Travel : NOLA
Hope everyone enjoyed Mardi Gras this year. It was around this time last year I had visited New Orleans. And no, it wasn’t for Mardi Gras, instead it was for St. Patrick’s Day. I know, not the traditional reason to visit NOLA, but I’d say it was one of the better trips I’ve had…
I admit it, when I first thought about visiting Louisiana, I had no real preconceived notion of what it would be like. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions about what kind of people would be there or even what kind of scene Bourbon St. would be. I always try having no expectations on new trips, I find it leads to better adventures.
So when I landed in New Orleans I was awestruck with it’s magical presence. It’s a place that’s difficult to explain – an aristocratic sense of entitlement to pleasure and excess, mixed with the land’s sensibilities and a clear African heritage. All influenced by the history of it’s international port. It’s just one big delicious gumbo of culture.
There was live music in every bar, sometimes two bands playing only feet away, hidden around alcoves and walls from each other. The heat and humidity of the city makes it unbearable sometimes, so most places built in the French Quarter have small courtyards built to offer some cooling relief. Which results in this mysterious air of discovery.
Anna and I landed earlier than the rest of the gals on the trip. First we stopped at Napoleon House Bar & Cafe to sip a famous Pimm’s Cup – one of my favorites, and where we ran into a group of Southern couples in their 60s who gave us all the details of where to see what in NOLA. We also visited the Hotel Monteleone Carousel Bar, a working carousel turned bar. Don’t worry, it’s not as queezy as it sounds.
The Garden District is quite beautiful covered in flowers and 18th century plantation style homes. All more brightly painted than the last. We ate every piece of seafood that came across our eyes, visited the oldest bars in Louisiana, drank frozen concoctions in the streets, listened to live bands everywhere that spilled out into Frenchman’s, drank cafe au late and stuffed our faces with powdered beignets. We even took a swamp tour and petted live (and dare I say – cute) crocodiles.