A few weekends back, I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans as for my friend Chelsie’s bachelorette party.
This trip was really special to me – not only did I get to celebrate my favorite bride-to-be, but I also had a mini reunion with my four closest friends from college. We’re all spread out now – mostly in different parts of Texas – but I’m the odd one out up here in Chicago. We hadn’t had the chance to all be together since Christmas. What does that spell in a shenanigans-central city like NOLA? P-A-R-T-Y.
I decided to fly in and out of Houston because it was much cheaper than flying into New Orleans. Like, by hundreds of dollars. Those airlines are really milking the bachelor/bachelorette party thing! The other girls drove in from Austin and stopped overnight in H-town on Friday, so I got to see them a bit earlier than I would have if I had flown directly to Louisiana. Plus, who can resist a road trip?
I’ve visited New Orleans only once before. That time, I was there for two days before traveling to Baton Rouge and mainly covered the basics – Cafe du Monde, oyster-eating, sight-seeing, sweating (it was in July). I didn’t see much of Bourbon as I was newly twenty one and more inclined to walk around the city with my boyfriend.
Not so much this time! We spent the bulk of our evenings on Bourbon Street and I did not complain. The weather was warm but not hot, the drinks were cheap and the city was packed. I do love the open container law in New Orleans – it made it really easy for us to hit up one bar, grab a drink and take it to walk around outside. All of the drinks come in plastic cups, too.
We stayed at Stay Alfred in the business district. I would HIGHLY recommend this spot, especially if you’re coming to New Orleans with a big group. The building is a collection of luxury apartments (much nicer than my own) and we had a two-bed, two bath unit, a big kitchen and living room with a pull-out couch and a balcony!
On Saturday, we slept in for a few extra hours in the morning and made our way to brunch at Lüke, an upscale brasserie with a Franco-German inspired feel. We ordered the Brussels sprouts to share after Katie told us they were basically famous. She was right. I ordered the burger and was not disappointed.
It ended up being great fuel for the rest of our day, which – surprise! – included more drinking. Isn’t that the whole point of a bachelorette party? (Yes, yes it is.) Meredith booked us a tour at the Old New Orleans Rum distillery: the rum destination of Louisiana/the nation that was a few miles out of the city. It was fabulous!
Old New Orleans Rum is one of the oldest rum distilleries in the country. Most were driven out during Prohibition and didn’t start up again until roughly 20 years ago. This distillery is especially noteworthy because many of their barrels survived Hurricane Katrina, due to a lucky second-floor storage area that did not flood during the storms. The tour was $15 a person and definitely worth the price – we each got three or four full drinks as well as tastings of each of their 5 products, and probably could have gotten more drinks if we wanted. The woman who led our tour was very knowledgeable and made it fun!
After beignets and coffee, some harmless bachelorette games and another crazy night on Bourbon, we all piled in the car mildly-hungover on Sunday to head back to Houston. Sad face. My trip ended on a high note after it turned out that my mom was in Houston for business! She picked me up after we arrived and drove me to the airport for my flight back to Chicago. It was a short visit, but I’ll take all the family time I can get!
New Orleans was a blast. I’m so excited for my best friend Chelsie to marry the guy of her dreams and couldn’t have been happier to have a whole weekend to celebrate her.