Round 2: The Big Easy Travel Guide

Round 2: A Big Easy Travel Guide

As I returned home from what is now my annual trip to New Orleans, I couldn’t help but miss everything that I was leaving behind. It’s a place I wish I could visit every day, but my body thanks me for choosing not to. For those of you who have never been, I highly suggest visiting. Whether you’re there to drink, eat, or simply enjoy the company you’re with, the Big Easy has a spot or two for you. If you take any suggestions from one of my prior NOLA posts or follow even one of my suggestions below, I guarantee that you will have an exceptional time while in the Cajun capital.

#1 – Any Big Easy Ghost Tour

When I say any ghost tour, I literally mean any ghost tour. Walking through the dimly lit back streets of the Big Easy while listening to a tour guide story out all of the sadistic things that have happened there over the years makes for quite the spooky experience. You can learn anything from the zombie rumors that surfaced during the plague of the 1700’s to the possibilities of what happened to Delphine LaLaurie after the slave fire of 1834. The history and architecture of New Orleans is absolutely spectacular and it amounts to loads of great ghost stories for your vacation.

#2 – A Drink from Pat O’Brien’s

Pat O’Brien’s is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, drinking destinations within the Big Easy. They’re known for their Hurricanes yet their cocktail menu is endless. Whether you decide upon a Hurricane, a Cyclone, or a Cat-5 Margarita, you absolutely must try one of their drinks. Besides the taste, all drinks have their own unique, exotic color scheme, and the Rainbow even contains every color of… you guessed it, the rainbow! I highly suggest going on a football Sunday when the Saints are playing at home too. You’ll experience a little of the local flare along with your tasty drink and I doubt you will lack amusement.

#3 – Johnny’s Po-Boys Fried Chicken Biscuits and Gravy

If you’re familiar with any of my other New Orleans pieces, you know how much I love Johnny’s Po-Boys. Every time I’ve eaten there its always been slammed packed full of patrons but it is well worth the wait. This time around while visiting my favorite Big Easy dining establishment I branched out from my typical Surf-n-Turf Po-Boy to try Johnny’s fried chicken biscuit and gravy. If I thought their Po-Boys were good, there wasn’t a word to describe how I felt while eating this masterpiece. It was probably the best fried chicken I’ve had in my entire life. The gravy was loaded with sausage and was the perfect consistency for the warm, buttery biscuit underneath. Plus they give you a massive portion so you know you’ll be full by the time you’re done!

#4 – Willie’s Chicken Shack

Many may disagree, but Willie’s is one of the greatest quick chicken spots to eat at in the Big Easy. They’re sprinkled all over the French Quarter and its surrounding streets, so if one is busy just head to the next one down the block. They also have an entire wall of frozen drinks that are a perfect pairing for that basket of chicken. Be sure to try their special sauces while you’re there as well, they’re very tasty!

Many people associate New Orleans with partying and absurd drunken conduct at all times of the day. While that may be true during Mardi Gras, anytime LSU has a big game coming up, or random weeknights, there is so much more to the city than that. Exquisite cuisine, great historical stories, and beautiful architecture are just a few things that envelop this magnificent city, and those are the real reasons why one should visit the Big Easy.


Thanks again for reading my guide on things to do in New Orleans. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!

My Weekly Recommendation (#14)

My Weekly Recommendation (#14) – Wrigley Field Ivy Tour

Welcome back! On this weeks recommendation, I will be discussing something I did on vacation in Chicago last weekend… a tour of Wrigley Field!

For starters, Wrigley has always been a field I knew I had to visit at some point in my life. It falls second to Fenway but still lands before Oracle, which are both fields I haven’t had the chance to travel to yet. I am a Red Sox fan, but my girlfriend is a massive Cubs fan (and by massive I mean we watch almost every single game). So naturally they have grown on me quite a bit over the last year. I knew we would be in Chicago about four months ago, so I went ahead and bought some Ivy Tour tickets for the little bit of free time we still had left in our schedule.

I had only been to Chicago once before my trip last weekend. While there, I spent almost a full day near Wrigley. It was late December though, so they were in the middle of renovation season. With that being said, I was still in awe being near such an incredible piece of MLB history. So this time around, getting to experience almost all of the stadium was mesmerizing. So much has happened within its walls, much of which I would’ve never even thought was true, and it was such a spectacular experience to finally see it in all of its glory.

After standing around outside the stadium for 15 minutes or so, we were finally allowed in with a group of about 40 or so other people before being walked through the concession area and out to the stands. It was magnificent. Everything I could’ve ever imagined and more as my eyes shot around to every corner of the stadium. After getting some background information/fun facts about the origin of the stadium, we made our way over to the Budweiser Bleachers. From there we went down to the ivy (which was hands down the best part) before visiting the visiting teams locker room, the Press Box, and finally the Cubs Dugout. They even let us stand on one of the on deck circles that the Cubs themselves use! It was probably one of the coolest tours I have EVER done while on a vacation, and I would highly recommend doing it if ever in Chicago.

Thanks again for reading this weeks rec. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!

Wrigley Field Ivy Tour Review

Wrigley Field Ivy Tour Review

Welcome back! On this week’s recommendation, I will be discussing something I did on vacation in Chicago last weekend… the Wrigley Field Ivy Tour!

For starters, Wrigley has always been a field I was dying d to visit at some point in my life. It falls second to Fenway but still lands before Oracle, which are both fields I haven’t had the chance to travel to yet. I am a Red Sox fan, but my girlfriend is a massive Cubs fan (and by massive I mean we watch almost every single game). So naturally they have grown on me quite a bit over the last year. I knew we would be in Chicago about four months ago, so I went ahead and bought some Ivy Tour tickets for the bit of free time we still had left in our schedule.

I had only been to Chicago once before my trip last weekend. While there, I spent almost a full day near Wrigley. It was late December though, so they were in the middle of renovation season. With that being said, I was still in awe being near such an incredible piece of MLB history. So this time around, getting to experience almost all the stadium was mesmerizing. So much has happened within its walls, a lot of which I would’ve never thought was true, and it was such a spectacular experience to indulge myself in.

After standing around outside the stadium for 15 minutes or so, we were finally allowed in with a group of about 40 people. We were walked through the concession area and out to the stands where I finally got my first view of the field itself. It was magnificent. Everything I could’ve ever imagined and more as my eyes shot around to every corner of the stadium. After we got some background information on the stadium, we made our way out to the Budweiser Bleachers. From there we went down to the ivy (which was hands down the best part) before visiting the visiting teams locker room, the Press Box, and finally the Cubs Dugout. They even let us stand on one of the on deck circles that the Cubs themselves use! It was probably one of the coolest tours I have EVER done while on a vacation, and I would highly recommend doing it if ever in Chicago.

Thanks again for reading this weeks rec. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!

New Orleans: The Experience You Didn’t Know You Needed (6/26/19)

[Originally published on 6/26/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

New Orleans: The Experience You Didn’t Know You Needed (6/26/19)

As I was crossing Decatur Street into Jackson Square, mere minutes after stuffing my face with beignets from Cafe Du Monde, I knew I was in love. Art was hanging off every square inch of fence that surrounded me, and as I admired all of the talented people in the square, I smiled to myself knowing that I had found my favorite place on this earth. If you haven’t figured it out yet I am describing New Orleans, Louisiana, or “The Big Easy” as many call it. My trip here was four days and mainly consisted of touring the French Quarter and Garden District, yet I felt as if I could’ve spent the rest of my life there. There must be something in the air because I felt at home, almost as if I was amongst my ancestors. It was a trip I didn’t know I needed, and it now is a trip you know you must go on.  

Nuzzled in the center of the French Quarter is The Court of Two Sisters, which was where my day three brunch transpired. The meal here was magical, and the architecture of the building added a level of comfort that I would have never expected. I unfortunately did not get to eat outside in the beautiful, tree covered courtyard, but if you can get a reservation here I highly suggest requesting to sit outside. The menu differs seasonally as well as between brunch and dinner, but either way be prepared for a buffet style meal you will never forget.  

As I briefly discussed earlier, the artwork in New Orleans is to die for. You can find it across the entire city, but my personal favorite was what surrounded Jackson square. Ranging from bright, multicolored abstracts to detailed landscapes and portraits, you can find just about any style of artwork here. One of my favorite pieces (by Crystal Obeidzinski) was a massive gator, painted on a broken shutter that had come from one of the houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was incredible, and to hear the way she described her process behind creating the painting was spectacular.

Next up, another item mentioned in the intro: Beignets from Cafe Du Monde. This may be one of the most popular reasons people visit the French Quarter. With a line wrapping around the building and probably four to five hundred yards down Decatur, I waited for almost 45 minutes before being seated. Now a little bit about myself, I’m not a huge fan of sugary morsels for breakfast. I’d much rather have a steak with two over easy eggs and some toast, but these beignets were absolute perfection. If I remember correctly, I ate four of these bad boys in roughly two to three minutes and was drenched in powdered sugar after, but it was 1000% worth the mess.  

Another thing that you absolutely must do in Jackson Square is have your fortune told by one of the tarot card readers. The artists typically begin leaving in the late afternoon, and as dusk sets in you will find a plethora of candle-lit tables surrounded by people waiting to have their fortunes read. I was very skeptical of this at first and was not anticipating taking it one bit seriously. As the older woman is reading my girlfriend’s cards, I start to notice a change in her facial expressions. She told me after that this lady was nailing things about her that not many people knew. Sure, they were somewhat vague in certain instances, but I was more than intrigued. So, I sat down a few minutes later and was stunned at how accurate everything she said was (plus she told me that I would stumble into a lot of money soon, who can complain about that!). Even though the whole charade is a teeny tiny bit cheesy, it will still be one of the more fun things you do in NOLA.

Last but not least, po boys. You’d be doing yourself the greatest disservice of all time if you went to New Orleans and did not have an authentic po boy from one of the hundreds of places that sell them. You can find them with fried gator or with roast beef smothered in gravy. Do you like veal? What about oysters? Well they have both of those options too. You can even have your po boy made with deep fried southern catfish if you so choose. Now I know I said there was no particular order to this list, but the po boys from New Orleans definitely sit atop my NOLA Throne.

I know I’ve said a lot about New Orleans over these last few paragraphs, but if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this guide it is this; you will never find a place with as much flavor, whether it be in the food, its culture, or in its jazz, and that is the true reason why you should visit.

New Orleans: The Experience You Didn’t Know You Needed

New Orleans: The Experience You Didn’t Know You Needed

As I was crossing Decatur Street into Jackson Square, mere minutes after stuffing my face with beignets from Cafe Du Monde, I knew I was in love. Art was hanging off every square inch of fence that surrounded me, and as I admired all of the talented people in the square, I smiled to myself knowing that I had found my favorite place on this earth. If you haven’t figured it out yet I am describing New Orleans, Louisiana, or “The Big Easy” as many call it. My trip here was four days and mainly consisted of touring the French Quarter and Garden District, yet I felt as if I could’ve spent the rest of my life there. There must be something in the air because I felt at home, almost as if I was amongst my ancestors. It was a trip I didn’t know I needed, and it now is a trip you know you must go on.  

Nuzzled in the center of the French Quarter is The Court of Two Sisters, which was where my day three brunch transpired. The meal here was magical, and the architecture of the building added a level of comfort that I would have never expected. I unfortunately did not get to eat outside in the beautiful, tree covered courtyard, but if you can get a reservation here I highly suggest requesting to sit outside. The menu differs seasonally as well as between brunch and dinner, but either way be prepared for a buffet style meal you will never forget.  

As I briefly discussed earlier, the artwork in New Orleans is to die for. You can find it across the entire city, but my personal favorite was what surrounded Jackson square. Ranging from bright, multicolored abstracts to detailed landscapes and portraits, you can find just about any style of artwork here. One of my favorite pieces (by Crystal Obeidzinski) was a massive gator, painted on a broken shutter that had come from one of the houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was incredible, and to hear the way she described her process behind creating the painting was spectacular.

Next up, another item mentioned in the intro: Beignets from Cafe Du Monde. This may be one of the most popular reasons people visit the French Quarter. With a line wrapping around the building and probably four to five hundred yards down Decatur, I waited for almost 45 minutes before being seated. Now a little bit about myself, I’m not a huge fan of sugary morsels for breakfast. I’d much rather have a steak with two over easy eggs and some toast, but these beignets were absolute perfection. If I remember correctly, I ate four of these bad boys in roughly two to three minutes and was drenched in powdered sugar after, but it was 1000% worth the mess.  

Another thing that you absolutely must do in Jackson Square is have your fortune told by one of the tarot card readers. The artists typically begin leaving in the late afternoon, and as dusk sets in you will find a plethora of candle-lit tables surrounded by people waiting to have their fortunes read. I was very skeptical of this at first and was not anticipating taking it one bit seriously. As the older woman is reading my girlfriend’s cards, I start to notice a change in her facial expressions. She told me after that this lady was nailing things about her that not many people knew. Sure, they were somewhat vague in certain instances, but I was more than intrigued. So, I sat down a few minutes later and was stunned at how accurate everything she said was (plus she told me that I would stumble into a lot of money soon, who can complain about that!). Even though the whole charade is a teeny tiny bit cheesy, it will still be one of the more fun things you do in NOLA.

Last but not least, po boys. You’d be doing yourself the greatest disservice of all time if you went to New Orleans and did not have an authentic po boy from one of the hundreds of places that sell them. You can find them with fried gator or with roast beef smothered in gravy. Do you like veal? What about oysters? Well they have both of those options too. You can even have your po boy made with deep fried southern catfish if you so choose. Now I know I said there was no particular order to this list, but the po boys from New Orleans definitely sit atop my NOLA Throne.

I know I’ve said a lot about New Orleans over these last few paragraphs, but if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this guide it is this; you will never find a place with as much flavor, whether it be in the food, its culture, or in its jazz, and that is the true reason why you should visit.

Thanks again for reading my how to guide on budgeting. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!