New Orleans is the closest one will ever get, (here in the U.S.), to Europe without actually going there!
They were excited. So excited that complete CHAOS invaded our home one week before we left. But that's another story and we are going to leave it at that.
Usually I play the cop wanna-be when driving cause I'm constantly (yes honey, I have admitted it now), commenting on my husbands speed, and how the State Police are hiding everywhere, and how we will have to pay a ba-ZILLION dollars a month if we a speeding ticket.
To say I'm obnoxious about this is an understatement. It's that OCD side of me again.
I am proud to say that from Auburn to Mobile, I never went under 80 m.p.h.
I think I reformed myself on this va-ca!
Ok, enough about my self-therapy.
Here's is what greeted us when we first arrived in NOLA:
It seems like men and women alike were all wearing some sort of red dress.
It was the Red Dress Run event.
Sorry about some of the blurred pics, but my husband was driving now and he was in a hurry to get to the hotel.
In the shopping department, I want to give a HUGE shout out to a few places the one should definitely check out while in New Orleans. But STOP, before you go or do anything, head straight to Café du Monde for a Café Au Lait and an order for fresh beignets smothered in powered sugar. Don't even think you can do anything before you do this.
Mmmmmmm..... you can just smell them can't you?
Ok, now to the shopping.....
La Garage on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. They don't have a website (thank goodness), but going in that place for a minimum of two hours is well worth the drive. We got caught in a huge thunderstorm and were forced (God does love me!), to hang out for a couple of hours. There was literally rain leaking from the roof in various places (while our sales guide, Robert, ran all over the place putting buckets down), but it made it all the more authentic.
Here's a few goodies and oddities from La Garage:
An Authentic Industrial StoolVintage Gas Masks for Babies! Literally!
A very pretty and very hidden silver vanity set.
I wanted this but couldn't persuade my husband to tie it on top of the car for the trip home. It was only $350.
A sheep fur muff-style hat from Sears with original tag still on!
I wanted this hat stand real bad. The owner wouldn't give it up though.
Little Miss Muffets Hat - Minus Spider - Still in a box - for $20.
Why oh why didn't I get that!
My 8 Year Old Budding Thespian finding her own treasure.
It was only $250 - And my husband wouldn't let me bring it home either!!!
It was HUGE - it was French - and I sincerely thought about trading him for it instead!
Old carriage lanterns that I had to dig for to find.
Be totally prepared to wear old clothes and spend much of your time on your hands and knees looking under everything. That's where a lot of the real treasures are. You can also bargain if you don't like the price you see. My son really got into this since there was a lot of antique and vintage military stuff there and he collects it all! You know those big wall coverings they sell at Anthropologie for $250 and up? My daughter found one like them for $25 that she bargained down to $15. I think it was one of the proudest days of her life that she did that!
A big thanks to Robert, our sales guide for our day there!
Another great stop down by the French Quarter is Greg's Antiques. It's on Decatur Street as well, and it's crammed with really affordable vintage and antique finds. It is SO budget friendly like La Garage that I had a hard time figuring out which was my favorite. Only there have I found an authentic Santos Cage doll for $165 plus an extra 25% off. Here's a few finds you'll see there:
Authentic vintage and antique doors to freaking DIE for!
Prices that won't kill you though.
Luckily they have all these in alphabetical order instead of rummaging through a bunch to find one. We kept singing the Blues Clues song, "We Just Found A Letter", through the whole process which I think was driving the sales people nuts after awhile, lol!
Couldn't resist though.
Anyone need one of the many of these they have to offer?
Believe it or not, This head board and its matching side tables
are made completely of porcelain glass!
Words cannot describe how beautiful these were in person.
There is such an abundance of vintage instruments,
and vintage parts to instruments,
and vintage instruments taken apart and put in boxes by the dozens....
That I couldn't comprehend it all.
If you're into making things out of vintage instruments or are just looking for a part for yours....
THIS is the place to get them without killing your wallet.
After Greg's Antiques, we had to head over to the French Quarter to a wonderful and reasonably priced eatery there called Alberto's Bistro
Perfect hot weather eats for the budget:
Caprese Salad - One of the best I've had!
Awesome Hummus and Pita Plate
Then along the way, over on Royal Street in the French Quarter, I had to take a hot sauce challenge with my son. I should have backed slowly out the door when they made us sign a waiver before we tried it. But while on va-ca, you do the strangest things sometimes.
The stuff was made of ghost chili and he and I were quite uncomfortable for at least an hour. When they say "The Hottest Sauce In The Universe",
they are not kidding!
Several bottles of water and our eyes were still
bleeding shedding tears from the heat of this stuff. They took our pictures to memorialize the event since we didn't keel over dead after one minute. Here's his, but he couldn't see straight to take mine and it turned out all blurred, lol.
Love the glasses Julian.... Bawhahahaha!!
After your mouth is back into working order, now head over to Magazine Street using your Jazz Pass and check out ALL the shops over there. We couldn't even begin to get through them all without staying another month! Here's some of the vintage and antique finds from there:
Tennis rackets in their original cover...... Mine!
Victorian boots in pristine white!
Shoe molds anyone? Got all sizes!
Vintage Quija board. I wondered what kind of spirits I could have conjured up in there?
A wonderful collection of vintage flasks!
These scared me and I wouldn't touch them either.
It's so French!
After a full (and I do mean full), days of shopping and discovering, we ate (several times I might add), at this wonderful restaurant around the corner from our hotel on Julia Street. It's called "Mulate's" and it's pure cajun all the way. There's always a live cajun band and the food is plentiful and mouth watering. I even talked my oldest son into taking his little sister for a spin on the dance floor a few times. You can tell who was doing most of the dancing here:
When we all got back to our hotel, we literally dropped. There is so much to dig for and find in New Orleans that a week was just too little time to do it in. So if you haven't been, or been back to NOLO in a while, it's really time to go. It's still as charming and mysterious as ever, and the food never let's you down either.
Thanks to all the shops that catered so well to my four children and put up with their countless questions as well. Thanks to Café du Monde for serving the beignets that ever graced my lips. Thanks to all the trolley and bus drivers who were so helpful with getting us where we needed to be. Thanks to all the street musicians and performers for giving my kids such a "WOW" factor.
Thanks to all the people of New Orleans for never allowing this wonderful city and it's culture to fade.