This post is sponsored by Visit New Orleans, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Images by: Marrica Evans @MarricaEvans
I am coming off of such an epic girl’s trip weekend to the Bayou Classic in New Orleans with my mom and daughter Aria! It was such a fun and much needed trip in partnership with One Time In New Orleans. My girls and I had the opportunity to spend a nice weekend in New Orleans, experiencing the Bayou Classic and of course all of the fun that NOLA offers!
I have been to New Orleans three times and I have loved each and every time. Every time I have visited the city, it has always been for Essence Fest. This was my first time visiting the city without the Essence Fest crowd, and I was excited to experience it on a less festival-minded level.
Upon arriving in New Orleans, we checked into the Windsor Court hotel. This was my first time staying at this hotel and I absolutely loved it! It is a luxury hotel located minutes from the French Quarter. We stayed in a beautiful premium suite with a king size bed, living room area, wet bar and a bathroom to die for! I love staying in hotel rooms that feel like home and this definitely was comfortable, cozy and perfect!
What took the cake was the hotel’s impeccable service. For instance, we put in our breakfast room service order by filling out a small card before bedtime, we left the breakfast order on the outside of our door for their team to pick it up. The next morning, the breakfast arrived on time with a gracious staff that set up our meal at the dining table. The food was SO GOOD too! Man, I need that French toast again!
Now, if you know nothing about the Bayou Classic, it is an annual event that involves college football rivalries, Grambling State University and Southern University. The Bayou Classic welcomes fans and alumni to New Orleans each November for a week of events featuring a parade, Greek Show, Battle of the Bands and Fan Festival that culminates with Saturday's Bayou Classic football match-up.
On Friday, Aria and I attended the Bayou Classic Greek Show and Battle Of The Bands and it was EVERYTHING! This was my first time attending a Battle Of The Bands and Step Show, and it had me wishing I went to an HBCU! Both schools’ bands showed out, performing a number of songs with perfectly choreographed dance moves. Aria and I were front and center, taking it all in. Aria definitely enjoyed herself. She left the show asking me if she too can play an instrument.
Saturday was too much fun! We started the day by attending the Bayou Classic parade. I loved the parade because it brought out the WHOLE of New Orleans!! From high schools, to middle school dancers, everyone was showing up and showing out at the parade and I loved it!
Aria even caught her first New Orleans beads!
After the parade, we ventured to the fan festival. This festival was a packed house. Fans met here before the game, watched some performances, ate some good food and had a good time.
After the fan festival we were ready to head into the game. I did not have any allegiance to a team, but it was fun cheering on both! Southern University stopped a three-game Bayou Classic losing streak to Grambling State with a 38-28 win! I secretly was rooting for the underdog, so I am glad they pulled it out. My favorite part of the game, of course was the halftime show. I loved watching both teams put on a really entertaining show.
Sunday was our final day in New Orleans and we took full advantage of the day. We woke up bright and early and went to the widely popular café du monde. I am not sure how I have been to New Orleans three times without going to this institution, but it is definitely one of those must see (and must-eats!) in New Orleans. We ordered three beignets and devoured them all. It was our first time trying the signature NOLA dessert. Aria loved them the most, she literally licked the powdered sugar off of everyone’s plate!!
After our appetizer of a breakfast, we went to another popular restaurant, Ruby Red Slipper, where we ate an amazing breakfast!! Of course I had the shrimp and grits, I have to try this dish literally everywhere I go!
Once we left breakfast, we explored the city some more, took pics, and ventured to Mid City to Story Land in City Park for a little fun for Aria. The park was so cool! It is a fairytale-themed playground filled with larger-than-life storybook sculptures featuring classic fairytale characters. Aria loved playing around the park. I love that the park was only a 15 minute drive from our hotel, so we were able to create a quick, fun trip for Aria. New Orleans is definitely a place that all ages enjoy.
I loved every moment of our girls trip. New Orleans is one of my favorite U.S. cities. There is so much to do, so much life, culture, good food and character. I am so thankful for this opportunity with Visit New Orleans to have the perfect#OneTimeInNola experience with my favorite girls.
With Love, Passion, and STYLE,