On Day 4 (Saturday), we started the morning by driving to see Peristyle (a potential ceremony location inside City Park), which Justin had not seen yet. Of course, we also took a few photos by the beautiful oak trees.
After Peristyle, we headed to our Rabbi's house for a "porch" brunch of bagels, coffee, and cake (porch events are a big New Orleans staple). This was our first in-person meeting with Rabbi Lexi, but we had previously "met" her virtually on Zoom. She is a young, hip, and fun Rabbi, and we cannot wait for her to officiate our ceremony.
After our meeting with Rabbi Lexi, and before our meeting with Belinda (our wedding planner), we had some time to kill, so we went shopping for ornaments and other decorations to bring Jess' and Chris' house more into the holiday spirit and to thank them for letting us stay with them (if you need us to help you decorate your tree next year, we are available for a small fee of pizza and fries.)
We finished decorating right on time, and went to meet Belinda at a coffee shop to discuss our impressions of the venues and next steps. We could not believe how on top of everything Belinda was. If it weren't for her, we would have nothing done.
After meeting with Belinda, we took an Uber to meet my friend, Sara, and her boyfriend at a new NOLA hotspot called Chloe. I loved it because it reminded me of one of my other NOLA favorites -- the Columns. The drinks and the atmosphere are awesome. Definitely add it to your list.
After Chloe, we had dinner reservations at the famous Commander's Palace. I tried to take Justin there the last time we were in New Orleans, but it was booked. The place is amazing in every each way and I was so excited to be back after not having been for over 13 years. The service was on point and the food and drinks were spectacular. Among other things, we ordered the Turtle Soup, the Grilled Filet, and the Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé.
After dinner, we stopped by Elms Mansion, a historic mansion with Italianate style architecture. It is absolutely breathtaking. If you are ever lucky enough to be invited to an event at Elms, you must go. The Elms hosts a wide variety of events from engagements, cocktail parties, weddings, and everything in between.
At this point, it was pretty late, so it was time to head home to bed...
Day 5 started with one of the best brunches I had in a long time at Patois. The champagne was popping and the food was perfect. Among other things, we ordered the bacon, the Griddled Biscuits, the Deviled Eggs, the Burger, the Potato Gnocchi, and the Cuban Madam.
The brunch was also a treat because we were joined by not only Jess (one of our favorite people and the best hostess), but also another good law school friend -- the other Justin (or as most of us know him as -- The Metro). The Metro is not only a fantastic trial attorney, but he is always a super fun addition to any event. It was also the first opportunity for the two Justins to meet, and as I knew they would, they hit it off.
After a wonderful brunch, we headed back to the house to see the other big surprise of the weekend -- another lifetime friend happened to be in town and we hadn't seen him since 2019. Luckily, we had a few hours to catch up with him before we headed to the airport to end the always too short of a trip.
Stay tuned as we head back in a few weeks to continue wedding planning.
Until then, always remember to see the world and eat the food.