One of my favorite things to do ALONE, besides going to the movies, is to stay overnight at a nice hotel. I don't mean when I'm working & crashing at a Holiday Inn Express, but a leisure trip at a beautiful place. I don't know why, but it just feels like a luxury to me. Maybe it's because I raised 3 kids and had 20 years of not having one hot minute to myself without some little boy's fingers wiggling under the bathroom door whilst I was trying to get a quick soak in the tub; OR, maybe it's because I can stretch out in a king size bed by myself and keep the television on all night (2 things that my husband has a tiny issue with at home).
Either way, this weekend I needed to go to New Orleans to watch my son, Garrett, run a 1/2 marathon. Gary was on call all weekend, so it was all about me (and Garrett of course). So I'm gonna skip over the part where I got a speeding ticket whilst driving over the Causeway & go straight to the good stuff. My go-to hotel in the Big Easy is Le Pavillon.
|Le Pavillon on Poydras. Here's the website: Le Pavillon|
It is a New Orleans landmark. It was built in 1903 and is chock-full of crystal chandeliers, antiques, and other beautiful treasures that throw you back into the Gilded Age.
From the moment I first stepped into the beautiful lobby years ago, it's been my favorite place to stay. It has a quiet elegance & sweet spirit about it. It just "feels right". I've stayed at lots of places in New Orleans over the years, from the Ritz to some of the smaller boutique hotels, but the road always leads me back to Le Pavillon. One of the unique traditions at Le Pavillon is the homemade peanut butter & jelly sandwiches that are served down in the lobby from 10-12 PM every night. Everyone lines up, sometimes in their pj's, & gets a midnight snack! The rooftop pool is beautiful too!
At any rate, I had a wonderful weekend with my son & enjoyed some "me time".
Garrett & his friend, Maggie, both ran a 1/2 marathon that wound through downtown New Orleans and ended up at City Park. It was a BEAUTIFUL day, in a beautiful city. I was so proud of Garrett. He beat his best time! There were 32,000 runners in this marathon. It was a sight to see. I WISH I would be the type to actually RUN the marathon, but alas, it was all I could do to hustle my sista-bootay over to the 8 mile mark across town & get there in time to cheer Garrett on. A 13 mile run would LITERALLY be my death. But I'm grateful that Garrett has incorporated his love for running into his lifestyle. (Thanks to his high school cross-country coaches, Sharon Kline & John Allen Phares. You both truly made a difference in his life & instilled great life-long habits!)
|Garrett in red bandana at mile 8! (Maggie in purple shirt)|
So, no sooner did I cheer them on at 8 miles, when I had to hustle back across town to catch the shuttle to City Park for the finish (geesh..the things us moms do for our kids--no matter the age)! I haven't missed any of Garrett's runs since 8th grade & I don't intend to start now! Plus, just the fact that he runs 13 miles ON PURPOSE is enough motivation for me to do 2 things I HATE: get up at the butt-crack of dawn & run/walk very fast to get places on time. I wish I had a runner's body. I truly do. It's inspiring to see all of these runners; but, like I've told my friends, if you EVER see me running, please CALL 9-1-1!! SOMEBODY is chasing my a**!!
That being said, the next best thing is cheering on my son. After the race, Garrett's friend, Ian, introduced us to a new WONDERFUL place to have brunch. The Ruby Slipper Cafe' is known for it's delish brunch offerings & yummy mimosas!! (Which I can personally vouch for!)
|The Ruby Slipper Cafe|
Ian is finishing up his master's degree and hoping to get into med school this fall & lives in NO. Having a local helps you find those wonderful little hidden treasures tucked all around New Orleans. On Cortez, near City Park, it's certainly not somewhere you'd just be "passing" by. It's definitely a destination location. Apparently there is always a wait. It's a very small place. You have to sign yourself in on a clipboard hanging on the front door and approximately an hour later, they'll call your name. My advice, get yourself a bloody Mary or 1 (or 2) of their famous mimosas & have yourself a seat outside. Believe me, it's worth the wait!
|My son, Garrett in blue, and Ian in red.. on our 2nd double mimosa lol.|
Everything I saw looked great & it was a tough decision. Ultimately, I had the shrimp & grits with a fluffy buttermilk biscuit on the side. It was TO DIE FOR. Being a native Louisiana girl, I've had my fair share of both shrimp & grits, and the tasty sauce in this dish had a wonderful, spicy flavor that was a perfect combination. I can't wait to go back!
|Shrimp & Grits from The Ruby Slipper Cafe', Cortez Street, New Orleans, LA|
After the brunch, we all decided to grab a nap before meeting again for dinner. Ian & Garrett dropped me off at my castle (aka: Le Pavillon) and went home to Ian's place in the artsy part of town on Magazine Street. We would later meet up at The Rum House on Magazine for a great dinner filled with great conversation & lots of laughs.
One other treat I LOVE to give to myself is room service & breakfast in bed. I work VERY hard every day..so why not? Although Le Pavillon serves one of New Orleans' best breakfasts downstairs in The Crystal Room, (if you ever find yourself here, make sure to get the Bananas Foster Waffles at the Crystal Room...they will make you want to "slap yo momma"!) I chose to stay in & order their sure-to-please, authentic french toast breakfast. It's made with REAL french bread, and is so light, yet crispy. Strawberries on the side with a diet coke and I was in breakfast heaven. The fact that I ate in the bed WITH my pj's on didn't hurt either. lol
Well as all fairy tales inevitably do, this one too had to come to an end. After all, it's Monday morning again & soon enough an e-mail from a client snaps me back into reality. Reluctantly, I stuffed my junk back into my suitcase and rolled back into the REAL world. I managed to cram a good 8 hours of work into today & will be back at it again tomorrow..... until next time I can sneak off into another self-created fairy tale filled with king sized beds, delicious food, great company & hopefully finishing with breakfast in bed. It may take a while before the opportunity presents itself again, but I trust it will. Until then, I'll try to confine myself to MY half of the bed tonight & turn off the television at a decent hour so my sweet hubby can get his SNORE on. Oh well, if EVERY day was a fairy tale, we wouldn't appreciate them when they actually happened.
Take good care,