Baecation: A NOLA Tale

So.

This year has been pretty dreadful. I spent a good half of the year complaining about the organization I moved to a whole new city to work for. I was stressed, underpaid, and overworked. I worked with a white woman who wanted to identify as a woman of color and cried because “I didn’t love her.” Y’all. Y’all. Then Prince died? Y’all. This year.

Anyway, I live something like 700 miles away from my partner and after feeling stifled in our respective spots for a while, we decided that it was time for a baecation: a baecation in New Orleans, to be exact. He’s super in love with the south, I love bounce music and poppin’ it in the streets, and we both love good food so it was an ideal location for the both of us. Deciding on a location was one thing, but planning it was a whole ‘nother almost impossible feat for me. Planning and saving for a decent vacation while living on 900 dollars a month was a mess but I’ll spare folks the ugly details.

Fast forward a few months and I’m seeing my partner for the first time in four months and stepping off the plane in the beautiful city of New Orleans. Lets get into it.

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Me trying to give you Lemonade in the French Quarter. 

Day 1: Dru & I stayed in this dope spot in the Marigny, not too far from the French Quarter but far enough that drunk tourists don’t work our last nerves after hours. We’re actually a few blocks from Frenchman street, which I’ll discover I enjoy a lot more than the Quarter, but I’ll get into that a little later. I was in pursuit of an amazing Shrimp Po’ Boy so we land at Erin Rose in the French Quarter. I was thrown off: the sandwich was good, but it was the equivalent of a Columbus’ed Po’ Boy. A Po’ Boy with grilled shrimp and cucumber? Madness. We both dip out, try hand grenades and to be honest, everything is a blur after that but from the bits and pieces I do remember, 1. I fell in love with our Uber driver and her NOLA accent 2. I left my phone in her Uber 3. There were some questionable videos found on my camera 4. I got a craving for mozzarella sticks after not having them for a year so we spent 20 dollars having them delivered. Po’ Boys and Po’ Decisions.

Day 2: Our second day was a trainwreck set to the background of a New Orleans rainstorm. Our first stop of the morning was to Fleur De Lis, a delicious breakfast spot in the French Quarter. I got a standard bacon, eggs, hashbrown breakfast but everything was cooked to perfection. Druwop got shrimp and grits and his shrimp had a lemon marinade and had me salivating over a meal that wasn’t even mine. We hoped to visit a Black-owned bookstore in the area, but it was closed for the summer. We then walked around Jackson Square for a little bit, checking out lots of really great Black local art that was unfortunately housed in white-owned shops. The rain picked up so we chilled in a coffee shop and I got to listen to a woman greet her customers with that New Orleans “baby” for an hour. It’s the little blessings, truly. For dinner, we had our hearts set on Deanie’s but that hour-long wait was not the wave so we made our way over to Red Fish. We should have known better. Dru ordered a red snapper plate and when the server brought that plate over and I saw his facial expression change, I couldn’t hold in my laughter. He paid $26 for a minuscule serving of fish with a vegetable medley the size of my thumb. Lesson learned that day: always, always stick to hole-in-the-wall spots.

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Bomb breakfast at Fleur De Lis.

Day 3: My absolute favorite day on our trip. We started our day with brunch at Lil Dizzy’s, home of the most delicious buffet the city of New Orleans has to offer. The fried chicken? Fire. The gumbo? Flames. The bread pudding? So good that we woke up early before we left to buy two more servings of it. We walked around the Marigny a little bit, then found ourselves at a Black-owned, borderline Hotep bookstore around Treme. As we left, I was drawn to the music playing at Kitchen Witch, and entering the store was probably my best decision of the trip. There we met Ms. Debbie, the storeowner of a dope shop filled to the brink with cookbooks. Her partner made and sold spices and I got my hands on a curry that makes my mouth water any time I smell it. Later in the day we got Po’ Boys from Jean’s down the street and YES, THEY WERE AUTHENTIC. FINALLY. We wandered down Frenchman St, being drawn into Vaso by the sweet voice of the singer I later discovered was the frontwoman of a band called The Sierra Leonean Experience. We spent an hour there and ended the night on Bourbon Street. Somehow ended up at Waffle House? You can imagine how that went.

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Bread pudding, Gumbo, Green Beans, Fried Chicken & Scrambled Eggs at Lil Dizzys.

Day 4: Super chill day. Dru got his first tattoo and I got to sit in the back with him and try to provoke him to cry so I could capture it on camera and send it to his friends. He barely flinched though. What a G. For dinner, we took an Uber through a Popeyes drive-thru and I can confirm that Popeyes in Louisiana does indeed taste better.

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Dru getting his first tattoo. 

What did I learn on my first baecation? Spend all your money on food, but avoid the bougie spots and get more bang for your buck. Always find a way to talk to native residents about the must-see spots instead of relying on travel sites. Check out live music from the area and walk as often as you can because you’re guaranteed to find some gems on your feet. We’ll see each other again soon, NOLA!

 

2 Comments

  • Benita August 22, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Love this <3 ! Definitely got some ideas for my next Nola visit.

    Reply
  • Brittanee Rolle October 5, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Love this!

    Reply

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