Ah, N’awlins, long time no see.
Last we saw you was 11 years ago. Four months after our visit, hurricane Katrina hit. Since then, we never carved out any time in our travels for a return visit until now. The catalyst for this trip involved a meet up with our California friends, Elizabeth and Teresa. I’m so glad we did this because it made me realize how much I missed New Orleans.
We arrived on Thursday and stayed at the Royal St. Charles hotel. I do like the whole boutique hotel aesthetic and the Royal appeared to have been newly renovated in that hip, cool boutique-y way. The parking was funky, but it’s New Orleans. From what I’ve read, parking is a big complaint about this hotel. Get a grip people, it’s New Orleans. Parking was three blocks from the hotel. You need that walk to burn all the calories you’re going to eat and drink.
Thursday night we had dinner at SoBou, a nifty restaurant south of Bourbon street. Hence the name, SoBou. The dinner was delicious and the decor was cool and trippy.
Friday, the queen, Teresa and I ventured out of New Orleans and headed north to Lacombe, LA, on the north shore of Lake Pntchartrain. Our destination was McNeedles, a wonderful little yarn shop in a nicely restored, 120 year old shotgun shack. The staff was friendly and helpful. It’s amazing how much yarn can fit in a shotgun shack.
But a trip to the north shore isn’t complete without a jaunt to the Abita Mystery House in Abita Springs, LA. Roadside attractions don’t exactly make the queen jump for joy. So Teresa and I left her to spin and chat with the McNeedles staff while we got our weird on.
The Abita Mystery House used to be called the UCM Museum. What does UCM stand for? After a while, she couldn’t stand it anymore, Teresa had to know. Turns out, UCM isn’t an acronym in the way we usually think of acronyms. Instead, each letter is an abbreviated word Prince style. It reminds me of a book I had when I was a kid called “C D B” by William Steig. C D B translates to ‘see the bee’. UCM translates to ‘you see ’em’. Ah… the mystery solved. Sometimes all it takes is a search engine.
The Abita Mystery House is full of stuff. A lot of stuff. If you are into groovy, weird and fun folk art, then you need to take a trip to Abita Springs. Although, doing so in July, or anytime in the summer, can try even the most hardy of souls.
Friday night, Elizabeth was free from her workshop doings and we all had a very nice, very N’awlins dinner at Evangaline. Yes, I had the blackened bologna, thank you very much. And yes, I had the Decatur Street Sundae. One must do what one must do.
On Saturday, before we headed home, we stopped by Bette Bornside Company yarn shop in the fabulously cool Faubourg Marigny district. It’s the epitome of a neighborhood shop. The queen and Bette discussed yarns and patterns and spinning and such as some neighborhood knitters filtered in to knit and chat. It’s really a great little shop, if you’re in NOLA you should definitely visit.
Until next time, New Orleans, I hope it’s not another 11 years.
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