Being born and raised in Texas, I’ve always been incredibly envious of the people who can say they are New Orleans natives. I just feel like in the past six years that I have lived here, this city has become a part of me. I tell people I am from New Orleans, though I am not really. They still believe me, though, and that’s all that matters.

This whole jealousy thing really comes about around the same time every year: April. April is my favorite time of year in New Orleans, hands down. The weather is amazing (meaning I get to wear shorts, my favorite kind of outfit, without judgment), I get to sit outside at a bar without sweating bullets, yet I am still on a high from St. Patrick’s Day, there is some kind of food festival every weekend where I can gorge myself, I get to see prisoners battle it out at the Angola State Prison Rodeo, and then there’s the mother lode –– Jazz Fest.

My favorite aunts are coming to town for Jazz Fest this year … well, they come every year from Boston, but this year I am more excited for Jazz Fest than I ever have been. They’re the kind of gals who are up for anything. We could be eating at Upperline one night and getting down with Marcia Ball at Tipitina’s another night. Then there are the 8 pounds I gain from eating nothing but white chocolate bread pudding, Crawfish Monica and crawfish bread for two weekends in a row. But I wouldn’t trade it in for the world. Aunt Jill, Aunt Becky and Aunt Pat, bring it on. I am ready to eat.

Speaking of eating (which I always happen to be talking about), in other exciting food news, Pancho’s Mexican Buffet is back in Metairie. The two people who are the most excited about this in all of New Orleans are the two people I am around the most, my boyfriend and my best friend. We haven’t talked about anything else in the last month, seriously. But the anticipation is finally over, and Pancho’s is open again. Budget Fare blogger Danny Monteverde writes about his epic visit to the newly opened Mexican haven in this month’s blog about his quest for cheese enchiladas, chili rellenos and sopapillas. I think he found what he was looking for.

Taking us from enchiladas to a Grilled Foie Gras and Lobster appetizer, Haute Plates blogger Jay Forman visits the newly reopened Grill Room at the Windsor Court. With the old name back intact and a new chef, Drew Dzejak, the Grill Room is better than ever. The new menu is “organized around a matrix of four independent restaurant profiles: southern, steakhouse, indulge, and unadulterated.” Sounds adventurous.

But before you head to the Grill Room for dinner, make sure to stop by and have a drink at Cure, a new bar on Freret Street that After Hours blogger Ian McNulty hit this month. Cure’s eclectic drink menu and real care with each drink is something to take note of and try if you’re bored with your same old Coors Light or vodka-and-cranberry. McNulty says, “Even the ice cubes are better at Cure.”

Also this month, Confessions of a Shopaholic blogger Lilith Dorko hits the streets in search of something vintage. In order to spice up her wardrobe, she looks for some older pieces to mix with her more modern items. Where will she go? Nobody knows…

But our resident Tying the Knot blogger Jessica Natal knows exactly where she’s going; down the aisle. This month Jessica is on the hunt for the perfect reception site and reveals her pick, with a little help from her fiancé. Send Jessica a comment on her blog to let her know if she made the right choice.

As I write this, I can smell the fresh air of April already. There is so much to do and so much to see that I don’t think all 30 days of this month will be enough to contain it all. I am so looking forward to everything that this month will bring to the city, whether it’s tourists or warmer weather. This is the time I wish I could say I was from New Orleans.

But jealousy aside, when May comes, I might not know what to do with myself. Well, there’s always next year and a big Bloody Mary to ease my suffering.

Contact Nicole at