I don’t know about you, but for me there has always been something terribly exciting about waking up in a city that isn’t yours, knowing that you are going to have an adventure. Travel is such a huge passion of mine. I love gorgeous things, I’m female after all, but there is nothing I’d rather spend money on than a fabulous experience. Clothes hang in a closet only to be forgotten, and designer accessories are fun but they don’t rock my world. Travel is different. It is something you get to keep forever. It becomes part of you. It makes you more worldly, more interesting, and just plain more. It is kind of like an investment in yourself. 

I don’t know why, maybe it was the travel, maybe the heat, all the walking I did the previous day, or all the eating, but the next day I was positively useless. Tired was an understatement. Still, we managed to visit Cafe du Monde for an obligatory breakfast of beignets, and for brunch we went to Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans institution. It was #1 on Crazy Kat’s list. Set in the Garden District, amongst all the real estate porn, it kind of sticks out.

commanders-palace-commanders-1_54_990x660_201406011412

It was a fun excuse to dress up and eat tons of food. But wow, we really did eat a lot! I should say “I” ate a lot. CK knows when to stop, I keep going until I am completely barfy (what is wrong with me?!). Brunch was a three course affair, and the courses were not exactly petite. We both started off with Louisiana crawfish boil beignets . For my main, I had a very decadent concoction: braised duck and blueberry pancakes. On top was a poached egg and foie gras hollandaise. Crazy right?

FullSizeRender

By the time we finished, it must have been around 1 o’clock. It was raining very hard (we encountered 4 afternoon monsoons during our 5 days). The streets flooded. We got back to our gorgeous little apartment and spent the rest of the day there, talking. It was lovely. I had some things I had planned, but I was completely out of commission for the day.  We didn’t eat again that day.

On day three, all of my energy had returned. It was then that I had my favorite meal of the trip at an absolutely charming restaurant called Coquette.

New-Orleans-Essential-Restaurant-coquette-main

Everything there was perfection, even the bread and butter. Good bread and soft salty butter is a hard thing to beat in my book. When it’s done right, there is nothing better. It was done right. I could have eaten plate after plate of just this, and l would have left happy.

bread

The servings were not big, but the execution was superb. I adored these carrots I had as my starter. Funny, I had two super excellent carrot dishes in NOLA. I must try recreating some carotty goodness at home. Did you know carrots are good for your sacral chakra? That’s where all the feminine energy is– yeah, I just thought I’d stick that in there. I am obviously a total weirdo. I blame the fact that I have temporarily given up on men, and I now have too much time on my hands. Anyway, I doubt I have ever seen a more beautiful presentation of carrots than this…

 

FullSizeRender

For my main I had scrambled eggs with duck confit, summer squash, and spring onion. I haven’t had eggs that delicious since I’d gone to Paris. They were so soft and buttery.

FullSizeRender

The dessert was slightly odd. I never really get these “deconstructed” affairs, so I was a little caught off guard by what was listed on the menu as cookies and cream, but it was most certainly tasty. So I can’t really complain.

FullSizeRender

After that we walked around Magazine Street. It is lined with cute little  houses that have been converted into shops and restaurants. What impressed me was that the shops were all unique. It is not filled with chain stores, like where I live. They are all independent businesses. There are loads of vintage and handmade goodies, and I would think a lot of it is stuff you wouldn’t find anywhere else. CK suggested we go to a store called Century Girl, which sold vintage clothes and accessories. By far, it was my favorite of the shops along Magazine Street. It is a bit of girly paradise, privately owned by a very sweet girl and her teeny weeny dog called Zelda (whom the customers seem to adore and take plenty of pictures of). OMG, I saw soooooo many things I wanted. I saw the most beautiful embroidered shawl from the 1920’s, but it was $500. There was a completely fabulous rhinestone necklace that I was ready to buy– but then I realized, I had no place suitable to wear such a monstrosity to without looking a little crazy. So I settled on a very beautiful ring. It was an early birthday present to myself. I just fell in love with it. It was kind of a splurge, but hey, a girl has to treat herself once in a while. Apparently it belonged to a singer who lived in the area. I love that the gold isn’t really shiny. The stone changes from purple to a bright pink, depending on how it catches the light. I’m going to wear it whenever I need a bit of pick me up.

FullSizeRender

Shortly after my purchase, it was time to go on our walking tour of the Garden District.  I saw Sandra Bullock’s house (which she loaned out to Leonardo DeCaprio when he was filming Django Unchained–I loved that movie). I also saw Trent Renzor’s house, from the group Nine Inch Nails, now owned by John Goodman. There was so much eye candy, that I have to admit, I became a little bit desensitized. Well, except for this one:

IMG_4702

This was Anne Rice’s house when she wrote The Witching Hour, one of my favorite books when I was in high school. It was also the setting for much of the story. That was pretty special for me, as Anne Rice was my initial reason for wanting to visit NOLA in the first place.  I wonder if that was the tree where the spirit Lasher carved out his name. By the way, also on that tour, we saw Lestat’s family tomb (well, the one that was filmed for the movie Interview with a Vampire — but that movie mega sucked, so please don’t watch it. Read the book).

And can you believe, it was time to eat again? Oh yes, it’s always time for food.

IMG_4739

We had dinner at a place called Domenica. That whole baked cauliflower is something that the restaurant is really known for. It comes with a delicious whipped feta. CK and I had a bit of cauliflower overload though. I had the chicken (pictured), and she had pasta. For desert it was more stuff of the fried dough variety. Domenica was nice, but I wouldn’t say it was exceptional. You are spoiled for choice in New Orleans. Here where I live, this meal would have been considered amazing. In NOLA it was just “nice.” I am still waiting for my Nobel Peace Prize. The one I earned by ingesting all those calories so that I can give you guys the real dirt on what to eat and what to save your fat pants for. Anyway, email me. I will tell you where you can send donations. I’ll probably use it to book myself into a fat farm.

Well, if you haven’t gained weight from reading this post, there is one more to come. Until then, I have an interview today. I reaaaaaaly need to get a job already. I hope I fit in my suit. I’ll be wearing my new ring for good luck.

I’ve been feeling a little rough. It’s a little hard to explain, but I feel like my life has no joy in it anymore. Nothing horrible and dramatic has happened recently, I am just deeply unhappy. It’s not 100% of the time, but it is most of the time. The things which once gave me pleasure don’t seem to interest me much anymore. Last night I went to bed at 7:30 and I slept for 12 hours. It wasn’t because I was super tired. It was because I was feeling sad. I cry often and easily. I want to believe that there is something left for me. I want to feel that this is just a rough patch, and maybe one day I will wake up and feel good again. Right now I’m having a hard time understanding how something better is going to manifest itself, but I read somewhere that it’s not our job to figure out the “how,” that that is better left to God.

On that note, rather than wallow in my feelings, I wanted to focus on the good stuff. Several months ago I read the book called The Secret. Although I do not necessarily believe in all of the concepts presented there, the one message I took away from it is the importance of gratitude. I really believe it has a very transformative power. So today I want to focus on a few things that make me happy while I’m not at my best (from the trivial to the significant).

1. Random acts of kindness: I love to be reminded that people are generally good. It gives me hope.

2. The chocolate dipped coconut macaroons at Godiva. I always end up eating the whole four pack in one day. I have no self control LOL. What can I say? Sometimes a girl needs to treat herself.

Try them, trust me on this one.
Try them, trust me on this one.

3. Books: When I was in college I used to love reading the vampire series by Anne Rice. Recently, she just wrote a new book, Prince Lestat, bringing all my favorite characters back to me. It’s like catching up with old friends (glamorous, blood sucking friends LOL). Sitting on the porch, on a sunny day, reading about what they are up to now… it’s nothing short of lovely.

Bite me Stuart Townsend LOL (he was devinely sexy as Lestat in the movie Queen of the Damned).
Bite me Stuart Townsend LOL (he was divinely sexy as Lestat in the movie Queen of the Damned).

4. My dear friend T: I have known her since we were both three years old. We were in nursery school together.  Although we live far apart, and we only talk a couple of times a week, she is nothing short of a sister to me. This week, she told me she loved me. Except for my mother and my grandmother, no other woman has ever told me they loved me before. I told her I loved her too. Isn’t it wonderful when sometimes someone tells you exactly what you need to hear? When she said those words to me, for the briefest moment, I could feel my heart open like the petals of a flower.

I saw this video on YouTube that kind of expresses how amazing it is to let someone you love know what they mean to you (for the both of you).

d9d01256b7bcece41caf077e709e9162

5. Surviving: Despite it all, even with this broken heart, I wake up in the morning. I put one foot in front of the other. I’m living and sh*t.  I’m still here. I’m not going to let some ass wipe keep me on me knees.

I'm not there yet, but I promise myself that I will be. What other choice is there.
I’m not there yet, but I promise myself that I will be. What other choice is there?

I am amazed the way this works for me. I really do feel better when I write down what I’m grateful for. What makes you feel grateful?