November 19, 2011, Saturday
Saturday was all about our friends Cesar & Jessica—and rightly so since we had flown in to New Orleans specifically to attend their wedding and join in celebrating their matrimony.
The wedding was held at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Canal Street. You can see more pictures of the church here.
St. Anthony de Padua Church, photo from Neworleanschurches.com
The elegant atmosphere of the church only added to the beauty of wedding. The most beautiful part of the wedding, however, was finally seeing our two friends exchange vows at the altar.
Cesar made a handsome groom and Jessica a beautiful bride! After years of being together, it was about time those two sealed the deal with rings, and a kiss. We were all so extremely happy for them.
Their reception was held at the Southern Oaks Plantation about half an hour away from the main city proper. It had a beautiful fountain right in front of the main house.
A band played lively songs as guests piled inside. They increased their volume when the bride and groom arrived in their limo. Yummy New Orleans food was overflowing at Cesar and Jessica’s wedding. The reception didn’t include a traditional sit down dinner, (though there was a permanent table at the corner of the main ballroom where guests could get desserts, or a warm slice of roast beef and sweet potato salad) instead, servers roved the room offering various appetizers and finger foods to guests. I thought it was a clever way of serving guests. Most of us were bursting by the time the fourth server approached us. At one point, we went outside to the pool area to hide from the servers who kept on offering us food.
A traditional Filipino wedding always involves dancing so right after the new bride and groom had their first dance together, and their first dance with their parents, everybody started grooving to the music.
The wedding cake was gorgeous too. I hear it was yummy, but I didn’t get to try it. I was already so full from all the food and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to fit in my clothes the next day.
The wedding reception ended at around 6pm, and the hired bus brought us back to our hotel. We rested for a little bit, freshened up and headed out for a late dinner at 9pm with some friends. They had heard us raving about Drago’s so they decided to try it too. So Maiko, Lena and I went back for our second serving of Charbroiled oysters!
After dinner, Maiko, Lena and I separated from the rest of the group and headed for Frenchman Street, which we heard was where we could find various jazz clubs. All the free entrance clubs were packed, however, and we didn’t want to pay a cover charge, so we ended up listening outside the bar. I thought this was better anyway because inside was just too crazy with drunk people, and cigarette smoke.
We also listened for a while to this strange but entertaining band playing on the street corner. Sweet Street Symphony dressed in various ragtag outfits and played a combination of jazz and folk music.
We didn’t stay too long on Frenchman Street however, as the smoke and the drunk people were getting on our nerves. :S
November 20, 2011, Sunday
Our flight out was at 3pm, so we had a bit of time to explore more of New Orleans.
We got up at 8am, and took the tram to the French Market.
The French Market was a great place to shop for souvenirs–and xmas presents. I wish we had come here on our first day so I could’ve done my souvenir shopping here instead of a the French Quarter. There were more interesting things for sale here–and at cheaper prices. And the vendors here accept credit cards as well as cash!
Maiko and Lena even bought some beautiful artwork from one of the vendors here.
We explored the market, and its surrounding shops. I went into The Little Toy Shop on Decatur Street and bought myself a knight on a horse–a little figurine to inspire my story-writing process.
Decatur Street was a fun place to explore.
But soon our stomachs were rumbling and we knew it was time to head down to St. Louis Street. On our way there, we passed by Cafe du Monde, and Jackson Square–where the artists sold their colorful artwork,. even on a Sunday.
We had made reservations at Chef Emeril’s NOLA restaurant. But we got there a few minutes too early and the restaurant doors were still closed. So we went next door to the New Orleans School of Cooking and bought some pralines.
When NOLA finally opened, we went inside and quickly got seated.
Since it was our last day in New Orleans, we decided to splurge on lunch and order whatever we wanted.
The food there was absolutely amazing and we gobbled everything up with no regrets.
We peeked in at the Spice and Tea Exchange Shop right across NOLA, before we headed back to the hotel to collect our bags.
New Orleans was a fun city to visit and explore and I hope I get to visit again one day.
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