We had a great time visiting The Big Easy aka New Orleans. Here’s the trip recap from the first half of our trip. Part II coming tomorrow!

Summer Trip To New Orleans

Mazen and I spent a long weekend visiting family in New Orleans! KK is Mazen’s father’s mom and Mazen’s grandmother. Mazen’s uncle and cousin also live there. I offered to fly Mazen down so he could spend some time with them and made it a little vacay for me too!

Saturday Flights

Our trip started last Saturday at 4:45am. We flew out of Charlottesville and had a three-hour layover in Atlanta. This was my first time using the Priority Pass membership that came free with my Capital One Venture X card. Boy did we feel fancy going in there!! (Read more about credit card perks and travel rewards here).

We had second breakfast, coffee, free M&Ms, free wifi, nice bathrooms.

I got a MIMOSA at 9 in the morning. It was free – why not!? Haha.

Karen’s Boat House

Uncle Andrew met us at the airport and took us to Karen’s house. And boy does she have a cool one!

Not to be confused with a houseboat, KK lives in a houseboat!

Here’s a before pic:

After Renovation

In 2018 she bought an old boat house in a marina where there are over 134 boat houses, many of which have been renovated. Fun fact: her bottom floor is made of waterproof materials because flooding is obviously a concern (and it did flood during Hurricane Ida).

But look at her backyard view!!!

The porch was amazing for sitting and sunsets. She has several Big Ass Fans (that’s the company name!) to keep a breeze going.

Her Neighbors

Her neighbors to the right are actual boats! The wooden one in the back was owned by a famous Cuban at one point. To the left she has residents.

Boat Slips

On the bottom floor she has this cool swing bed and a kayak and a small motor boat. We didn’t do any boating though because everyone was a little scared of alligators! Karen said after last year’s hurricane there were 12-foot gators swimming by!!


Mazen borrowed a fishing pole from the neighbors and caught a HUGE catfish on his third cast!! Thankfully the neighbor was still around to help him get the fish off the hook.

Boathouse Decor

KK has always had a knack for decorating, and her house is gorgeous.

Here’s the room where Mazen and I slept. Very cozy and no windows as in interior room, so it was great for sleeping.

Lulu The Pillow

Karen has a few fur pillows

Oh wait that’s a dog!!! She actually didn’t get a dog. This is Lucy, the neighbor’s dog, who just happens to live with Karen 90% of the time. She was SO cute!!

The Blue Crab

For Saturday night dinner we went to nearby The Blue Crab with one of Andrew’s friends who was celebrating his birthday! We started with a round of margaritas for the table.

Mazen (who loves mussels): “I will not try oysters.”

Also Mazen:

Mazen LOVES crabs, so that’s what he got for dinner!

The rest of us shared a bunch of seafood on a platter (calamari) and side salads.

Blueberry Bread Pudding

We went back to the house for blueberry bread pudding topped with vanilla ice cream.

Andrew and I had talked about going to the French Quarter that night, but we decided our peak hours had passed, so we called it a night.

Sunday Breakfast

After a good night’s sleep we had a big breakfast of bacon, fruit, and toast.

Riding Lessons

Mazen’s cousin has been taking riding lessons, so Mazen joined her! We met the horses beforehand.

He learned to trot!

Lunch at Andrew’s

We went back to Andrew’s house for lunch and a little relax. All the sandwich toppings as a salad – including fritos!

Before we headed out to the Bayou for a swamp tour!!!!!!!!!

To be continued…


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