Thursday, June 30, 2011

Weekend Update: New Orleans and the Gulf Shores

After a much-needed vacation to New Orleans and the Gulf Shores, I'm back in Nashville and ready to blaze forward. But before I get on with the typical Nashville Fashion Blog postings, a re-cap of the week is definitely needed.

As previously mentioned, I went to NOLA with a girlfriend and met up with another girlfriend who lives there. As excited as I was about getting away for nearly a week, other than a day at the beach, no plans were made as to daily activities. So, I was a little unsure of what to pack. Of course, every time I told somebody I was headed to Louisiana for vacation, I got the standard reply, "It's going to be hot down there." Yeah, ok, I get it. I loaded my suitcase with half a dozen sleeveless cotton dresses I figured would be great for the hot, sticky Louisiana weather I'd heard so much about. A pair of jeans were reserved for the plane (I'm always FREEZING on airplanes), and shorts and J. Crew tanks packed for good measure.
Skimmers, flip flops, my favorite black wedges, and an additional pair of Chuck Taylors, encompassed my shoe collection, and a variety of light jewelry was packed. I assumed I'd be ready for anything.

Dresses like the J.Crew Vacation one for $88 are perfect for comfortable, fashionable, vacation wear.

The first night of arrival was spent catching up with the girls at a local watering hole. The second day we went to a local art festival where I met some cute girls with feather jewelry for sale. After a few minutes of discussion, we discovered they had recently showcased their merchandise at Bonnaroo and had made friends with the Lucy Pop Salon gals. Interesting! 

The afternoon allowed me to eat my first Po' Boy sandwich, and since I saw duck on the menu, I couldn't help myself. Seriously delicious. 

Next, we strolled down Magazine Street, which has an atmosphere of 21st Ave., but with a lot more shops and its a hell of a lot hotter. You can find anything from home goods and apparel boutiques, to candy shops, pubs, and upscale grocery stores on this NOLA shopping street. I was a little surprised, though, that I didn't find more apparel shops I was into, but many of them housed garments with a Louisiana summer feel that didn't meet my aesthetic. 

A glimpse of Magazine Street.

I wasn't sure what this place was, but how NOLA is this?

There was, however, one craft-fully designed clothier with vintage-inspired pieces that made me want to put on some bright red lipstick and support my troops. I snapped a picture of a jeweled necklace and vintage dress on a dress form that I loved.

I found out that this boutique (which I can't remember the name of) has all one-of-a-kind 1940's/50's inspired dresses exclusively designed by the store owner. It reminded me a lot of the pin-up clothing section at Katy K's, except more vast. 

Even though I wasn't exactly into the clothing stores we patronized, I died for the interior design stores. I am a firm believer that fashion and interior design share similar attributes and if you have a passion for one, you're likely to have a natural knack for the other. Many of the home stores concentrated on goods with a historic Southern charm and a French twist. However, a few of the modern stores- furniture with sharp edges, brightly colored bar stools, and giant coir lamps- had me drooling.

It's incredibly difficult to shoot window displays, but this West Elmish store was to die for.

Adorable window display for a local candy shop. 

After a day of shopping and an evening of dinner with new friends, we headed out for the night. This night I paired my black, breathable, Vera Moda dress with black skimmers from Urban Outfitters. I was told we'd be doing we'd be doing a lot of walking and to dress for the summer heat; I figured a short dress and flats would meet both these criteria while still being fashionable.

Our first stop was Harrah's Casino. I'm not sure how it's possible, but I had never been to a casino before; gambling my hard-earned cash aways isn't exactly appealing to me. That being said, I had a blast.  The $2 I blew on penny slots was well worth the fun and experience of my first casino.

Ballin' at the penny slots!

Next, we ventured to Bourbon Street. As this was my first trip to NOLA, obviously this ridiculousness of a street was also a first for me. I assumed Bourbon Street nightlife was a lot like downtown Nashville- minus the country, plus the beads. Not exactly. I have to admit that I'm glad I experienced Bourbon Street, but don't anticipate on ever returning. Scandal, filth, trash, scantily clad men and women, and drunk people filled the streets and bars. Not my typical Saturday night, to say the least. But, I sipped a Hurrican at the famous Pat O'Briens and capped off the night with a world-famous cup of coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.  

Bourbon Street ridiculousness.

The greatest night cap imaginable.

The next day was beach day! We made the three-hour journey from NOLA to the Gulf Shores at a newly remodeled hotel in Alabama. And for the next two days, this was my view:

And this is pretty much all my gal pals and I did on our road trip:

It was heaven. That is, except for the massive forest fire happening behind us. You may have heard about it on the news, but this fire was blazing and even blocked the sun a few times. Crazy. By the time we left the Gulf Shores, the fire was under control. Still pretty wild, though.

Our beautiful hotel...

And just a little to the left... :(

On our final day in NOLA, we drove about a half hour away to visit a plantation and experience the historic tour. How beautiful is this house? Seriously?

Thereafter, we hit up Mother's Restaurant, a New Orleans tradition, where I ate some of the best jumbalya, greens, and cabbage of my life. Coincidently, they were filming an episode of Bazaar Foods with Andrew Zimmerman while we were there. Seriously, I could eat at Mother's Restaurant every day of my life. 

Then, our tour guide drove us through a historic cemetery where I couldn't help but snag a few shots of these exquisitely designed resting places.

The remainder of the day was spent browsing the local mall, which is similar to just about any other mall in America, but re-capping the trip with my gals.  Then, it was onto the plane, and back to Nashville.

So, I've been out of the loop for a while and missed some great events while I was detoxing from the stressors of my every day life. But, now I'm back and ready for more Nashville Fashion Blog.

1 comment:

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