On Vacation with Melanie: My Billie

Hi guys--Melanie again! With Shell being off on a birthday trip with C, I was thinking about sharing one of my most favorite places to visit--New Orleans, Louisiana! I know Mississippi isn't the most destinational place, but lucky for me NOLA is only a short couple of hours away!

There is tons of stuff to do in New Orleans. If you stay in the right place you almost don't even have to leave your room (but that's only fun for so long)! Below you'll find eight things that I think you should always make happen in the Big Easy...

1//Good food. Make sure you eat at places that you can't get back home. My top three recommendations for budget-minded people:  Juan's Flying Burrito (the best burritos--but expect sassy service), Yo Mama's (a little dirty looking but you won't be able to find a better burger anywhere...and hey! Last time me and Matthew went, the guy next to us at the bar bought our dinner and drinks. SCORE!), and Jacques Imo's (just make sure you try the alligator cheesecake!). Oh man and go have some crawfish somewhere. YUM.

2//Cafe du Monde for beignets and an au lait. The OJ's pretty tasty too. I don't go here every time I'm in New Orleans, but its something you have to do at least once while you're there!

3//Architecture and colorful buildings/houses. Those little balconies are everywhere.

4//Audubon Zoo and Aquarium. Two fun things to do with a family or in between binge drinking.

5//Courtyards! Skip the fancy hotels and find a B&B. The coolest places I've stayed at always have amazing courtyards with the rooms opening out into it. Most of the time they have a pool or hot tub. I've even stayed in a renovated mansion. And last time I was in NOLA I stayed in a tree house! Go off the beaten path with your sleeping quarters.

6//Frenchmen Street. PLEASE don't go to Bourbon Street. Frenchmen's where its at (and the locals agree)! Me and Matthew always go to this little bar called the Spotted Cat. They have blues music there and great whiskey. The Frenchmen area has a lot of great food (Sukhothai off of Royal) and houses my favorite New Orleans coffee shop (Cafe Rose Nicaud).

7//Tattoos. I might be a little biased because my tattoo artist from Jackson moved there, but stopping by most any New Orleans tattoo shop is a good idea. I recommend Eye Candy off of Magazine Street. Ask for Erica Flannes. And check out her awesome tattoos right here and here.

8//Meet some of the locals. New Orleans is full of interesting and colorful characters!

So there you have it! My favorite things to do and see in New Orleans! You guys rule.


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