This past weekend I took a solo trip to New Orleans for a good friend’s wedding. While I would have loved if Matt could have joined, we didn’t have child care and a quick weekend trip filled with wedding festivities didn’t seem like the best place for a 1 1/2 year old. I haven’t left Dylan very much since he was born so I also thought it would be good for me (and him) to have some separation.
Lets start with the flight…now I have never liked to fly, not because I’m scared, but because I find it very uncomfortable and can never sleep on a plane. However, the past year and a half I have exclusively flown with a squirmy, crying baby on my lap so flying solo seemed like pure luxury! I got to casually wait in the Starbucks line, read my trashy magazine, and rest my eyes as I listened to Hillary Clinton’s What Happened on Audible. The flight was a relaxing break and I enjoyed every minute of it!
I arrived in New Orleans on Friday afternoon. After checking into my hotel (The Maison Dupuy) I went for a quick stroll around the French Quarter to meet my friends for a drink. We sipped our drinks on a balcony overlooking a quaint street in the eighty degree weather. It felt so good to be on vacation!
I didn’t have much time to explore because I was a bridesmaid in the wedding and had to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. The dinner took place on a jazz cruise on the Mississippi River. It was so fun to eat gumbo, rice and beans, and other New Orleans specialties. Cruising the river, listening to live music, and catching up with old friends made for a wonderful night!
After dinner I could have done the sensible thing and gone back to the hotel to get a good night sleep. But it was my first time in New Orleans and there was way too much to see and do! I also rarely get to see my Chicago friends (especially when the kids aren’t around) so I had to make the most of it. We started at Harrah’s Casino (right next to our dinner boat). After sitting at the blackjack table for an hour I was up $15 (I’m always thrilled to not lose any money)! We then headed to Bourbon street and walked with drinks in hand taking in the party atmosphere.
We headed to a voodoo shop because when you’re in New Orleans you have to see a fortune teller! I got a tarot card reading and was thrilled with the results. “I’ll be starting a new career that will be very profitable, I’ll have two boys (or one will be a bad ass chick) ” were some of the highlights of my reading.
We stayed out way too late, had so many laughs, and did some things that aren’t quite appropriate to share with the public. It was an extremely memorable night and definitely worth feeling a little miserable the next day.
Saturday morning I was a bit sluggish so I ordered room service. Eating my eggs and drinking a big pot of coffee in bed felt amazing (definitely not what my usual mornings at home with a toddler are like). Since I was in the wedding, I spent Saturday getting ready with the bride and other bridesmaids. Even though some of us weren’t feeling our best, we quickly perked up from laughing all day together and recounting events from the night before.
The wedding was so beautiful and fun. The weather was absolutely perfect and we spent the night outside under the stars. The highlight of the wedding had to be the second line (I never knew about this New Orleans tradition)! At the end of the night a brass band led the entire wedding on a parade through the French Quarter. People danced and cheered as we went by and we ended the parade at a bar for the after party. It was so much fun and one of the most unique things I’ve ever experienced at a wedding. The night continued into the early morning with some more shenanigans that are best to remain private.
Even though it was short, it was an extremely memorable weekend! I was thrilled to see one of my oldest friends so happy and experience such an amazing wedding. I also fell in love with New Orleans! I loved the culture, food, and style of the city. I only got to experience one small part of the city but I’ll definitely be back to see more.
This weekend also reminded me that I have an identity outside of just being a mom. Dylan is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change my current life for anything in the world. However, it is nice to know I can still be fun, spontaneous, and enjoy things in life that are separate from motherhood.