orleans.)
This time, we were meeting for a best friend trip (if you will). All of us were from different parts of the US which meant we were all ready for the adventure that awaited us. Luckily, for Luna and I, we were all about fitting in the things we didn’t get to do before. Although, some places were still closed down it just meant that everyone else would gather in the places that were open. Some had restrictions on masks and some did not. Restaurants were properly spaced but outside people rarely word masks (regardless of eating and drinking). Which was a big change at the airport for sure.
So this time around we spent more time digging into the music and art of New Orleans. With museum visits and live band hopping. Given, the drinks and food were expensive so make sure to have lots of spending money saved up if you’re planning on hitting up some of these locations. But it was well worth it! We even bought some jewelry and corsets! (It’s nice to make dream come true haha)
New Orleans Museum of Art
Was three floors with sculptures and paintings. One thing I enjoyed was the location inspired art section of all the paintings of an older NOLA. There were also sections of art by culture from all over the world. Which made the souvenir shop very fun to collect gifts and knick knacks to bring back home. Best part about that is you can order online as well and they update their stock so it’s up to date on what they have available and what you can get shipped to your house. It’s like bringing the museum to you!
New Orleans Jazz Museum
The Jazz museum was slightly smaller at two floors. They also shared an exhibit of old coins and machinery on the back half of the first floor. I found it interactive in the way where there was visual and audio components. Many famous instruments were stored there, having been the ones that famous jazz musicians have played, as well as some of their outfits. They also paired a lot of the musicians with paintings. I found it incredibly touching to see art inspired by other artists of a different medium. Discovering those hidden gems really made the museum unique.
Live bands on Frenchman St.
Nola is known for its fun and loud atmosphere, due to the hustle and bustle of the tourists on the street and the live bands. We were lucky enough to have one band play for us while we were eating beignets in the French quarter. But most of the music was found at night not in the French Quarter but actually on Frenchman Street. We spent many hours bar hopping as we followed bands from set to set. All the musicians are very nice and friendly to talk to. They often asked for donations, tips and drinks of course. Many of them had venmo accounts that made things a little easier in a cashless world. Many bars loosely enforced mask wearing. “If you weren’t fully vaccinated please where a mask.” Honestly, it was hard to believe that everyone in these places were telling the truth. But we kept that in mind regardless and wore our masks in the crowds if not eating or drinking even though we are both vaccinated.
When we first went to New Orleans, we were hoping to meet a vampire. Lo and behold, we did–we actually met a tour guide who was indeed, part of the vampire community (and who offered to let us meet one of the vampire prince’s of NOLA but it was our last day so it was sad). So this time we wanted to explore more vampire things. We ended up at Boutique de Vampire, a really cool hole in the wall place that had all kinds of vampire things. Stickers, shirts, quills, charms for attracting or blocking vampires. The vampiress working was extremely chill and nice. We had an excellent conversation and then she pointed us to a vampire cafe AND gave us a password to a secret location. We hit up the cafe and were met with themed drinks and a lovely atmosphere. Star ended up with some blood tea and I myself tried the cocktail menu that was based on your blood type. (Yes they had drinks for your blood type so make sure you know it). It was a great experience and I’d recommend taking a walk on the darker side if you so choose to.
We were in NOLA, so we had to go to Bourbon Street, even though we really enjoyed Frenchman for the live bands. When we were on Bourbon Street, we were mostly there to drink, dance, and enjoy the atmosphere of a busy street. One of the best places we went to was the Tropical Isle–which there are like three of them on Bourbon Street. We went to the one furthest down the street, away from the main, where we made friends with the bar tenders who were cool. They let us dj the music (kpop of course as that’s how we bonded) and did great theatrics for the Shark Attack I (Luna) ordered. Along the street we also had hurricanes, grenades, fish bowls, daquiris, and more. We didn’t spend a ton of time on Bourbon Street, but it’s definitely a night life staple to go to at least once. And there may have been a speakeasy we visited as well. It was a must but very fun.
Food, Food, Food
Since we were in NOLA for a birthday, that meant lots and lots of food. Whereas last time we ended up just eating at random places we came across, this time we hit up actual restaurants. We went to The Country Club which was a fancy place that was nestled in a neighborhood. The food was delicious and we had oysters, cheesecake, and crab beignets. If there was a clear winner on food though, it was Dooky Chase’s Restaurant. The restaurant atmosphere was so warm and welcoming. It was very open with round tables, but it was decorated in paintings everywhere and the dress code was anywhere from casual to classy (but family appropriate). Our server was friendly, and the matriarch of the family was walking around talking to tables that day. She made sure to visit with every table, and she checked in with us and had a small conversation with us. We all ordered the gumbo I think–mainly because we knew Dooky Chase’s is known for their gumbo and it was divine. I myself (Luna), never really liked gumbo growing up–until I got to experience in New Orleans. I had more gumbo on this trip than ever before and Dooky Chase’s was the BEST.
Overall, we had a great time in New Orleans again. But once again, we left and felt like we had to go back one more time. We still have a lot of things on the vampire side of life we would like to explore. Also, we lowkey ran into our tour guide again on the street. We were really happy to be able to do more touristy things this time but also create equilibrium with exploring more local spots like Frenchman. This time we did a lot of exploring–going to the parks, wandering into places that piqued our interest like outdoor swap meets, shops, and art galleries. It was a great time, and I think we’ve decided that NOLA is probably one of our favorite vacation spots. The atmosphere is welcoming and accepting, free flowing, and we always have a great time talking to people.
Star & Luna