My mother, my sister, and myself boarded a plane bound for New Orleans, LA in April. It was a short 5 day trip- 2 full days of flying and 3 spent in the Crescent City exploring all the charms and local restaurants that we could fit in.
What I learned or discovered on the trip:
1. The Pirates Alley Café located in the French Quarter is a amazingly small bar situated right next door to the St. Louis Cathedral and the William Faulkner House- it was a highlight of everyday for us. The only bar that I have found that serves Absinthe and the most amazing rum mixed drinks for a reasonable price. The outdoor sitting which consisted of 6 tables with 3 chairs each- allowed for easy conversation between all patrons. It was convenient for a smoker like me who likes to enjoy both a great drink and a relaxing smoke break without judgement. Everyday at 2p.m., you would find us sitting down, enjoying our rum and Absinthe while recovering from the advenures of the morning and prepping for our afternoon mayham.
2. Audubon Zoo located in the historic Uptown is by far one of the best Zoo's that I have ever been too. The set up, the exhibits, the animals was well worth the 3.2 mile walk we took to get there when we got off the wrong stop off the cities streetcar. A pleasant walk through New Orleans Garden neighborhood boasted highlights of shotgun homes, Spanish influenced mansions, and the amazing tree lines streets left us with only 3 blisters and a small heat stroke- but well worth the pain for this amazing hidden treasure. We spent 5 hours exploring some of the most thought out and educational exhibits where animals truly looked happy. I personally spent half the time face-timing the family because I didn't want them to miss what I was seeing.
3. My one request of the trip was a Voodoo Tour and a visit to the historic St. Louis Cemetery #1. My mother, with her famous credit card of dreams- made this happen. I truly wanted to understand the belief system of Voodoo and learn about the history of Marie Laveau, the New Orlean's Voodoo queen. What we got instead was a interesting concept of voodoo by a practicing Christian who did not really believe in voodoo. He did take us to St. Louis Cemetery #1 where we competed with other tour guide groups to see the proclaimed 'final resting place' of Marie Laveau; however we spent more time learning about Nicholas Cage's fall into disaray. I invite anyone to visit the following website for more information on Marie Laveau and the her place in history as she was quite the character- http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2012/07/marie-laveau.html. It is a whole lot less expense and you will get a better understanding of this part of New Orleans history.
4. Food- oh the food! Fried cat fish, po'boys, fried chicken, red beans and rice, alligator, all served with some type of rum drink- it was heaven for my soul. And let us not forget the Beignets- those famous French pastries that feel so light and fluffy until you eat two and you gained 10 pounds. I highly recommend that you don't rent a car in New Orleans just so you can walk off breakfast, lunch, mid-day rum drinks, dinner, and the stop for Beignets. I did find a recipe for Beignets to try at home- just because they make you feel like the world is such a happy place when we are eating them. https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/beignets/.
5. There was so many more things to do there- go see the plantations and hear the history, go walk down Bourbon Street to say you have, go visit the various shops and pretend that you have a enough money to buy something. Pretend for a moment that you too live in a city where everything is acceptable, life is about enjoyment and color, and history is not to be forgotten but celebrated and remebered regardless is it is good, bad, or really ugly.
I leave you with some websites to visit, ideas for your next trip. If you go, invite me!
Historic New Orleans Collections- A museum, research center and publisher, the collection was founded in 1966 to preserve the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Located in a historic complex of French Quarter buildings. https://www.hnoc.org/
Laura Plantation, Oak Alley Plantation, and Whitney Plantation- while we did not visit the Whitney Plantation- I will be willing to bet that if you like good gossip, love stories, horror stories, and wonderful mint julipe- go on this tour. The guides will not let you down on this memoriable day. https://www.travlinmad.com/blog/new-orleans-plantations