Laissez bon temps jouer

So, I’ve traveled domestically and internationally.  I’ve experienced the best places and the worst.  I’ve met some really awesome people and some really rude people.  So far, my favorite place to vacay and relax is Mi Yard!  It’s home.  It’s the place where I am me and can let my hair down– so totally not hard to do now because I’ve cut it all off.  My second fav place on the planet was Miami, my previous home for a few years.  However, that has since been obliterated and blown out of the water by my new 2nd fav place— Nawlins (New Orleans).  Can I just tell you how awesome this place is?  I affectionately call this the poor man’s Vegas- not because people are poor, but because you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to have a great time.

I recently spent four glorious days basking in the sun, enjoying the locals, listening to music, sampling the local cuisine and… of course, strolling down Bourbon Street.  This place is absolutely wonderful.  When I get a chance, I will post a few pics and maybe a video, but detailed below are some must-dos (in my humble opinion).  Just in case you are wondering, yes, I am making a return visit in four months to experience THE experience again. 

  1. Eat at Coops Place on Decatur- it may not look like much, but this is some serious good eating.  It is well worth the money.  Please be advised that they do not allow individuals under 21 to dine in the restaurant.
  2. Visit the Riverwalk – I believe that it is closing soon and will be re-developed into something else, but you can at least experience time watching the ships go by and listening to live music.
  3. Take the trolley – it is an easy way to get around, but it is always fun to take the local transportation.
  4. Eat a beignet – One is probably worth a thousand calories, but they are so totally good.
  5. Check out the French Market on North Peters in the French Quarter (located a block away from Coops).  Great place to get souvenirs, sample the traditional Louisiana fare, listen to live music and get a good “adult beverage” or two.  Please make sure you find the bar that makes a “dirty banana”.  This was my drink of choice in Mi Yard and I never found any place in the states where a bartender could make one— until last weekend.  Dude put it down.
  6. Want the bomb red beans and rice?  Check out Willie’s Chicken Shack on Bourbon Street.
  7. If you are looking for a good place to stay and desire to stay by the airport (just in case you a tempted to party too much and may cut it close when trying to make your return flight home), I highly recommend you stay at the Hilton Garden on Williams in Kenner.  It is approximately fifteen minutes from the Airport (they have a shuttle), the rooms are nice, the staff is UBER friendly and it is only a 20 minute drive from the downtown area.
  8. Saved a little room for one last meal?  Visit Mother’s Restaurant on Poydras.

There’s something for everyone, but be mindful if you are taking the little kiddies because some of the sites can be rather risque.  There are few strip clubs and “a partner bar” for those who are adventurous, both advertise no cover charge, but I am sure there is like a ten item minimum.  To each his own, I am not judging, it is just not my thing.  You must also know that you will see your fair share of drunk visitors so watch for the flying chunks.  One last thing, there are people of all walks of life who flock to this area and live in this area.  As such, you are bound to see a lot of rainbow flags and some establishments that cater to the same sex crowd.  Again, to each his own, but please be mindful of this if you are traveling with the wee ones.

Nawlins– Joie de vivre! À bientôt!Image

May the world be your playground

It’s been a minute since my last post and there have been a lot of swirling, moving parts in my life. My recent travels have taken me to the sunshine state where I had a lot of time to relax and unwind.

I enjoyed some time in Miami, where I hung out in the Gables, Kendall, Fort Lauderdale and Davie. Although I did more resting than partying, I enjoyed my time away from the hustle and bustle. Of course the most rewarding part of the trip was spending time with my girls: Cha, Fi and Tyra.

A month later, I journeyed to Tampa where I for some quality time with the fam. Unfortunately, our family had experienced three deaths, two months apart over the course of six months. So, I was praying that no one else would pass before I made it to Tampa. On the Friday night of my trip, my cousins and I enjoyed a night out in Ybor City. Our first stop was a local restaurant and bar to see one of Tampa’s finest drag shows at Hamburger Mary’s restaurant (http://www.hamburgermarys.com/about). The show lasts for about 45 minutes, but it is quite entertaining and the performers are pure high energy. I highly recommend this show to anyone visiting Ybor City and looking for a great time. After the show, we partied the rest of the night away at Gaspar’s Grotto (gasparsgrotto.com) where we swayed to the grooving beats while enjoying the beautiful Tampa weather. We partied so hard that it was 2:30a.m. when we finally departed.

Saturday night was spent at Jackson’s Bistro (http://www.jacksonsbistro.com/) in Tampa’s Harbour Island. We arrived around 11p.m. and the party was KRAZY. The first couple of minutes was spent in the latin room listening to salsa, reggaeton, merengue, and cha cha. A little later we made our way to the hip hop room where we dropped it low, low, low, low, low, low low. I definitely got my cardio workout that night.

After recovering from the activities of the past two days, my cousins and I spent Sunday having lunch at Bahama Breeze in Clearwater, Fl. This was the perfect way to end a weekend of non-stop fun with my family. The sun was shining, the music was relaxing and love was in the air. This was one of the best visits I’ve had in a very long time.

As I look forward to my milestone birthday coming up, I am looking forward to many, many more days of sun, fun and relaxation.