TGIF: I Heart New Orleans

September 19, 2014


At the time I’m writing this, I’ve only been in New Orleans for about 30 hours and I can already tell you that I love it here. First of all, if you’ve never travelled to the South (I hadn’t) and ever wondered, “Southern hospitality” is a phrase for a reason. Everywhere we go, people welcome you, open doors for you, ask if you need anything, etc. – and I’m not just talking about hotel staff, I mean total strangers walking down the street. The customer service is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, because people genuinely want to make sure you enjoy yourself. Overall, there’s just a sense of warmth here that I haven’t felt in any other city I’ve been to. (This could also be a pun for how hot and humid it is!)

I flew in on Wednesday afternoon, and was greeted at the airport by my roommate for the last two FinCon’s (and now very good friend) Carrie. She drove to New Orleans from Texas and picked me up on her way – it was such a treat to not have to cab or bus! That night, we checked into our hotel, unpacked and met the ReadyForZero team for dinner. And by dinner, I mean we basically just walked into a small hole in the wall Italian restaurant, stuffed ourselves with pasta, then went back to the hotel and passed out.

Yesterday morning, Carrie, Jess and I went for an early breakfast at The Ruby Slipper. As a Canadian, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: portion control is an issue down here, lol. Everything has been delicious, but I can’t finish half of my meals and feel terrible about it! However, we had to fuel up for our swamp and bayou tour, which was definitely an experience I won’t forget.

Again, our tour guide was warm, friendly and had a great sense of humour. He told non-stop jokes, which were so corny, but I love to laugh and am a sucker for that kind of stuff. We saw so many alligators and even got to hold a little baby one! I’m so glad we took the time to go on the tour, before the conference begins and takes over the rest of our schedule. With that being said, I know I won’t get to do everything I want to do while I’m down here. Looks like I’ll just have to come back, one day!

The low of my week is making a comeback because I’m suffering from one heck of a broken heart. Yep, that’s right – I never talk about guys I date on here, but there was someone special in my life I was going to tell you all about soon… only now there’s nothing to tell. More hugs this trip, please friends. I need ’em all.

The high of my week has been everything that’s happened since landing in New Orleans. Seriously, I can’t pick one thing – other than that it’s been so good to see everyone again.

A blog post I loved was Why Travel Makes You Grow by David Cain. Honestly, I think I just loved the last couple paragraphs. The past six weeks of travelling all over the place have been amazing, and I’m loving being in New Orleans, but I also can’t wait to go home and get back to my life.

The best money I spent was $44 to go on the swamp and bayou tour. If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans anytime in the future, I’d bookmark that link and add it to your must-do list.

My plans this weekend include attending sessions, moderating a panel on book publishing/marketing, having dinner with Farnoosh Torabi and friends, attending the Plutus Awards (I’ve been nominated for Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog again!), and exploring the city more before flying home late Sunday night.

How was your week, friends? What are you up to this weekend?

  • Dayle September 19, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Hi there!

    This week went by really quick! I feel like I didn’t have much time to do anything! I did get two classes in at the gym, and one 4.5K run (which sucked)… had tea with a friend who is due to have a baby in 10 days, and played two ball games, one of which we lost and so we’re now done for the season.

    Today is a rest day and tomorrow morning at 8:15am I’m doing a 10K race at the Toronto Zoo. My friend is doing the 5K so we’re going for brunch together after. Beyond that the weekend has nothing planned! soo… probably will catch up on some stuff at home, reading, writing, studying, hanging with bf, watch the Jays and maybe bake something.

    Enjoy the conference! Maybe one day I will make it to one of these!

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Sounds like a nice weekend to me, Dayle. Would love to see you at FinCon15. And I appreciated your texts this morning, xo

  • Marg S September 19, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Hi Cait..

    I hope you soak in every moment in NOLA, a trip there is definitely on my bucket list (right behind a trip to Boston). Are you planning in hitting Cafe du Monde? Enjoy the rest of your trip. Im so sorry about the pain in your heart, we’ve all been there (some of us more recently than others) so I’m sending a huge virtual hug and offering chocolate hoping it will help.

    The high of my week? Easy. I started my new job. My head is positively spinning and the learning curve ahead of me is steep and substantial. Everyine around me is telling me I’ll do great so I’m leaning on their faith in me when I feel a little like “OMG what have I gotten myself into”.

    The low was actually last week. It was very tough to leave behind all the people at my old job. When my departure was announced they all said the most wonderful and heartwarming things. It made it difficult but I know this new job is the right path for my future (financial and my overall well being).

    Best money? I’m trying really hard to cut back on spending. I haven’t done too well because I’ve bought coffee twice (and will be again this morning), but after toady that’s it. Coffee gets brought from home. I am planning on lunch on Sunday with a friend, that was planned so I’m going to say that will be the best $$$ I spend.

    Blog post? I haven’t had time to search any out.

    My weekend plans include the above mentioned lunch and that’s it.

    Have a great time in NOLA!!

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

      I felt the same when I made my transition from my last job to I didn’t hate where I worked – in fact, I loved my team and cried when I said goodbye on my last day. But, like you, I knew I needed to make the change for my career/financial well-being. So stay positive at the new job! I’m sure it was the right move for you.

      And if I don’t eat chocolate, there will definitely be beignets in New Orleans. <3

  • L September 19, 2014 at 4:51 am

    New Orleans is on my travel bucket list, hopefully I make it there soon! In my experience travelling is great for the soul and helps to mend a broken heart, enjoy your time and soak it all in!

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Yea, I couldn’t ask to be in a better place/with better people right now. Thanks, L.

  • Charlotte September 19, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Cait, I’m so sorry to hear about the low of your week – that’s always a real blow. I hope your time in NOLA keeps you distracted and busy enough to forget about it for a few days and that you can fully enjoy your time there. It helps that you’ll be among friends!

    I had a good week, nothing too high or low, generally just mellow. Totally fine!

    Have a blast at fin con! xo

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Thanks, hun. It definitely helps that I’m with friends. Glad to hear you had a good week!

  • Andrea September 19, 2014 at 5:32 am

    So glad that you’re having a wonderful trip and getting in some “fun” time before the conference begins. NOLA is a wonderful city that is rich in culture and things to do — and wonderful wonderful food (The Ruby Slipper is a fav of mine too!)

    I’m so sorry about your low of the week — heartache hurts :( Being with friends (IRL and virtual) always helps for support and a lil chocolate and traveling always did the trick for me.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip in NOLA. If you have any more free time, I recommend Cafe du Monde and taking in a bike tour of the city.

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

      I think I’ll try to hit up Cafe du Monde on Sunday and then maybe do a walking tour. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Leanne September 19, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Oh Cait, I’m sorry things have went the way they have </3 but at least you're having an amazing time in New Orleans to make up for it xx

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

      Thanks, hun. I’ll email you when I’m back on Monday, xo

  • Alicia September 19, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I’m sorry to hear about the broken heart – I’m sending you lots of virtual love (which sounds quite wrong, if you think about that too much). At least you have a few great friends on hand at the conference that can help you through the rough patches. Enjoy Fin Con… I’m quite envious of everyone who has the opportunity to attend. Maybe next year :)

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Ha, no I appreciate it. And yes, please come next year!

  • Will @firstqfinance September 19, 2014 at 7:46 am

    A Canadian saying Southerners are polite! That’s quite the compliment! Sorry about the broken heart. :(

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Thanks, Will.

  • Nadia September 19, 2014 at 7:48 am

    *sending plenty of hugs your way* So sorry Cait to hear about your broken heart. I’ve been there before and eventually you’ll get over it. I know that’s cliched but it’s the truth. Just take as much time as you need.

    High of my week was going to Russell Peters last night. He’s so freaking funny!
    Best money spent is going to be the money for my massage later today…which I’ll get back from insurance. Is it really spending if I get it back? LOL.

    • Cait Flanders September 19, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Ha, depends on which month you’ll get it back, I suppose. It’s spending in September if you’re not going to get it back until October (or that’s how I put it in my budget, anyway).

      • Nadia September 21, 2014 at 9:05 am

        Actually the way it works is that it goes through my boyfriend’s insurance and gets deposited into his bank account. So I just take it out of the bill/rent money ($400) I give him every month. Just easier that way. So technically this is coming out of October’s money.

        • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

          Makes sense!

  • Danielle September 19, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Without the lowest lows, we can’t get to the highest highs. Of all the places to nurse a broken heart, I think New Orleans may be just the city. :) Enjoy FinCon and do all the things!

    • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      Thanks, Danielle.

  • Mackenzie September 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Sorry to hear about your low of the week, but I am glad you are having a great time at FinCon. I hope to be able to go next year :)

    • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Would be awesome to see you there, Mackenzie!

  • Stacey September 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Sounds like your having an awesome trip. Sorry to hear about your breakup. They suck. Hugs to you. I am working and cleaning to get ready for baby that is due in 3 weeks!

    • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      So soon! Thanks, Stacey.

  • catherine September 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Sounds like you (and everyone else) are having an amazing time. I really hope to make it to FinCon within the next two years. I’m enjoying the pictures and tweets :)

    Sorry about the relationship…nothing I can say will make it better, but it will get easier. {{{{{{sending digital hugs}}}}}}}

    • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks, hun. Appreciate the hugs!

  • My Own Advisor September 21, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Congrats on the Plutus nod!!

    Sorry I missed FINCON14 this year, hopefully next year.

    Been to New Orleans, a fun city, and yes, a swamp/bayou tour is a must!

    Keep up the great work,

    • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks, Mark! Would be great to see you at FinCon15.

  • NZ Muse September 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’m so sorry. Sending loving and healing thoughts your way.

    • Cait Flanders September 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks, hun. Appreciate it. <3

  • Claire September 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I’m so happy I was a part of your final New Orleans exploration. Those plants. Those shutters! That sandwich!?! So amazing.

    Hope you traveled safe and are enjoying the rainy forecast back home :)

    • Cait Flanders September 22, 2014 at 9:31 am

      It’s pouring, my friend! I’m in heaven… except I wish you were here! <3

  • Travis @Debtchronicles September 23, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Sorry to hear about your broken heart, my friend – (Hugs). Although Vonnie and I missed the conference this year on New Orleans, it was fun to follow along with what our blogger friends were up to during the conference. I think Vonnie was surprised at how much she was bummed out as she watched the pictures and posts roll in on facebook. Looking forward to finding out where the conference will be in 2015, and hopefully returning. :)

    • Cait Flanders September 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Thanks, friend. And yes, you guys were sincerely missed. I also can’t wait to hear where it’ll be held in 2015. Better see you there :)

  • Lisa E. September 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    So sad we didn’t really run into each other this year :( Maybe next year? Also, so sad I didn’t make time to check out Ruby Slipper – I heard so many good things!

    • Cait Flanders September 24, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Girl, seriously – we failed big time. Next year for sure! We’ll do brunch. :)

  • Cat@BudgetBlonde September 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    So glad you liked my hometown and the hospitality is something I truly miss esp since I am now in JERSEY! Ahh! By the way you can still totally crash our couch if you want to visit NYC. We talked about it FOREVER ago but the offer still stands! Great to meet you in person btw!