The Tasty Travels of the Swanky Budgeteer.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekend Recap: Family Fun in New Orleans

All smiles with Mr. Kermit Ruffins! He's amazingly talented, and very friendly! 

My husband and I love to travel. No matter how near or far we are from Houston, our motto is: Weekends are for leaving Houston. Okay, I just made that up, but now that my husband spends most of the week working, we are now mostly limited to weekend travel for the time being.

We spent our Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana for the Essence Festival. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to return this past weekend with our children. My beautiful cousin, and fellow blogger, Jerrell graciously allowed Calvin and I to use her apartment for the Essence Festival weekend, and when we returned this past weekend, we split our time between her place and Hotel Indigo.

I must admit, I have not always been the biggest fan of New Orleans. After experiencing New Orleans with our close friends,  New Orleans natives ( The Berry Family), I have come to see New Orleans in a whole new light. My biggest mistake in my past travels to New Orleans was centering my visits around The French Quarter. I witnessed frightening fights, and even a shooting just feet away from me on Bourbon Street during my last visit to Mardi Gras in 2013. I had vowed to never return, however, my husband surprised me with tickets to The Essence Festival to see my favorite group, King, and The Legendary Purple One Himself, Prince Rogers Nelson. Cliche', but I had the time of my life, and couldn't wait to get back to The Big Easy!

Many of our foodie and travel adventures are based around restaurants featured on Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods. (I'm a huge fan, and I've never missed an episode.)  As favor would have it, a repeat episode of Andrew Zimmern's visit to New Orleans aired a few days before our family trip to New Orleans. Thanks to this episode, we were reminded that we wanted to visit world famous restaurant, Willie Mae's Scotch House in Treme'. Calvin and I are both huge fans of Kermit Ruffins, so we decided that we would visit his spot, Kermit Ruffins Mother in Law Lounge, also in Treme'.
Anxiously waiting to try Willie Mae's 

We were faced with a long line outside of Willie Mae's Scotch House, but the thought of Willie Mae's award-winning fried chicken kept us happily in place. We ordered several dishes in order to try as much as we could in one visit. Three servings of the fried chicken, butter beans and rice, red beans and rice, and more.  The food was absolutely amazing, and exceeded our expectations! We were beyond satisfied, and we will return! We were so full, we almost rescheduled our next stop-a visit to The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas for the next day. After allowing our food to digest, we decided to proceed with our original plan to visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
Enjoying New Orleans Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Calvin, the children, and my Mother-in-Law enthralled by the Shark Tank.

My son and I share a love for marine life, so we were both highly enthusiastic about the aquarium visit. We were amazed by every single exhibit. At times, I found myself squealing zealously, and running from one display to another, eager to explore! I literally could not help myself. I especially enjoyed the "Geaux Fish" exhibit, which showcased Louisiana's Sport and Commercial Fishing Industries, and my favorite foods-crab, crawfish and shrimp. The children's favorites were the playful penguins, and the peculiarly fascinating seahorses. We spend a lot of time reading about sea life, and watching National Geographic specials on television, so naturally, we recognized a lot of what we saw there. The entire experience was enjoyable.

Saturday night was extraordinarily electrifying! We are Kermit Ruffins fans, so were thrilled to see him in the flesh, in his own element. When we walked in to Kermit's Treme' Mother-in-Law Lounge, we were welcomed by him, even though he was in the middle of his performance. I was a little shy about walking in, but he motioned for us to come in and enjoy ourselves. We danced, laughed, drank  and savored every note that bounced about the room that night. The most memorable part of the set (for me) was the closing, in which Kermit Ruffins freestyled to the tune of The Isley Brothers' hit, "Between the Sheets. We were impressed, and delighted. After the show, Mr. Ruffins stepped off of the stage, and spoke with us. The first thing he said to me was, "I love your hair".  Calvin and Kermit Ruffins, and I enjoyed a brief conversation, invited us to try his home-made bbq, and he even told us where we could go to continue our fun for the night. He recommended Frenchman St., by the way.  I simply cannot express how entertaining this experience was for us.

Our 10th wedding anniversary is coming up, and in remembrance of our honeymoon, which was spent in New Orleans, we are contemplating another quick getaway to The Big Easy. New memories are created with each visit, and I'm eager to get back and create even more. I've got my heart set on The Ritz-Carlton for our next visit.

 Kermit Ruffins Treme' Mother-in-Law Lounge
1500 N Claiborne
New Orleans, LA 70116
See map: Google Maps

The only shopping I did on this trip to New Orleans was at the Buffalo Exchange in the Garden District. I purchased a pair of Abercrombie Jean shorts for $9,
a gray top for $11.50, and a unique pair of pants for $22. Grand total: $42.50
 The Swanky Budgeteer strikes again!

1 comment

  1. Great story there, been having a great time reading it !


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