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Exploring the Big Easy: A First-Timer's Guide to New Orleans

Let's chat about my trip to New Orleans! I was excited to finally visit as NOLA has been on my travel wish list for a while. I loved the beach, so each time I go on vacation, I almost always opt for somewhere tropical instead. But when Generation HOPE invited me to speak at their conference in NOLA, I knew it was time to swap my sunscreen for some spicy Cajun flavor.

Picking a hotel was hard! I wanted to be close to the action but not completely in the mix. After searching for a while, we found Le Méridien New Orleans. Tucked into the Central Business District, it was modern, chic, and just a 10-minute walk away from the madness. Score!

Let's talk food—because, oh boy, did I eat my way through NOLA! Oceana Grill kicked things off with delicious crabcakes that had me questioning my Maryland loyalty (sorry, hometown!). And don't even get me started on the BBQ shrimp— downright divine.

Of course, I couldn't leave without trying those famous beignets. While many people go to Cafe du Monde, all the locals say Cafe Beignet is the best spot. And they weren't wrong! The beignets were so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the powdered sugar was yummy. I paired it with a steaming cup of cafe mocha. I'm still dreaming about it!

Brunch at B Spot Nola was a whole vibe. Mimosas flowing (we had the flight), salmon bites disappearing faster than you can say "delish," and fish and grits that blew my mind. Let's just say, my taste buds were living their best life. Anddd you can treat the chef/staff to a shot! We had a time!

When it came to playtime, I stumbled upon a parade that had me feeling like a kid again—beads flying, balloons everywhere, pure magic. My husband was cracking up at me getting balloon animals. And catching a Pelicans game? Total spur-of-the-moment decision by my husband and we had a blast!

And let's not forget Bourbon Street. Bars, music, and more frozen cocktails than you can shake a Mardi Gras mask at. My hubby and I partied 'til 4am, laughing and dancing like there was no tomorrow.

As I said goodbye to the Big Easy, I'm leaving with a heart full of memories and a belly full of good eats. NOLA, you've stolen a piece of my heart, and I'll be back for more—count on it!

For more on my NOLA shenanigans, follow me on Instagram. Let's keep the party going, y'all!

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