Wearing My Traveling Pants: Las Vegas and New Orleans

In the early months of 2018, I planned weekend trips to Las Vegas and New Orleans within 3 weeks of each other. If you are thinking to yourself, this sounds like the best idea ever, you are correct. Traveling as much as possible is on my 2018 vision board (see last post!), and though visiting these two cities in particular did nothing to forward my healthy-eating-and-living-related goals, they were super fun trips and #NORAGRETS. Each trip had a particular in mind–a journey, a quest, a DESTINATION:

Las Vegas
The trip’s main quest was to see Magic Mike Live. Believe me when I tell you that it’s not what you think it’s going to be–it’s one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in recent memory. You can read the full review over at Heauxs Magazine.  I lived in Las Vegas the year I turned 21, so it’s a city near and dear to my heart, full of fuzzy memories, bad decisions, and fantastic stories. This past trip is no exception.  Plus, I got to ride a mechanical bull which is my fave thing in this world (shout-out to my former Urban Rodeo League team, the Buckle Bunnies).

Vegas highlights via foto:

Art-O-Mat – local art vending machine

Year of the Dog

Neon Boneyard

New Orleans
The New Orleans quest involved taking an overnight train from Chicago to Louisiana and singing a whole lot of karaoke. I’d never traveled in a sleeper car or eaten in a dining car before; it was very White Christmas (but with no snow and lots of beer) and I loved it. I’d been to New Orleans once before and was eager to revisit it. We hit two karaoke bars (Cat’s Meow and Kajuns Pub), toured an historic cemetery, and ate a ton of amazing food. In Airbnb adventures, I now know what it sounds like when someone drops a 5-lb wad of Mardi Gras beads into a steel drum.

Feast your eyeballs on these NoLa pics:

I made a lot of “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” references for you fellow theater nerds

a surly local

tour of St. Louis Cemetery

omg we ate so much delicious food

Furreals, if I could visit both these cities every year until the day I die, I’d be so happy (but only during the winter because I can’t handle extreme hot weather, I’m basically a Stark).  Both cities are all about celebrating in the moment and indulging every whim. The kale salad in the fridge at home can wait for me.

Eating My Way Through NOLA

I just got back from 4 days in New Orleans with friends, and considering that most of our destinations were food-related, it seemed to make the most sense to do a food diary of the trip.

Saturday lunch: Mother’s Restaurant (as seen on Man Vs. Food). I had red beans and rice with anduoille sausage, smothered cabbage, and turnip greens. The floodgates of deliciousness officially opened.

Saturday dinner: drunken burgers at Yo Mama’s Bar & Grill in the French Quarter. It worked perfectly in soaking up some of the Big Ass Beers to Go swirling around in my belly.

Sunday brunch: Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant. The Bloody Mary was one of the best I’ve ever had. I tried turtle soup for the first time, and had more anduoille with my omelet and homefries.

Snacktime: Sucre for gelato and macaroons.

Sunday dinner: Desire Oyster Bar (at our hotel). Creole jambalaya and Abitas Jockamo IPA get the party started.

Monday lunch: Cochon Restaurant. Here we kicked it up a notch. I ordered a small plate of  braised pork cheeks with sauerkraut potato cakes, applesauce, and feta. I also shared Kurt’s fried alligator with chili garlic aiolo and rabbit with dumplings. Nothing like three different species hanging out in your stomach.

Cocktail time: We went on a tour of New Orleans Rum. Many samples and rum balls later, I am a rum-and-iced-tea convert.

Monday dinner: Jacques-Imo’s Cafe. Blackened mahi mahi with a pistacio sauce, rice and beans, and cabbage can do no wrong. Also, I can now say I’ve had alligator cheesecake (really more of a quiche but the former sounds awesomer).

Tuesday breakfast snack: Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee. Fun fact: they were filming a movie while we were there. Keep your eyes out in 2013 for Now You See Me, thought we had a brief fake-out when we noticed one of the production signs was mislabeled “Step Up 4.” (By the way, beignets kick regular donuts in the bunghole.)

Tuesday lunch: Royal House Oyster Bar. Last meal, booo! I had a classic muffaletta the size of my head and one last Bloody Mary in a go cup.

GOODBYE NEW ORLEANS!!! You were dope.

We landed in chilly Chicago Tuesday night, and the first thing I ate back on Illinois soil was a mother-effing Big Mac.