La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience

I was looking forward to going to New Orleans, LA, for the 1st time. Then, I landed up getting Vertigo. It is some kind of crazy, dizzying, off balance, and at times nauseating sickness. It comes from out of nowhere and no one knows how long it will last. Mine lasted about a whole week. I haven’t had it since thank God!

I called the doctor and she prescribed me some pills that mostly put me to sleep. I took those and got on the plane. Luckily going to NOLA for us is only an hour flight. When I say, I was out of it, I mean I was OUT OF IT. I wasn’t going to let Vertigo ruin my first NOLA experience. Thank goodness, for my husband, who was extremely patient with me. I couldn’t have made it on the plane or enjoyed anything without him taking care of me.

We stayed at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. It was fantastic! We had an extra large room and away from Bourbon St, which is exactly what we were looking for. It was peaceful and quiet, but close enough to be able to walk to the party scene in the French Quarter. We had a view of the river and the French Quarter from our room. I would definitely stay there again and recommend it to others, as well.


La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience

La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Musts:

Gumbo Shop was our 1st stop to fill up on gumbo and jambalaya. For those unfamiliar with Creole food, it is a beautiful mix of African, French, Spanish, and Caribbean styles of food. This is what we come to New Orleans for, to discover this piece of history and culture that is exclusive to NOLA.


La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience @ the Gumbo Shop – It’s all about Jambalaya for me.


Johnny Sanchez the baby of famous chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. 1 word: Awesome! It was such a delicious and flavorful Mexican taqueria in the middle of New Orleans. We went back to eat and drink there twice. This has to be my most surprising discovery in NOLA. It’s also outside of the French Quarter, but still walkable in the downtown area. It’s worth the walk and reservations are accepted. I’ve been telling everyone about this place. It’s become my top recommendation because it’s completely different and unexpected to New Orleans cuisine.

NOLA Restaurant gets a big Yaaaasssss, from me! One meal here and I remember why Emeril Lagasse is a world renowned Chef. We had an unforgettable dinner here. The portions are more than generous and left us wobbling out the door. The wine list was extensive and the service was fantastic. I highly suggest reservations.


La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience @ NOLA Restaurant

Saints and Sinners probably more famously known for its owner, Channing Tatum. Yep and we were told every time he’s in town, he’s usually enjoying the party. I’ll forever remember this place as the 1st place I tried Crawfish. A Southern staple. Since living in the South this was my first, but not my last time enjoying crawfish.

Pat O’Briens is the place to be to start the party since 1933! By the time we got here, I was feeling better from my Vertigo and was ready for a Hurricane or two. What’s a hurricane? Well, it’s Pat O’Briens signature drink, a mix of Rum and their own famous Hurricane mix.

Gordon Biersch Brewery my husband is a beer enthusiast through and through, meaning anytime we can stop and enjoy a pint or two we do. This place is a great mid day or evening stop for a late night beer. They also have food, but we never ate there as it was only a stop on the way to wherever we were going next.

Cafe Fleur De Lis usually has a line out the door. I promise it’s worth the wait. It serves only breakfast and lunch. It doesn’t take reservations. I don’t suggest going with a big group. It’s pretty tiny on the inside. It’s a great way to start the day with a big ‘ol Southern breakfast!


La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience – Cafe Fleur de Lis

Cafe Du Monde has been in NOLA since 1862! It’s open 24 hours a day. We enjoyed our beignets late at night on a walk around the French Quarter. It’s a NOLA must and easy to understand why it’s been around for generations. The one, the only Cafe Du Monde…


La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience – Cafe Du Monde


We celebrated Easter Sunday in New Orleans. We went to mass at the famed St Louis Cathedral.

First of all, I’ve never seen an Easter mass as I experienced it in NOLA. It was bright, colorful, and every single person was dressed to impressed. There were several parades throughout the entire day. They were all full of music, beads, and plenty of costumes. I love a good old fashioned NOLA parade.

My other favorite New Orleans must is actually away from Bourbon St and the French Quarter. It’s a short cab ride away called, Frenchmen Street. This is where the over 25 crowd hangs out. It’s abundant with live music, signature cocktails, and plenty of art to be experienced. It’s the grown-up version of Bourbon St. I enjoyed it so much more than I expected.

I took away that this city is proud of its history. Seeing how far they have come from Hurricane Katrina is uplifting. I would suggest don’t just visit New Orleans, experience New Orleans. Eat as much as you can. Drink as much as you can. Sing and dance as much as you can. Just make sure not to step in a bourbon puddle.


La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience @ Bourbon St


Did your favorite NOLA eats or sights make the list? If not, let me know where you love to eat, drink, and hang out in New Orleans? Cheers!


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