The AVMA hosted their annual meeting in New Orleans this year. Since Blake needed continuing education hours and a vacation sounded good, we headed off to the Big Easy! We boarded a plane on the 17th of July and spent the next 6 days playing, eating, lounging, walking, eating, learning (Blake, anyway), eating, taking tours and eating. One thing was constantly on my mind...if you can't tell. "Where are we eating next?"Let's just say I've got people who gave me the scoop on the best eateries in town. Blake and I managed to put a pretty large dent in the list, as you will see!
We started the 18th with an early morning walk to Cafe Du Monde for beignets and orange juice. Delicious. We then walked along the river and ended up in a mall! Blake forgot to bring shorts and was ready to pass out from overheating by 10:30. So, he bought a few new pair to make it through the week. We walked around River Walk and grabbed a muffelata for lunch. It was good, not great. Probably because it was not on the list of must do's supplied by B. Majors. We did a city tour that afternoon and got to see more of the French Quarter, the Garden District, St. Charles Street, a cemetery, and the Katrina devastation in the lower 9th ward. The evening ended with a nice dinner at Acme Oyster House consisting of grilled oysters, crawfish etouffee, jambalya, gumbo and red beans and rice. Great meal!
Blake spent all day on the 19th in lectures while I read a book by the pool. I walked to Johnny's Po-Boy's for lunch and it was another good, not great meal. What did I expect? It was also not one of B. Majors recommendations! But dinner was a different story. We boarded the St. Charles Street car and headed to S Carrollton for a meal at Camellia Grill. It was fabulous. We ordered burgers, fries and a chocolate freeze (milkshake). I would have to say that was one of the best burgers I have ever put in my mouth. We were in heaven! We rode the street car back to Canal Street and walked down Bourbon Street to get to our hotel. An interesting walk, to say the least, full of lovely sights and smells coming from all directions!
Blake spent the morning of the 20th in lectures. I met him for lunch at a place called Mother's. Not only was on the list but Blake had been there before. I had quite a hike from Bourbon Street to Poydras in 95+ degree weather. It managed to work up a good sweat by the time I arrived, only to find a line outside the door. To top that off, it was in the direct sunlight. Fortunately, we only had to wait outside for 5 minutes, tops. But the damage had been done. Once inside, I scanned a rather large menu and had a hard time deciding what to order. All of a sudden, I wasn't feeling so good. My pulse was racing and once again found myself sweating...in an air conditioned room. Luckily, there was an empty seat next to me that my butt managed to find before the room went black! Nearly passed out in at Mother's in New Orleans. Good thing I was with a doctor...for animals...who got me water. All was well once I was hydrated but I must admit it was a little scary. Blake got breakfast, a crawfish etouffee omelet and a debris biscuit. I was in no state to place my order and ended up with red beans and rice. Great meal despite my near fainting experience. Recouped with a full belly, we headed to the aquarium to check out all the creatures. We saw lots and lots of fish, shark, jelly fish, seahorses, otters, penguins, frogs, etc. Great facility. Then we headed to the IMAX to watch Hurricane in the Bayou, which we enjoyed as well. We headed back to the room for a nap before getting ready for dinner. We ended up eating at Cafe Maspero. We weren't starved and heard the had a $10 seafood platter with salad included. Good, not great but a nice end to a hectic day.
On the 21st, the first half of the day was more education for Blake. I spent the morning piddling on the computer in the room and then reading by the pool. I picked Blake up at noon and we headed to get the best po-boy in town per B. Majors. She was right. Fabulous meal at Domilise's on Annunciation. We couldn't decide which sandwich to get so we tried the 3 she recommended: fried shrimp, fried oyster and roast beef with gravy. Basically, they were to die for! The place was a hole in the wall but has been around for 70+ years. We were even so lucky to have Dot Domilise herself make our sandwich! Pretty special! With full bellies, yet again, we headed to Magazine Street to do a little boutique browsing. I managed to get a pair of shoes before having to take Blake back to the convention center. No point in heading back to the room. I finished out the afternoon walking up and down Magazine finding a few more goodies to purchase! Picked up Blake and headed back to the Inn. Ended the night with pizza in the French Quarter. Not recommended but a pretty tasty meal.
Our final day, the 22nd, started out the same as each day before. Blake class...me by the pool reading The Secret Life of Cece Wilkes (good read). After 22 hours of lecture, Blake was finished with his continuing education by noon. We drove back to Camellia Grill for one more burger. Well, not exactly true. Blake got an onion omelet and a pecan waffle. There was no way I could pass up grilled ground chuck with cheese, mayo and ketchup stuffed between 2 buns! To top it off, I got chili cheese fries! What a pig. It was, again, one of the best burgers I have had the privilege of eating in my entire life. We had to go back to the hotel and rest after that meal but had plans to eat at Pascal's Manale for dinner. Too bad Blake's stomach wimped out on us. He was in no shape to eat by dinner time so we had to miss out on the home of the original BBQ shrimp :(. Next time!
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:25 am on the 23rd. Our trip was officially over. We had a great time together. It was so nice to get away for a few days and relax. I must say a change in scenery was good for the spirit! As you can tell, we ate lots and lots of really good food. I can't believe I didn't gain a pound. Maybe it had to something to do with the fact that we walked around in nothing but heat and humidity for 5 days! Good times! Hope to do it again.