I woke up on Saturday (day two in New Orleans) a little tired but still ready to go. I got dressed and met the group downstairs to head to the wedding jazz brunch. The brunch was held at The Court of Two Sisters, a beautiful spot. The all white and wrought iron restaurant had huge windows so we could look at the beautiful, secret garden-esque courtyard. I made sure to touch the gates (wrought in Spain) on my way both in and out of the restaurant, as they are supposed to bring you luck. I didn’t so much touch as I did grasp for dear life.
After a wild night on Friday, we may have walked into the restaurant a little groggy, but the live jazz band was the perfect pick-me-up. The buffet was brunch on steroids. There was a station for made-to-order omelettes and eggs benedict, crawfish and shrimp with remoulade sauce, salad bar, eggs, bacon, sausage, creamed spinach, hash browns, catfish roulade, bread pudding, bananas foster, and much more. If you left this place hungry, you’re an idiot.
After brunch, I went to Jackson Square with my parents. Inside the square, you’ll find a lush park. In the general vicinity, you’ll see restaurants and shops, but the best part of the square is the artists who prop their wares against the gates. There must be 100 vendors, all with beautiful work that is in the classic New Orleans style. I had spied some paintings I liked the day before but wanted to wait til Saturday to buy since I knew that’s when all the artists would be out there. I also knew I needed to bring Jerome with me because my Daddy is a great haggler and had successfully negotiated a great price for a set of three paintings from SoHo for me that are now hanging above my couch. Just like I anticipated, my father knocked $50 off the price of a beautiful oil painting depicting a home on Bourbon Street. Even if you’re not shopping for art, Jackson Square is a great place to walk around. Just watch out for the crackheads that tend to camp out on one side.
Once I had my painting (with a fresh, personalized note written by the artist on the back), we had to rush back to the hotel for a couple reasons: I had to get ready for the wedding rehearsal and my parents had to figure out their flight since they were thwarted by an impending snow storm. After the rehearsal, we went to Antoine’s, one of New Orlean’s most famous restaurants, for the rehearsal dinner. At Greg’s request, there was a live jazz band during the cocktail hour to set the night off right. Antoine’s is incredibly historic, which created a great ambiance for our four course meal (salad, fried fish with creamed spinach, steak with mushrooms and asparagus, and baked alaska). We ate, we drank, we laughed, we cried. It was a great meal with great speeches that got me extremely pumped for the next day’s wedding. But let’s not jump the gun – there was still fun to be had after the rehearsal dinner.
We went to the Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone for a few drinks. A little swankier than the bars on Bourbon Street, Carousel Bar has a piano player and seats that revolve around the bar itself. After a few drinks, however, we needed to go to bed so we could be nice and rested for the big day.