I recently took my first trip to New Orléans for the Niche Mommy 12′ blog conference. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Nola other than jazz music, spicy food and a place called Bourbon Street.
The Niche Mommy 12 conference was held at The beautiful Roosevelt Hotel. Here’s what the website mentions about the historic hotel:
Though the hotel originally opened as The Grunewald in 1893 and was later renamed The Fairmont, it was during The Roosevelt years that it established itself as a beacon of luxury in the South. The hotel was a revolving door of the time’s most famous names—Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Jack Benny, Bob Hope — each adding to a legend that continues to be written today.
It was hard to capture great pictures in this dimly lit hotel that donned beautiful crystal chandeliers at every turn. Just a few blocks from Bourbon Street The Roosevelt New Orleans is a diamond in the rough.
The Niche Mommy 12 blog conference was a wonderful experience for me. I learned quite a bit from the sessions and it was wonderful having that one-on-one time with brands like Britax and Huggies. I even created a defined “goal” for my blog. It’s silly how I just keep chugging along and had not actually created a plan for where I want myself and the blog to be in the months to come. So I am grateful for that.
What I didn’t expect or like about New Orléans:
Myself and a fellow blogger stayed off-site from the conference so we had to walk a few blocks to and from the hotel. No biggie right? Wrong! While I know New Orléans was hit by Hurricane Katrina several years ago I had only seen the initial images plastered all over the news about the devastation there and I wasn’t sure how the city currently looked. The streets are still very dirty and the smell of the city is gross. As you walk the streets there are many sewer grates you have to walk over and sometimes you can actually feel the heat rising out of the sewers which is really strange and the smell is just yuck!
I do not suggest walking the Bourbon Street area alone if you are a woman or even a small group of woman. There are many people (men) who just “hang out” on the door stoops and street corners ALL day and they shout things at you. It’s creepy. Bourbon Street is not the place for me, that’s for sure! I was appalled by the images in the windows completely visible for anyone, including children to see. Not only were there disgusting pictures on display as we walked the looooong Bourbon Street, but also men and woman dressed very provocatively. I’m not even going to begin to describe the images I’m having a hard time getting out of my head.
Here’s a pic of myself and fellow blogger Jenn on Bourbon Street.
Something I was expecting, but had a hard time with is the food. I’m a natural-born Floridian and don’t like a bit of seafood. Trust me, I’ve tried it all. On top of that I don’t like anything spicy. So what on earth was I going to eat at Crawfish, Spicy Jambalaya capital of the world? Dessert…..
The conference offered authentic Nola cuisine and I had a hard time eating any of it. The food was displayed beautifully, but unfortunately my stomach disagreed with my eyes. I did try their famous jambalaya and the first day it was good, not too spicy at all, but it was a different story the next time I tried it. :/ There was also plenty of seafood to sample, but I knew I wouldn’t care for it. So my impromptu diet (of sorts) consisted of fruit and dessert.
An area worth visiting is the French Quarter Market which had THE place to go for Nola’s famous beignets. Cafe du Monde is located at 800 Decatur Street and is open 24 hours a day. All they serve is coffee and beignets. I concur their beignets are delicious!
We also hopped on the trolley and took a tour of the Garden District which offers a completely different backdrop just minutes outside of the Bourbon Street area. And it only cost us $1.25 each way! The Garden District was (literally) a breath of fresh air with its beautiful homes, fresh-cut lawns, historical buildings and parks.
Overall, my experience in New Orléans was just “okay”. Do I have a desire to visit again, the answer is simple: NO. Nola is just not for me.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own and may differ from yours. No compensation was received for this post.