This past week Juan had a big work conference down in New Orleans. His company kindly let my fly out with him if I came as a volunteer–which was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down! I’d dreamed about going to New Orleans for so long. I mean, one of my very favorite Disney movies is Princess and the Frog! So I was stoked.

We had such an amazing time, I’m not sure where to start. Most of the week was spent working at the conference and we were all sorts of exhausted. But we still made time to see and do as much as we could whenever we had a spare moment! New Orleans is hands down the most cultural place I’ve ever been. The culture there is so unique and is alive and thriving. You’re immersed in the music, the architecture, the food, and the people no matter where you go! You’re also drenched in sweat every where you go ha! The humidity was killer, especially with it being August. Everyone had the nice sweaty glow about them. It made stepping into a place with AC a magical experience. But despite the humidity and grittiness of the city, it was one of the most unique and amazing experiences. And here’s way too many photos to prove it. The view from our hotel! We were right on the Mississippi and even got to watch the eclipse at its peak right on the Riverwalk.
Connect held the conference’s opening reception at Mardi Gras World–the warehouse home for all of the  parade floats! It was so cool to see them so up close and personal. The party was right outside the warehouse and had all sorts of live music, which I loved. And tons of shrimp + grits which I also loved.

This part of the venue was AMAZING and you felt like you were outside–but you weren’t! It gave off that Pirates of the Caribbean vibe.Every year at this conference, there’s always a big name guess speaker. This year it was Neil Patrick Harris and we were lucky enough to get to meet him!
Even though we were working most of the time, I loved being able to meet and interact with so many people. This was my little group that I spent a lot of my time with and all of them are the sweetest people and were so nice to show me all the ropes!We had a free night during the week and were able to go out on the town with Juan’s co-workers Jeannie + Sarah. We went to Royal House and had the perfect authentic New Orleans meal. Juan was in heaven because every restaurant in NOLA serves oysters. I think he had enough to last him a whole year. Now I’m not the biggest fan of oysters, but I guess New Orlean’s is famous for its chargrilled oysters. Now these are oysters I can get behind. They. Were. Insane.

We were able to fly out late on Thursday after the conference was over so we had the whole day to explore the city with Sarah + Jeannie. We took a street car up to the Garden District which was so charming + beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking pictures!
I loved all the bead up in the trees! And those pink houses!!

We walked around the Lafayette Cemetery and see all the giant historic tombs. In New Orleans, everyone is buried above ground because the city is below sea level. So crazy! 

A highlight of the trip was beignets at Cafe Du Monde–which has been open since 1862. It’s open 24/7 and all they serve is beignets + milk + coffee. And they were to die for. Which is why we went there 3 times!

The rest of the afternoon we wandered around the French Market and listened to incredible street bands. We visited the cathedral at in Jackson Square and took more pictures of more beautiful buildings!

New Orleans was a place that I will never forget and I’m so grateful that I got to tag along for the experience! — But now all I can think about is going to Disneyland and eating pomme fries at Cafe New Orleans…

Other noteworthy moments:

  • Our driver taking us 45 minutes out of the way from the airport to the hotel and driving us alllllll the way across Lake Pontchartrain and it’s 24 mile bridge and back :/
  • Karaoke at the Cat’s Meow on Bourbon Street. 
  • The nice bartender who would make me mocktails and called me Miss Arizona.
  • Trying alligator bites!–that really do just taste like chicken

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