Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Orleans at last....

Sitting here in a bed and breakfast in New Orleans, grateful for terrific friends to be sharing this time with. We got in around 12 yesterday, just in time to quickly change, hop in a cab and make it over to NOLA's (Emeril's restaurant) for lunch.  The food was very good.  I had the turkey panini, which came out looking very dark, but was amazing.  We did start out with the Gulf Shrimp Remoulade, which had a great flavor.  One of my friends had the Caesar Salad, which was large, and she enjoyed it, while the other had the shrimp and grits.  Now, none of us are normally grits fans, but these had been cooked to perfection, slathered in butter, and then had barbecue sauce from the shrimp on them, and we all enjoyed them.  She also said the shrimp tasted great.  Dessert looked good, but we were WAY too full.  The service was mediocre.  Our waiter came over quickly and was very friendly and upbeat, but it took forever to get our drinks, our food, and anything else we asked for.  And it was not that busy.  Overall, it was something I was glad we did, but wouldn't necessarily do again.  We wandered around the French Quarter for a while, stopping to watch the street performers and grab a cup of coffee, before slowly winding our way back to the Garden District on the trolley ($3/day pass).  Got some great pictures of flowers and the cutest dog on the walk back to the Garden District Bed and Breakfast where we are staying.  It is an amazing place.  We have the balcony suite, and it's 2 rooms, with a microwave and small fridge.  There is a daybed with a trundle in the room opening up to the balcony, and a larger bed in the front room.  The room is nice and cute, there are snacks and milk and oj in the fridge, and we love it.  Having stayed here several times before, this is my favorite place, and I think we will return many times in the future.  We were going to go on a vampire tour last night, but instead decided to take a nap before going out to dinner at Joey K's, which was about 6 blocks away from us.  It was a beautiful night for a walk.  It's a really neat, homey place, with lots of personality.  We started with fried artichoke hearts, which were surprisingly good (though I think next time I would have asked for Ranch instead of marinara).  My 2 friends ordered the red rice and beans, which looked amazing, and the entree order came with a piece of andouille sausage.  I ordered the special of the night which was pork loin with green beans and mashed potatoes.  Our only complaint overall was the saltiness of everything, but the rest of the flavors were great, the pork loin was nice and tender, and the atmosphere was fun.  Another high on my recommendation list.

As for the first 2 days of the trip, my flights were uneventful other than everything being delayed coming into and out of Charlotte due to the president's arrival.  Still made it to Texas only half an hour late.  My mom met me at the airport and we headed back to Waco, where we met my sister and nephew for a delicious Mexican dinner at Casa Ole (I LOVE their green sauce and spinach enchiladas).  Stayed at my mom's house in Moody for 2 nights, had a Pampered Chef party, which was great because I got to catch up with an old friend, and had my picture taken for an article in the local McGregor paper about me shaving my head for St. Baldrick's (11 days from today!!!). Then I met up with my friends in Dallas, ran a few errands, had another Pampered Chef party, and we got a few hours sleep before heading out to New Orleans.

Today, we are headed out for a swamp tour, a vampire tour, a new tattoo for one of my friends, and any other trouble we can get into along the way.

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