my jaunts: 22 hours in new orleans

beats and jazz at maison on frenchman street

beats and jazz at maison on frenchman street

last week, i found myself in new orleans for exactly 22 hours.  per my flight itinerary, it was 23 hours, but that sneaky daylight savings time robbed me of an hour sometime during my two hours of “sleep” before i had to head to the airport.  i was in town for my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party, and fell in love all over again with the crazy city (city? does that even adequately describe the crazy hodgepodge that new orleans is?).  it has that vibe that i tried to explain a couple of months ago, that slaps you in the face the moment you leave the airport.  it’s poor but vibrant, seemingly down and up at the same time.

jazz, tourists, poverty. #neworleans

jazz, tourists, poverty. #neworleans

the 22 hours included a mix of typical new orleans events that may not be so normal elsewhere.  al fresco jazz brunch with morning bloodies and crawfish étouffée.  a second line wedding parade through the french quarter.  palm readings.

a second line wedding parade through the french quarter

a second line wedding parade through the french quarter

time for brunch and bloodies

time for brunch and bloodies

meeting adrian, an artist in the midst of his self-proclaimed mid-life crisis, with his enterprising dog who encourages his customers to “buy more art.”  watching hipsters practice a strange yet hypnotizing mix of yoga and acrobatics in jackson square.  enterprising break dancing and eclectic locals.

buy more art, people. specifically, from this guy.

buy more art, people. specifically, from this guy.

mesmerized by these guys at jackson square

mesmerized by these guys at jackson square

fried alligator and fried shrimp po’boys and abita beer.  creole mansions on esplanade avenue.  jazz on frenchman street, but most importantly the hybrid jazz/r&b/hip-hop that i fell in love with last summer at maison.  beads and cobblestones and lights and laughter.  but mainly, all that jazz.

the slick skillet serenaders

the slick skillet serenaders

french quarter still life

french quarter still life

twenty-two hours isn’t much, but it was enough to get under my skin a bit before returning to the real world.

bright day in the quarter

bright day in the quarter

the daily french quarter clean-up

the daily french quarter clean-up

travel tips: how to plan your best road trip

how-to-plan-a-road-trip

this time of year is my “busy season” at work, which doesn’t leave me much time (read: no time) to travel. but i have one busy season tradition that carries me through the long hours and weekends of work: the planning of the post-busy season trip.

last weekend, dallas had the most perfect weather, so my husband and i spread out the blankets in the backyard, played some music, and brought out my atlas to plan our spring road trip.  i’ve been dying to take a road trip across the southern US, and to finally visit some friends and family who live along the way.  planning road trips is one of my most favorite things to do, so i thought i would share some of my tips for planning fantastic road trips:

a perfect saturday: blanket, pug, atlas, and wanderlust

a perfect saturday: blanket, pug, atlas, and wanderlust

1. start with an atlas – looking at an atlas gives me ideas for scenic detours and sites to see that i may have missed.  kate spade’s travel book, places to go, people to see, mentioned that the drive from memphis, tn to vicksburg, ms is stunning, so we looked it up on the atlas.  guess what’s nearby?  yazoo city, home of willie morris, my husband’s favorite author.  note to self: detour to yazoo city on day three.  atlases will also list approximate driving times between cities, which comes in handy while planning number of days on the road.

2. stalk pinterest – set up a board for your road trip locations, and pin away as you research places to see.  map traveled to nashville recently, and i pinned most of the places they went to my tennessee board.  a friend at work recently gave me a magazine article on memphis, so i pinned the places that looked cool to me.  pinterest provides a great way to store ideas from all over the web in one place so you don’t forget.  if you’re looking for ideas on locations, check out my pinterest boards (organized by state and country) and also my road trip board for inspiration.

pinning by state has helped me plan the road trip - so many cool places i've pinned in the past that i had forgotten about!

pinning by state has helped me plan the road trip – so many cool places i’ve pinned in the past that i had forgotten about!

3. create a list on your phone – as you’re planning, you’ll hear suggestions from friends or through media that you’ll want to remember.  keeping a list on your phone will help you remember those tips since you can jot them down when someone suggests a place (that’s how i remembered kate spade’s recommendation for the memphis to vicksburg drive).

4. start reading! – i love themed reading.  i think this started when i read cannery road while visiting monterey, california – it brought so much life and history to the places i was seeing, that i was hooked.  if you’re looking for ideas on what to read during your travels, check out book lust to go by nancy pearl – she recommends books based on your travel destinations (genius).  for our road trip, i’m adding to my list john steinbeck’s travels with charley and william least heat-moon’s roads to quoz: an american mosey.

upcoming road trip reads

upcoming road trip reads

5. check out what the new york times has to say from 36 hours – i wrote an entire post on my love for 36 hours.  check it out and then read it before every trip you ever take (including short business trips).

6. plan your nights – book your hotels, b&b’s, stays with friends, etc. in advance.  start with your budget to understand how much to spend per night, and then see if you have any friends or family along the way that you can stay with (don’t forget to pack hostess gifts, if so).  some of my favorite bookings sites are airbnb and jetsetter.  don’t forget about any hotel points you may have saved up that could give you a free night (or two!) at a national chain.

the stops on our summer road trip - most excited for yazoo city, mississippi and the blue ridge parkway in appalachia

the stops on our summer road trip – most excited for yazoo city, mississippi and the blue ridge parkway in appalachia

7. leave room for improv – as an accountant, i like to plan down to the minute.  this can make for some stressful travel experiences.  one thing i’ve learned is to build in some time to improv, an extra day to go where i want, a half-day to explore a new part of the city, etc.  one time while driving to LA from dallas, we saw a sign on I-40 for the petrified forest.  excuse me?  detour!  we spent a couple of hours looking at the craziest petrified wood (how is this possible?!) before jumping back on the interstate and heading west.

stay tuned for future posts on best road trip apps, and how to pack your car for the best road trip.  for now, fill me in on any of your best tips for planning road trips – i’d love to hear them!

travel-themed valentine’s day gifts for the ladies in your life

travel-themed valentine's day gifts for women

1. leather travel collection from aspinal of london, from $325  2. rose gold eye mask, $38  3. mexico: the cookbook, phaidon, $49.95  4. ban.do iphone 5 charger, $30  5. imaginenations flower power globe, $450  6. kate spade’s places to go, people to see, $40

aaaaaand i’m back!  with more travel-themed valentine’s day gifts, this time for the ladies in your life (click here for monday’s gift guide for the guys).  go the route of jewelry and flowers if you must, but wouldn’t it be so much fun to give a sense of adventure instead? a few travel necessities caught my eye, including the luxurious leather travel set from aspinal of london (*swoon*), the rose gold eye mask from anthropologie (this is a must for red-eye flights, as i’ve mentioned before here), and the heart-covered ban.do phone charger for when you’re out on the go (if you hate hearts, there is also an adorable pink and gold version here).

to inspire you for more adventure, i highly recommend kate spade’s “places to go, people to see” and phaidon’s “mexico: the cookbook.” i received “places to go, people to see” for christmas, and cannot put it down – it has everything from city guides to the best hotel cocktails to what to buy locally in cities around the globe.  plus, the photography is amazing (i keep fighting the urge to rip out pages and frame them).  my mother-in-law received “mexico: the cookbook” from my sister-in-law after her recent jaunt to san miquel de allende, and holy tamale, this book is amazing.  filled with pages of recipes and photos of the most amazing food you ever did see, this book has me wanting to hop on a plane and head south asap.

finally, i couldn’t resist including another imaginenations product.  wendy gold is so talented and i want every single thing on her website, including this stunning painted globe.  she personalizes both globes and maps (including push-pin maps to track your travels), and i can’t think of a better way to get inspired for future adventures.

what are some of your favorite travel-related gifts?

travel-themed valentine’s day gifts for the guys in your life

travel-themed gifts for the guys in your life

1. where chefs eat, phaidon, $24.95  2. the everlane twill weekender, $95  3. big sur backpacker’s cologne by juniper ridge, $60  4. owen & fred hey handsome shaving kit bag, $68  5. imaginenations personalized world travels push pin map, $145  6. f-8 club member photo print by gi artlab, $84.99

whether you love it or hate it, valentine’s day is back.  i love valentine’s, and always have, even though i was rarely with a date when the day rolled around each year.  to celebrate this year, i’ve compiled two travel-themed gift guides for your loved ones, whether they be significant others, friends, or family.  first up: the guys.

i keep seeing the book, where chefs eat, all over the internet, and would love to flip through it.  it chronicles the best restaurants around the world, as chosen by chefs.  yes, please!  for the adventurers out there, i love these teensy “backpacking colognes” from juniper ridge that are   made from trail scents and will tuck away into tiny spaces.  if the big sur scent is anything like big sur itself, i am in.  throw in the quirky moose tourist print from gi artlab, and i’m already dreaming of hiking through the pacific northwest. of course most men could use an update to their travel gear, and the everlane weekender and owen & fred dopp kit will do just that (and if you haven’t checked out everlane yet, please do so – they are making great products responsibly).  finally, the wall travel map is from my favorite, imaginenations, which sells stunning maps and artistic globes (and delightful note cards that i received for christmas).  track past and future travels on pins, and start dreaming of faraway lands.

do you have any favorite travel-related gifts?  stay tuned for wednesday’s post for my favorite gifts for the girls.

my favorites: 8 stunning views

bixby bridge in big sur, california

bixby bridge in big sur, california

every year around this time, i start to get a bit of cabin fever.  it’s officially “busy season” for me at work, and i leave civilization for awhile and hibernate in conference rooms around the dallas metroplex.  inevitably, the travel itch comes along as i dream of warmer weather, exotic locations, and – due to lack of windows in the aforementioned conference rooms – a better view.

central california: farm to rail to sea.

central california: farm to rail to sea.

there’s no sense in fighting it, so i’ve compiled a few of my favorite views from my travels.  seeing these sights in person have produced gasps, “ah ha!” moments, a bewilderment at this crazy amazing place we call earth, and a larger-than-i’d-like-to-admit terrifying fear of heights.  enjoy the views, and please let me know some of your favorites that i’ve missed!

the view of cape town from table mountain

the view of cape town from table mountain

my husband and i traveled to south africa this past summer, and absolutely fell in love with the country.  read more about my trip to cape town (and table mountain!) here.

new york, as seen from brooklyn.

new york, my love, as seen from brooklyn. it doesn’t get better than this. period.

a year ago,during a work trip to new york, i fought the urge to stay in manhattan and crossed the river to brooklyn for the entire weekend, and was more than pleasantly surprised.  more brooklyn tidbits here.

santorini, aka my favorite place the whole entire world.

santorini, aka my favorite place the whole entire world.

ok, so santorini seems fake.  the photos that look fake?  they’re not.  the entire island looks exactly this perfect (at least, when it’s not erupting).  read more about santorini here.  spoiler alert: it will steal your heart.

barcelona, as seen from park guell

barcelona, as seen from park guell

barcelona is a city of color and life and art.  my best friend and i visited two years ago and it has stayed with me since.  if you only have a limited amount of time in europe, this is a must-see city.  you can read more about my favorites in barcelona here and here.

oregon pine trees, as seen from the window of our train, en route to seattle from los angeles

oregon pine trees, as seen from the window of our train, en route to seattle from los angeles

the amtrak from los angeles to seattle was so unique and reminiscent of bygone days that i keep dreaming of my next train trip.  read more about the adventure here.

the stunning mcway falls in big sur, california

the stunning mcway falls in big sur, california. this was one of my favorite vacations to date…must write about it soon!

london on a layover

elizabeth tower (aka big ben) at the houses of parliament. hello, london!

elizabeth tower (aka big ben) at the houses of parliament. hello, london!

last summer, en route to south africa from dallas, i stopped in london for a 12 hour layover.  twelve hours!  i had never been to london before, so i was thrilled to speed into the city and look around for a few hours.  should you ever find yourself in the same situation, i’ve created a guide to the perfect speed-tour of london (the map below may only show up on non-mobile devices. if that’s the case, click here).

first tip: be rested from your flight over from the states.  pack some ear plugs, tylenol pm, an eye mask, and an aspirin (no blood clots for you!) to make sure you are well-rested and ready to explore once you touch down in the UK.  i flew into heathrow airport, which has a place, excess baggage company, to drop off bags for a fee. (pre-reserved storage plans are coming soon, which could save you time and money).  from heathrow, take the piccadilly line on the underground to hammersmith; exit the train, walk across the platform, and board the district line to westminster.  the trip into the city can take 45 minutes to an hour.  if you are willing to spend about $50 per person each way, you can take the heathrow express to paddington station, but you will then need to also take a cab once at paddington station.  i prefer the longer route in, and then the quicker route back.  second tip: mind the gap is for real.  there is a huge gap between the metro and the platform – be careful!

a quick walk across the westminster bridge gives you views of the london eye, the river thames, and the london aquarium.

a quick walk across the westminster bridge gives you views of the london eye, the river thames, and the london aquarium.

once at westminster, ascend the stairs from the metro, and hark!  the first stop on our speed-tour of london: big ben.  it is quite large and stately – very impressive after the ride in from the bland airport.  snap some photos and then walk east across the westminster bridge over the river thames (stop 2!) for a view of the london eye.  check out the people, snap a selfie, and head back towards big ben on the west side of the river for stop number three: houses of parliament.

the scene in westminster: tourists, cabbies, big ben, and the london eye keeping watch in the background

the scene in westminster: tourists, cabbies, big ben, and the london eye keeping watch in the background

ok, so this is kind of cheating because big ben is one of the three towers of the houses of parliament, but work with me here.  you will also need to take a deep breath at this point because you are in the midst of tourist mania.  school tours, asian tours, and a sea of selfie sticks will surround you as you try to catch a glimpse of the impressive buildings.  walk in front of the houses of parliament on margaret street, then head west on sanctuary street to check out westminster abbey (stop 4!), where will and kate exchanged their vows (i know you watched it).  there are a lot of tourist kiosks here, so buy yourself a couple of postcards; they’ll come in handy in a bit.

beware of the kicking/biting horses on horseguards avenue!

beware of the kicking/biting horses on horseguards avenue!

if you’re like me, you’re starving at this point, so to the pub we go!  walk north on parliament street, stopping briefly at the barricades on downing street to try to catch a glimpse of the prime minister (i had grand visions of hugh grant waving from the door of 10 downing street in “love, actually,” but alas i just saw a lot of police officers).  one block north, on horseguards avenue, i watched a horseguard (exactly as it sounds) change shifts…i am sure there was more to it, but i was pretty sleepy and completely overwhelmed by the british accents around me, so we moved on.

drinking outside at the harp. also, parker trying to look cool and british.

drinking outside at the harp. also, parker trying to look cool and british.

this is where things get a little tricky, so look alive here.  you’re going to pass a busy intersection (london cabbies!  big red buses!) and then duck right behind an impressive building (no idea what it is!) to find yourself at the harp pub on chandos place.  this place is extremely legit, so if you get lost, you must ask directions to get there (or check out the map here to put yourself back on track).  you may be the only tourist here (which is not the case at all pubs).  locals crowd around the bar and small tables.  order yourself a sausage sandwich, smother it with hp sauce, and enjoy an ale.  delightful.

the harp pub in london. one of my favorites of the day.

the harp pub in london. one of my favorites of the day.

lunch at the harp pub in london. extremely legit.

lunch at the harp pub in london. extremely legit.

once you’ve satisfied yourself on english fare, head north from chandos to new row street, boasting the most delightful row of shoppes (see what i did there?) and restaurants and coffee houses you ever did see.  pop into new row coffee and order yourself a flat white.  take some time to write a postcard or two and enjoy the people watching out front.

the adorable new row street in london

the adorable new row street in london

after your nice drink, head west to piccadilly circus, which appears to be the times square of london and only received one word in my travel diary: “disaster.”  i’m sure it has many wonderful qualities, but i missed them on that day.  there is a cheesy store dedicated to british wares; do not make the same mistake as i did and go inside.  avoid at all costs.

stop for a flat white at new row coffee in london - delightful!

stop for a flat white at new row coffee in london – delightful!

from piccadilly, head south (yes, you’re backtracking a bit; it’s worth it) to the mall. this street, which is closed to traffic on sundays and is bordered by st. james’s park on the south, leads directly to buckingham palace.  buckingham palace!  so, what are you waiting for?  walk forth!  take a detour into st. james’s park if you’d like, enjoy the larger-than-life flora, sit in a green and white striped lounger, and take in the (hopefully, but probably not) beautiful day.  walk around buckingham palace, snap a selfie with a guard, and then head west on constitution hill, bordered by green park to the north and buckingham palace gardens on the east.

the famous green and white striped loungers in st. james's park

the famous green and white striped loungers in st. james’s park

the larger-than-life flora in st. james's park in london

the larger-than-life flora in st. james’s park in london

buckingham palace and gardens

buckingham palace and gardens

ok, i’m not going to lie: at this point, i became extremely exhausted and maybe a little crabby.  this is a long walk.  we’d covered a lot of ground.  i hadn’t slept soundly in a while. i’d been wearing the same clothes for many hours.  this is where you need to give yoruself a pep talk and fight through it.  because just a few blocks away, further to the west, lies harrods.

welcome to harrods. pass the people and head inside for the unbelievable food markets!

welcome to harrods. pass the people and head inside for the unbelievable food markets!

what is harrods, you ask? oh, harrods.  the ultimate department store with seven floors, food markets with oysters, caviar, macarons, tea, etc. a l’aduree downstairs and a cute restaurant lining the meat market where we enjoyed a glass of wine.  just go.

a quick class of wine at galvin demoiselle in harrods (next to the meat market)

a quick class of wine at galvin demoiselle in harrods (next to the meat market)

find the floor that interests you, and for sure stop for a completely and almost sickingly expensive glass of wine/beer.  if shopping isn’t your thing, instead head into  hyde park (the central park of london) and enjoy an hour or so of rest and relaxation among the bustling city.

the sea market at harrods - fish, caviar, and an oyster bar in the back.

the sea market at harrods – fish, caviar, and an oyster bar in the back.

at this point, you should probably be concerned about your flight, so hop in a classic london black cab and treat yourself to a ride to paddington station, where you can catch the express train (approximately $50 per person at the station, or $40 if purchased in advance) back to the airport.  this trip is a mere 15 minutes.  on our cab ride, we listened to the usa/germany world cup match (yes!) and the cabbie cheered with us as the US scored.

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

scenes of london while speeding by in a taxi

our london taxi that drove us to paddington station while listening to the usa/germany world cup match. USA!

our london taxi that drove us to paddington station while listening to the usa/germany world cup match. USA!

catching the heathrow express back to the airport from paddington station - cheerio, london!

catching the heathrow express back to the airport from paddington station – cheerio, london!

 

the merriest of travel gifts

best-travel-gifts-for-christmas

a couple weeks late, but happy new year!  the holidays are always a whirlwind for me with travel and catching up with out of town friends; it can be busy, but it’s by far my favorite time of year.  this year, i found everyone talking about their travels a bit more – is it because i usually have travel on the brain, or are people starting to value more the time spent exploring and make it a priority?  i hope the latter, but can’t quite be sure.  i was lucky enough to hear friends’ and family’s stories from their recent trips to belgium, mexico, germany, new york, peru, argentina, france, and india.  what fun!

the gifts i received this year reflected the jetsetter spirit, and made them so fun to open!  from handmaid linens from mexico to kate spade’s new travel picture book (please just go buy it – it is perfect), it seems that new sights and adventures were on everyone’s minds.  take a look, and let me know your favorite gifts from the holidays.

cheers to you and yours, and happy new year!

1. let’s be adventurers tote bag  2. maps of the imagination notecards  (also, please check out more of this artist’s phenomenal work here)  3. salt cellar and pink himalayan salt from the filling station at chelsea market from my bestie’s recent trip to nyc  4. handmaid table runner from mexico from my sister-in-law’s recent trip to san miguel de allende  5. belgian chocolates from galler chocolatier, courtesy of my friend, laura’s, recent adventures in belgium (yes, she lives there now)  6. kate spade’s places to go, people to see book  7. hand crocheted hand warmers from nepal, found in the paris christmas market by my dear friends  8. silver compass necklace

christmas with jaunt!

it is officially the christmas and holiday season, and i couldn’t be more excited!  the tree is up, some presents are wrapped, and my allergies are flaring up at my pine-scented candle.  ’tis the season.

such great memories from our group trip to new orleans this past summer!

such great memories from our group trip to new orleans this past summer!

a couple of years ago i started a tradition of purchasing ornaments from each place i travel.  unpacking the ornaments was so much fun this year after finally building up a little collection!  each ornament has a story, even if it’s just the story of trying to hunt one down (apparently christmas tree ornaments aren’t a big deal in africa – duh – so i had to fashion a key chain into an makeshift ornament).

this was originally a key chain that has now been transformed into some holiday cheer. cheers to south africa and safaris!

this was originally a key chain that has now been transformed into some holiday cheer. cheers to south africa and safaris!

my favorite is probably the clay creation we found in carmel, california during our first anniversary road trip up the central california coast (spoiler alert: central california is the most beautiful part of the country; not sure why i haven’t written about it yet!).  the store personalized it for us by writing each city we visited during our trip on the stockings – so fun!

i love this ornament! it includes all (ok, most) of the places we visited on our first anniversary road trip: san luis obispo (SLO), cayucos, paso robles, big sur, carmel, and half moon bay.

i love this ornament! it includes all (ok, most) of the places we visited on our first anniversary road trip: san luis obispo (SLO), cayucos, paso robles, big sur, carmel, and half moon bay.

see below for more photos of my favorites.  do you have any souvenirs you seek out while traveling?

ok, the truth is that my grandma gave me this ornament. but it's one of my favorites because new york is one of my favorites, so it makes the post.

ok, the truth is that my grandma gave me this ornament. but it’s one of my favorites because new york is one of my favorites, so it makes the post.

i bought this in sedona sometime between hiking giant red rocks and hugging trees while learning of the vortex. check it out.

i bought this in sedona, arizona sometime between hiking giant red rocks and hugging trees while learning of the vortex. check it out.

this is the alamo from san antonio. #neverforget my husband and i went there on our second wedding anniversary (to san antonio, not the alamo specifically). san antonio is awesome - do go!

this is the alamo from san antonio. #neverforget my husband and i went there on our second wedding anniversary (to san antonio, not the alamo specifically). san antonio is awesome – do go!

the newest addition to my collection: a mickey mouse hat! i went to orlando last week for training, and picked this cute guy up in epcot.

the newest addition to my collection: a mickey mouse hat! i went to orlando last week for training, and picked this cute guy up in epcot.

my jaunts: new orleans jazz

new orleans was always intriguing to me.  so close to where i grew up in oklahoma, but seemingly miles away in every other sense:  the food, the jazz, the slight sense of grit and corruption that lies just beneath the surface of its varied architecture.  i’ve known people who have moved to new orleans for school and then never left.  they say it gets in you and you can’t leave, even if you try.  so i was excited to (finally) explore the town and understand this spirit of new orleans.

jazz and beats at maison on frenchmen street

jazz and beats at maison on frenchmen street

we traveled with friends and found the most amazingly quintessential new orleans house on airbnb in the heart of frenchmen street, just across the street from washington square park.  note: do not stay in the french quarter.  rather, stay here, on frenchmen, amongst the jazz bars and the outdoor art market, and only a short walk away from the quarter (if you must, if only for cafe du monde beignets).

ok, cafe du monde is worth it. skip the line and go sit down: first come, first serve.

ok, cafe du monde is worth it. skip the line and go sit down: first come, first serve.

the jazz bars on frenchmen were my favorite part of new orleans.  walking up frenchmen, loud and urgent jazz rushes from inside the clubs and greets you, demanding you step in for a while.  should you accept, you’ll most likely find packed spaces, locals sipping abita beer, and potentially a bachelorette party or two.  step into the spotted cat music club, a small bar recommended by new york times’ 36 hours, where i spent the good part of an hour enthralled by the couples who charged in and started swing dancing with such purpose that it was both thrilling and catatonic.

dancers and jazz at the spotted club music club

dancers and jazz at the spotted club music club

some bars require reservations for seats (such as snug harbor jazz bistro), while others pull you in spontaneously as you walk by.  one night, we walked past maison when we heard a mix of hip hop and jazz coming from inside.  it was different and immediately piqued my interest, and i couldn’t help but dance along.  we walked in to find a group of around eight guys, all young, that switched between rapping and raucous playing of their instruments (think: kanye’s “all of the lights,” though younger and more raw).  at one point, one member left the club to go outside for a smoke break.  he couldn’t resist the music, though, and started playing his trombone from the street in the middle of pedestrians walking by.  the music has a way of taking hold of you like that and not letting go.

maison jazz club

he couldn’t resist – a musician plays from the sidewalk during his smoke break

if the music at a particular place wasn’t doing it for us, we’d move on; there are too many bars offering different types of music that you should never settle for mediocrity.  our favorite spot one night would be boring the next.  keep walking, and you’ll find what you’re after.  some of my favorite spots (all within walking distance) were dba, spotted cat, and maison.  i also heard that blue nile was fantastic, though we never stepped inside.

live jazz at d.b.a. - lots of dancing here

live jazz at d.b.a. – lots of dancing here

each night, we’d walk up frenchmen, listen to jazz, dance along, drink, and cheer for more.  between sets we’d switch locations or stroll through the outdoor art market just next door (check out brett henderson’s booth for some really cool photos overlaid with maps of new orleans).

the art market on frenchmen street

the art market on frenchmen street

walking back to the house post-jazz, we’d buy pizza at the pop-up pizza pirate (it’s literally in the shape of a pirate ship) and sit on our balcony overlooking washington square park listening to the lingering jazz and conversations of late-night walkers pass by. this was new orleans by night, the time to see the city for what it is.  now that i’ve seen its spirit, i’m a believer.

the best of frenchmen street

the best of frenchmen street