Category Archives: Kimberly

A visit to New Orleans, LA

Kimberly Higdon
New Orleans is one of my favorite cities, especially since my husband is from Lake Charles and has me hooked on the food! So naturally I jumped at the chance to join him in NOLA even though he would be attending a convention and I would be on my own…  Some may think “no way,” but the chance to eat, drink, and do exactly what I want in a city that doesn’t sleep was exactly what intrigued me. It turned out to be one of my favorite stays!

Of course it all starts with where you stay. There are so many fine choices; however I must say that The Roosevelt New Orleans exceeded my expectations. Originally built in 1893, the interior of the hotel made me feel like I was stepping back in time as I walked down the corridor with its massive columns, antique chandeliers, and mosaic tile floors. As with most of New Orleans, The Roosevelt closed after Hurricane Katrina and after completing a full renovation reopened in 2009. The Roosevelt has since become a member of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels offering the finest luxury accommodations; blending history, glamour and today’s amenities.RooseveltUnfortunately it was little too cool to take advantage of the rooftop pool, but I did enjoy the fabulous views of the city from up there. Not to worry, there were plenty of other ways for me to relax and I did in the Guerlain Spa with a specialized deep tissue massage just for me. Fully relaxed and ready for the day, I didn’t even make it out of the Roosevelt before The Sazerac Bar beckoned me in for a drink. (It’s ok…you can drink before noon in NOLA!) One wall showcases large murals depicting life in New Orleans during the early 1930s while the bartender is more than willing to tell stories of all of the famous and not so famous patrons that have caused a stir – my lips are sealed!

Hopping on the streetcar, a great way to see the city, it didn’t take long before I was in the Garden District. The old Southern-style homes—or should I say mansions—were immaculate. No signs of Hurricane Katrina here. I was prepared for a day of shopping on Magazine Street but realized it is actually miles of antique stores, clothing shops, galleries, and restaurants. There is no way to see it all in a day, but I tried!MagazineStOne of my favorite shops was the Courtyard Gallery in the French Quarter.  They specialize in using salvaged items such as doors, shutters, and tabletops from Hurricane Katrina and carving them with New Orleans-themed paintings. I love the green aspect of their recycling; truly one of a kind interpretations of a historical city.

CathedralAnd history is the key word when speaking of NOLA. Take time to visit the Cabildo and Presbytere, two historic buildings which are part of the Louisiana State Museum. The Cabildo showcases Louisiana’s early years, while the Presbytere’s exhibit, Living with Hurricanes/Katrina & Beyond, focuses on the devastation and impact it had on lives in the area.

Nestled between the Cabildo and Presbytere is the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France. It is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the U.S. and the perfect place to sit and reflect. Surrounded by murals on the ceiling, intricate statues, and powerful organ music, it’s an emotional experience.

Nashville Lifestyles Roadtrip Guide: Louisville & The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Another famous landmark, just in front of the Cathedral, is Jackson Square. Named for Andrew Jackson, a hero in the Battle of New Orleans and President of the United States, the park prominently displays a large statue of him on his horse. The Square is well known as a gathering place for artists, musicians, carriage rides, street performers, and magicians. You never know what to expect!Cathedral2
One thing you should expect is amazing food—I was not disappointed. Here are a few of my “will definitely go back” favorites:

Café Du MondeDuMondeNeed I say more? Famous for its beignets and dark-roasted coffee and chicory, this café is open 24/7 except for Christmas Day, and of course in the event of a hurricane. The original shop is in the French Market, but they have opened several others in the New Orleans area so you’re never too far from some of the delicious French-style doughnuts covered with powdered sugar.

The Hermes Bar at Antoine’sNew OrleansThis was the perfect place for a low-key lunch of a fried soft-shell crab po boy.  If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, they have 14 dining rooms, each unique with its own story. (Good luck choosing just one!)

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Galatoire’sGalatoiresA part of New Orleans for over 100 years, this icon has an abundance of seafood that is expertly prepared. The duck gumbo and stuffed avocado crab meat salad were perfect, but be prepared to stand in line: they don’t take reservations.

Arnaud’s Jazz BistroArnaudsNo trip to New Orleans is complete without a little jazz and there is no place better than Arnaud’s. I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, live Dixieland jazz band and views of Bourbon Street, all while enjoying spicy Shrimp Creole, fresh baked bread and Louisiana-brewed Abita beer.

I’m already making a list for my next visit. Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!—Kimberly Higdon, Controller

For more great destinations, visit


Fill Your Weekend With Easter Fun

Here at NL, we all have our own way of celebrating Easter. Account executing Janna Landry gets together with her family for a big crawfish boil (“they’re fat in the spring!” she says) while Taylor Middleton sets up a beautiful homemade brunch spread.

For controller Kimberly Higdon, Easter is a time to spoil her kids with big, gift-filled baskets:Kimberly

“I would always opt for homemade. Instead of a huge candy bunny, I would buy a great Barbie Doll or whatever they were into at the time (beanie babies, cds, etc.)  Under the Easter grass I would always put some new clothes—usually a new bathing suit—and would also have lots of plastic Easter eggs that I would hide outside with money in them instead of candy. I would have one or two special eggs that were metallic in color and in those I would put $10 or $20. You have never seen two girls work so hard for an Easter egg!! I would hide so many eggs that we would always count them first so that we knew if we were missing any. Needless to say they were very disappointed when the Easter bunny stopped coming…”

She’s inspired me to create a fun Easter egg hunt for my own son this year, complete with money filled eggs!

If you’re looking for your own Easter fun, there’s plenty to do this weekend. First, you might want to start by sending a donation to the Nashville Rescue Mission, which will provide traditional Easter meals to hundreds of homeless and hungry, over the course of the holiday weekend. Donations can be made online or in person at the Mission’s Donation Center, at 616 7th Ave. S, Nashville (open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). It’s a good way to get into the spirit before enjoying the festive Egg Hunts around town.

Nashville Zoo EggstravaganzooE2The Nashville Zoo hosts its 15th annual Eggstravaganzoo One of the Zoo’s highest attendance days, the egg hunt will draw more than 12,000 in search of colorful eggs and a host of other activities. Saturday, March 30; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Spring Art Hop at CheekwoodE3More than 20,000 eggs will be hidden throughout the gardens of Cheekwood for the 21st Annual Spring Art Hop. Easter egg hunts take place every half hour throughout the day, and there are even hunts for our youngest visitors, those ages two and younger! There are also family friendly musical performances from Eve and Mare, Nashville Jazz Workshop, and Rachel Sumner.  Art and craft activities will be offered throughout the day in Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall as well as face painters, balloon artists and, of course, the Easter Bunny! Saturday, March 30; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

—Erin B. Murray, Managing Editor