Showing posts with label new orleans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new orleans. Show all posts

New Orleans Adventure!

21 February 2013

I just got back from an amazing trip to New Orleans!  It is a place I've dreamed of visiting for over a decade and I finally decided to just make it happen and I am so glad I did!

I arrived right after Mardi Gras, but the city was still covered in brightly covered beads. One thing that became very apparent to me within a few hours of being there was that this was a city that loved to celebrate.  No matter what scars it has endured in it's long history, New Orleans is a city of optimism & it was exactly where I needed to be at that moment.
Mardi Gras beads hanging in the trees
New Orleans was unlike anywhere else I've ever been.  It was like visiting a completely different country & it made learning about it's history that much more exciting to me. The architecture and elaborate detail made even the most residential neighborhoods seem intriguing & full of history and life.

I stayed with my amazing friend Maggie who is attending medical school there.  Not only did I get to have a really wonderful adventure full of new things, but I also got the chance to reunite with an old friend who I had been missing.  Maggie was an amazing tour guide & I learned a lot about the city in a short time with her help.

On Friday, we took a swap tour. While we were there, we stopped at a little cute road side attaction in a tiny town called Abita Springs full of neat little art pieces and gaf taxidermy.  We also found a cute little farm stand with beautiful fresh local strawberries (in February!) on our way to our swamp adventure. Although it was winter, so we didn't get to see too many critters, it was an absolutely beautiful boat tour and I learned a lot about the ecosystem of the swamp and about the people who live there!

Abita Mystery House

Little alligator in the swamp 
Spanish moss hanging from the cypress trees in the swamp
I spent a day in the French Quarter wandering a bit aimlessly and it was perfect.   The French Quarter was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I also took a cemetery walking tour while I was there.  It was a really perfect way to spend a few hours and I learned a lot about the history of the city, a bit of the history of voodoo in it's culture, and   I suppose history is really all about the stories of the dead, so what better way to learn that in a cemetery?

French Quarter
Amazing jazz street musicians in the French Quarter
One of my favorite shops in the French Quarter was a little vintage cookbook shop called Kitchen Witch.  It was adorable and full of so many things that I just swooned over.
Marie Laveau's grave.
I also spent a day walking up Magazine Street & checking out the antique shops and then I took the 11 bus to the zoo to wander a bit and check out some baby alligators.

Baby gator at the zoo
I ate some really incredible food while I was there.  New Orleans has an awesome & unique food and I was determined to take advantage of it.  Some of my favorite things included: alligator and shrimp cheesecake & jambalaya from Jacques Imo's, po boys from Parkway, beignets from Cafe Beignet, alligator sausage at the French Market, & a turducken hot dog at Dat Dog.  Comfort food at it's finest.

Overall, New Orleans was a beautiful and unique experience.  Even just spending 4 days there, it's hard to sum it up into a single blog post.

This trip scratched one big thing off my bucketlist as well as 3 items from my 30 before 30 goals list and it was so gratifying to make the leap to give myself this adventure! AND it is hard to believe that even though I just got back from an amazing trip, I leave for Iceland in just over a week!  2013 is going to be a year of adventures and I can't wait for it!

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