Step 1: Wake up at the perfect time.
9:15am. The sun is still rising but not yet blazing. Put on your most adorable sundress and sandals (or for dudes, whatever yells “comfortable” and “fun”). Get some coffee and maybe a pastry.
Step 2: Church.
The songs echo with joy and power, through doors and windows probably shut to keep the A/C in. The people exude the same passion. you’re not super religious (like me), there is something that just, moves you when you listen.
Step 3: BRUNCH.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Preferably at Antoine’s, where you can mosey in a little hungover and not feel judged by the fanciness. Instead, you’re comforted by it…that these lovely folks with Southern/Cajun accents in crisp white shirts understand your pain and want to alleviate it with brunchiness. Or more booze, in the form of mimosas/bloody marys, or flaming coffee.
Step 4: Take a street car to nowhere in particular.
Sitting squeezed among tourists, while crawling through the Garden District past Tulane and dozens of houses that leave your mouth agape, is as surreal as public transit gets. You can have a destination, or not…just enjoy rolling through the city and marvel at the people, the homes, the warmth of it all.
Step 5: Coffee.
After sitting in a sun-drenched street car for an hour, there’s some much-needed caffeination to be had. Rue de la Course is an old bank, turned into a gorgeous coffee place with strong brew guaranteed to re-charge your brain. Also, they serve iced coffee in tall glasses, not plastic cups. I am obsessed with places that do this…I’ve only seen it one other time, in a tiny place in Newport, RI. Step your game up, coffee houses that claim to be environmentally friendly.
Step 6: A long, leisurely dinner with carbs and seafood.
A word of warning: you will not feel good about yourself after doing this. You will feel full, exhausted, and may spiral into feelings of low self esteem. Just know that I love you, support you and promise to share my own tales of New Orleans food choices if we ever meet in person. It will all be offset by incessant cravings for vegetables once you leave the city (this is the actual thing that I experienced). The oysters at Drago’s and po boys at Mother’s are excellent options.
Step 7: Beignets and coffee Monday morning.
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