Wenches Take New Orleans

Last year, a group of five Wenches had a fantastic trip to New Orleans to celebrate the release of Karen Marie Moning's Feverborn. You can read Wench Zee's recap of that here. The Fever series, in case it wasn't clear from the ridiculous amount of posts and love we show this amazing series, is what brought all of the Wenches together irrevocably. So, when Karen announced that the Feversong release would also be in New Orleans, we all started planning and saving.


Incredibly, TEN Wenches and Wench friends made the trip of a lifetime to New Orleans this year! We had the trip of a lifetime. We spent an amazing five plus days in the Crescent City, exploring, shopping, eating, and celebrating with each other and other Maniacs. I'm here today to give you the details of our amazing trip! I'm not sure anything I say will do it justice, but I will do my level best. Fair warning, this may get long. We had five plus days of fabulousness!

Keep reading after the break to hear our adventurous tale!


Unlike last year, when we all arrived on Saturday, we all arrived Thursday this year. We felt
so rushed last year, that we wanted some extra travel time. The length of this trip was perfection. Anyway, we arrived from all over! Kathi and her best friend, Lorna, from Oregon, Donna from Toronto, Zee from Dubai and then Maryland, Barb and Wench friend, Jennifer, from North Carolina, Wench Merit from Israel via New York, and me from Chicago. Zee and I were the last to arrive and we were starved by the time we got the hotel and met everyone else. It was after 10 pm, so, we walked over to Bourbon Street and grabbed a slice of pizza. While they waited for us to arrive, our roommates for the weekend, Barb, Jennifer, and Donna had gone out and purchased a King Cake. So, we had that for dessert and then went back and got settled into the hotel and talked about plans for the following day. I should note here that Kathi, Merit, and Wench friend Kat, along with Kathi's best friend shared a separate room and did (some) separate activities. So, this recap will be mostly the adventures of myself, Head Wench Barb, Wenches Zee and Donna, and Wench friend Jennifer.


Lunch at Commander's Palace
Friday was pretty much the perfect New Orleans day. It was incredible. It started with Donna and Jennifer, our early rising coffee addicts, going for coffee at Cafe Beignet and bringing back beignets for us all for breakfast. They were delicious and different from the New Orleans standard Cafe du Monde beignets we had last year. After our small breakfast, we all got showered and dressed up for our fancy lunch at Commander's Palace. Commander's Palace is where Emeril Lagasse got his start in the fine dining world. It was the most delicious lunch I've ever eaten. It is also the fanciest restaurant I've ever been to. They replaced our white napkins with black ones, if we were wearing dark clothes and our water glasses never got below half full. They also placed all of our food on the table at once, which was a sight to see. However, the best part of our lunch was the 25 cent martinis that came with the purchase of an entree! This lunch is meant for business lunches, so it's only offered Mondays through Fridays. If you happen to be in New Orleans on one of these days, I highly recommend it!


The Coven House
After lunch, some of us took a tour of the Garden district, with a company called Free Tours by Foot. It was great! Our tour guide, Kyle, was awesome. We walked around a large chunk of the Garden District and saw some historical houses and some celebrity houses, including, my personal favorites, the house where American Horror Story: Coven was filmed and Trent Reznor's house that is now owned by John Goodman. We also saw the cutest dog on the planet! Our entire tour group was smitten and didn't want to leave him alone in his yard. He kept bringing us sticks to throw for him.




After our tour, we headed back to the hotel to relax for a bit. Donna, Barb, and I went swimming. Sadly, Wench Zee got a migraine in the early evening. So, the rest of us vacated the room to let her rest. Our intention was to join up with the Moning Maniac Corset Pub Crawl, but alas, we couldn't locate them. Instead we took a walk down Bourbon Street and grabbed some po'boys and fried shrimp for dinner. We followed that up with a trip to Marie Laveau's Voodoo Shop and a trip to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, the oldest, continually run bar in the country. By that point, Wench friend Kat had arrived from New Jersey, so we met her, Merit, and Kathi at Jackson Square. It was crazy foggy, so our trip to see the Mississippi River was a bust, but we had a good time taking in the fog-coated sights on the way back to the hotel.

Saturday started with a tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1. We used Free Tours by Foot again and
our guide was, again, awesome. We saw Marie Laveau's fake tomb and her real tomb. For those of you who read the Night Huntress series, Cat and Bones spend a fair amount of time in St. Louis #1 visiting Marie. We also saw the grave of Homer Plessy of the infamous Plessy vs. Ferguson case. And, oddly, Nicholas Cage's future tomb. Since we were nearby, we took a quick walk through Louis Armstrong Park, which includes Congo Square, after our tour. We walked to the exact opposite end of the Quarter to the French Market for lunch, did some shopping on the way back to the hotel. Once there, it was time to start primping for our evening at Chester's!

Chester's was a blast! The Wenches and Wench friends all dressed as UnSeelie Princesses. We had a few drinks, we danced, we watched the costume contest and most importantly, we got to see and take pictures with the one and only Karen Marie Moning!!!!! First, we sought her out, after the costume contest and got a picture. After saying that we were the Saucy Wenches, her immediate response was, "I LOVE you guys!!" We were, of course, totally flabbergasted and flattered. Then, later, before she left Chester's for the evening, Karen CAME TO FIND US TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH US!!! IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING!!! The rest of the night was awesome, but that (and Eric Etebari dancing with Wench Donna and Wench friend Jennifer) was the absolute best part of the evening!


Wench UnSeelie Princesses!



This was the best.
Sunday was book signing day!! It started out with early risers, Donna, Jennifer, and Barb going out to pick up all of our books. Zee and I are not exactly morning people, so we happily and gratefully slept in. The way the signing works is you are assigned a number and that number determines your place in line. We had pretty low numbers, so we went down to the ballroom where the signing was taking place fairly early. We ended up waiting a little bit. Karen had a mostly new team of helpers and assistants this year and they had a little trouble in the beginning, figuring out the best way to run things.** But, they got things going and we
got our totally awesome swag bags (keep an eye out for some giveaways from KMM). Finally, it was our turn to get our picture and signing with Karen! Once again, we mentioned we were the Saucy Wenches and her face just lit up. She loves us, she loves what we write about her and the Fever series. And, most importantly, she KNEW HEAD WENCH BARB BY NAME!! In case you didn't know, Barb won a contest Karen ran where she asked people to write about Mac and Barrons love story. Barb reposted a piece she wrote in the infancy of the blog that was about those two. Karen loves it and just went on and on about how great it is to know that we understand the story she's telling and we pick up on all of her nuances. She also gave us a mission and I am going to pass that mission on to you, Saucy Readers. The Goodreads discussion pages for the Fever series are very negative places. They are overrun by people who just don't understand the story Karen is trying to tell. She tasked us with invading those pages and turning them around. Turning them to positive places with positive discussions instead of complaints. So, go forth, Saucy Readers, and  turn those groups around! We actually monopolized a fair amount of Karen's time, though not intentionally. We were just so involved in discussing her fabulous work that we all kind of lost track of time. So, we thanked her again and moved along, so others could have a chance. We grabbed a late lunch and went back to the hotel for some reading time. That night, we met up with Wenches Kathi, Merit, Kat, and Kathi's friend, Lorna, and did a Dark History tour with Jonathan Weiss tours and he was fucking incredible. He is an amazing storyteller with an untold wealth of knowledge about his city. I could have listened to his stories all night. I will definitely be doing one of his tours again. Finally, we grabbed a late dinner at a great little restaurant we found last year called Pere Antoine's. Wench Zee has been dreaming about this place since we were there last year.

We all woke up bright and early to make it down to the Q&A session with Karen. That was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about her and how she sees the books, where the series goes from here (spoiler alert: next is a Dani book!), and the possibilities of a Fever TV series.
There will be a Q&A recap post coming soon, so that's where I'll leave this. There was one
Thanks, Google, for filtering my picture so amazingly!
unfortunate spoiler-y question, but after that, Karen decided to leave all of the spoilers to the end. That way those of us who hadn't finished the book could leave if we chose. All in all, it was a great session and we learned a lot, even though there were some repetitive and inconsequential questions. When we were done basking in the glow that is Karen Marie Moning, we said goodbye to Wench friend Kat and had one final lunch with Wenches Kathi and Merit and Wench friend Lorna before they left too. The rest of us walked back over to Jackson Square for some pictures and Cafe du Monde beignets. We stopped at jazz mainstay, Preservation Hall on the way back to the hotel where we did some more reading. We had dinner plans to meet up with a friend we made last year who was on our FeverQuest team and her friends. We went to Port of Call, where we had burgers and the biggest baked potatoes I've ever seen in my life. We ended the night on Frenchman Street in the Marigny neighborhood listening to some really great live jazz and blues music.


We awoke Tuesday for the final few hours of our dream trip. We had a great breakfast at a cafe that borders Jackson Square, so we had an amazing view of St. Louis cathedral. Sadly, Wench Zee had to leave after breakfast to catch her flight, so we said goodbye to her. After
St. Louis Cathedral's ceiling
that, we stopped into the cathedral to look around. Don't worry, there was no Mass at that point. It is an absolutely beautiful place. I definitely recommend stopping in, if you have the chance. I haven't spoken about this on the blog, but I lost both of my grandmothers in 2016, within two months of each other. So, I took the opportunity to light two memorial candles for them at the Cathedral. Given my very Catholic upbringing, I thought that was something I could do to honor them. After that, we walked back to Frenchmen Street to the Louisiana Music Factory for some music shopping. It was a great little store with really knowledgeable employees. It reminded me a little bit of Empire Records. Plus, they had a resident store cat. And with our stroll back to the hotel, our trip had come to an end. It was time to pack up and catch our shuttle back to the airport and real life. Obviously, we all returned to our homes and families safely, though all of us with a bit of melancholy. 


I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but we had such an amazing trip that I couldn't help reliving it through this post. All the laughs, the discussions, the sightseeing, the group reading. This was one of the best vacations I've ever been on in my life. Thank you, Karen Marie Moning for bringing all of us together with your work. Thank you for leading me to some of the best friends I've ever had. Ladies, I couldn't have wished for a better group to take this trip of a lifetime with. Love you all!

Did any of you Saucy Readers attend the Feversong bash? Are any of you planning to one day attend one? Let us know below!!!


**Karen and Team KMM, some of us Wenches have killer organizational skills and some event planning experience. If you would like some extra hands next time, we'd be more than happy to jump in!

Comments

  1. Thanks for a great re-cap of our amazing adventure! I absolutely loved getting to meet so many of my Wenchy friends in person, after all this time!!! xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is an amazing recap! You guys really had a great time. I wish I was able to be there!!

    ReplyDelete

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