i really went to essence fest!

BRUHHHHHHH.

i’m still in shock tbh. literal shock. can’t stop looking at photos. (click the travel tab to see some pics that you won’t find on my insta) i’m trying to reminisce too much, but i can’t help it!

so the birthday gal and i left detroit for nola last tuesday and we were already receiving mega blessings that let us know this trip was going to be blessed and highly favored. she got bumped to first class on our flight, but she says save your money the only difference was the chair and snack choice, lol. i know she enjoyed it tho, i was in the back reading and actually wrote last week’s post on flight so the next day i would just have to press publish. we touched down and our trio was complete! and they even let me go to waffle house before going to our home for the week. that’s real love right there. she will forever call me basic for wanting that instead of the good and country food, but i missed waffle house, lol. we ate, went home and just enjoyed each other because we haven’t been all together in a little while, plus the whole week was packed.

wednesday, we explored. AND almost melted! that nola is not a game and is not for the week. i rarely sweat at all, but i was drenched after standing outside to pay for parking. it was looney toon, but worth it. we ate at the ruby slipper (bomb af) and then we toured the french quarter and walked around aimlessly until we found a daiquiri shop, which are literally everywhere. i’m talking drive thru and all. this one was the big easy, which i guess is a staple because i noticed everywhere afterwards. birthday girl and i got a mixed daiquiri and jello shots…but the jello shots were in syringes. it was interesting at first, to say the least. after trying them, i was sold, lol. i loved them! plus we could take them with us, which made them extra great. there was no way i was finishing them both before walking out. after tackling our first day with the heat we took a well deserved nap! (y’all know i love my naps) we woke up and went back to the french quarter for dinner since the other major spots that we wanted to try were super packed. we had a beautiful dinner, with a bottle of wine that is now my new favorite. that restaurant was perfect placed for people watching on the street and in the dining room. apparently, we stuck out like sore thumbs because a few people asked us, “y’all not from here, huh?” lol, it was cool though, especially since someone ended up paying for our wine. afterwards we hit bourbon street! and that’s that on that.

thursday was Essence in the Park! we meant to get up early, but sleep was necessary. we made it to the park in time to mc lyte and phony ppl perform by complete surprise! i actually slacked on being prepared and planned out for this trip because it was so overwhelming, so i had no clue there were performances, lol. i thought it was just going to be a big cookout with food trucks and a dj. people were having a great time, but some were also passing out because of the heat…and that’s when we decided that we better go get water and ac until fireworks later on that night anyways. after recouping from the heat, we went down to cafe du monde for the famous beignets & baby, i could’ve survived on those alone. but i love food too much, lol. after getting the goods we found a great spot on the river to watch the show. it was so beautiful. i haven’t watched fireworks in a few years and being there with my girls was such a peaceful and beautiful moment.

friday was technically the first day of the essence fest, but saturday and sunday had just about the same theme. everything took place between the convention center(shops, food, music, fireside chats, & more) and the superdome(music). i want to send a super shout out to God because His favor was all over us this weekend! we met SO many people, including ari lennox, crissle & kid fury, look at dustin, megan good, jemelle hill, and more! being so close to these popping people truly gave us an extra boost, especially because they were so extremely nice and normal. they were scattered all over the city, too. most of them we met randomly exploring the city right before going to the concert later that night. but the convention center was packed with opportunity! it literally had everything you could think of. there were around 20 different black owned restaurants, at least a thousand black owned businesses varying in size, health and wellness booths, larger company support (walmart, mcdonalds, coca cola, ford & at&t), about four different stages where you could listen to fireside chats or see your favorite performers, even a stage for karaoke! it had everything you could dream of and it was FREE. entry into this magical place was as free as could be. there was black excellence, elegance and brilliance everywhere! it was empowering! black women, black babies, black men coming together for a great black time. my heart is still overflowing. AND on top of all this greatness, we had floor seats to the three day concerts! you can find the line up everywhere, but my absolute favorites were my virginia legends and the atl performance. missy misdemeanor elliott tore the stage down!! then teddy riley brought out timbaland and pharrell…just imagine it. all the movers of music just jamming on stage and remixing their portfolio to make us love it even more and in a new way. i think i cried. no joke! it was overwhelming! PLUS they had more intimate concerts going on in the superlounges where i saw nao, elle varner, bj the chicago kida and so many more! it was a great black time. a beautiful black time. i’m more than thankful that i got to experience the 25th anniversary of the festival right before i turn 25. i felt aligned, inspired and valued.

i can’t give it the justice it deserves. you’re just going to have to go for yourself!

*smooches*