Our first full day in New Orleans was a rainy one. Luckily we had plenty indoor activities booked for the day to keep us dry.
Marcus and I woke up early to exercise before breakfast. I swam 50 laps in the hotel pool while he did cardio and some weightlifting. As active as we both are, we typically save vacation time for time away from the gym- to sleep in, enjoy good food, and not worry about burning any calories. But the rich food already had us wanting to do some damage control! Plus cardio is good for the baby, so waking up early was a small price to pay.
The hotel was attached to a restaurant which served an “all American” breakfast buffet. Eggs, grits, biscuits, sausage, cereal, fruit- to name half the spread. They had it all and it was all delicious.
Later that morning we attended a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking!
…Because there’s no reason we can’t eat like we’re in New Orleans all year round, right?
Wrong. We’d be 500lbs if we ate like that all year long. But it was a great way to learn how to cook like the locals.
We took a demonstration class where the chef did all the cooking and we did all the eating. The school offers hands-on classes, too.
My family and I attended a cooking class during our Christmas trip. We made jambalya, red beans and rice, pecan pies, and fresh pecan pralines. This time around, Marcus and I made shrimp and artichoke soup (so good), crawfish etouffee, bourbon bread pudding, and pecan pralines.
The menu changes with each class, but pecan pralines are almost always on the list. They’re truly a New Orleans staple. And having one fresh from the pot is indescribable.
I miss them already.
It started to downpour while we were in the class but broke just in time for us to walk back to our hotel. It drizzled on and off again throughout the afternoon. Thankfully the rain lowered the humidity to make for a pleasant evening.
We walked the town a bit until dinner time. You’d think we’d be full from the feast at the cooking school, but we’re not ones to ever skip a meal. We scouted out another restaurant close by, Oceana. We both had redifsh for dinner after the New Orleans Cooking School chef recommended trying it while we were in town. Marcus had the blackened redfish with jambalya and collard greens. I had the sauteed redfish with mashed potatoes and collards.
It’s not unusual for Marcus and I to eat the same or extremely similar dishes as each other at restaurants. Our very first date we ordered the exact same meal…even substituting for the same sides! We still laugh about it. We often go out of our way to order something unique, but sometimes we just go with it.
Another great rainy day activity is touring the National World War II Museum. We didn’t get a chance to go this visit, but my family and I went our first trip. It’s a great way to pass a few hours and learn some incredible history surrounding the war. There are multiple exhibits, great dining halls, and an amazing 4D film, Beyond All Boundaries. I highly recommend the film. You certainly won’t regret it!
One of the coolest features of the museum is it’s interactive. You’re given a “dog tag” upon check-in with a WWII service member’s profile loaded onto it. There are scanners throughout the museum for you to tap your card against to learn about your service member’s activity during the event. For instance, I was given a field photographer. I could tap my card and learn he was in the field during a certain battle…or that he took the very photo I was looking at!
The aviation exhibit is a must-see. It’s set up for you to walk higher and higher, eventually strolling above the planes. Expect your palms to get a little sweaty looking down from the very top.
Until next time,