wanderlust wednesday :: new orleans, louisiana

I have wanted to visit New Orleans for quite a while now.  Being back in the south again, New Orleans is close enough to squeeze a 3 day trip to (just barely, it being over 8 hours from Nashville).  There’s just something about the city that allured me and I finally got to experience a small part of it.

It most definitely did not disappoint.  All I could do was dreamily wander around the French Quarter imagining that this was where I was meant to be at that point in time.  The city makes you forget about anything else; it demands your full and present attention.  I like how upfront it is about that, it’s not ashamed to let you know that it’s proud of what it has been and what it has become.

Let’s take a little journey into my trip…

…the streets of the french quarter…

I spent most of my time just zig-zagging through all of the streets of the quarter.  I couldn’t get enough of the landscape, architecture, and overall feeling of this part of the city.  Because my trip was so short, I spent all of it in the quarter and I wasn’t even mad about it.

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A favorite morning coffee spot was Royal Blend.  It was set just back off of one of the main streets of the French Quarter, but it felt like a secluded spot.  A secret that, somehow, I found with a lush courtyard rooms full of nooks and crannies.

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…jackson square and st. louis cathedral…

Perhaps the most recognized part of the French Quarter, and the city as a whole for that matter, is Jackson Square and the cathedral that sits within it. It’s like looking at a picture perfect postcard of, at least what I, pictured as New Orleans.

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One of my favorite parts of exploring a new city has quickly become visiting the well known churches or other religious buildings.  It’s overwhelming how powerful these experiences can become, even if it’s not your religion (I’m looking at you, mosques of Istanbul).  I love feeling the power and presence of God within these beautiful buildings. St. Louis Cathedral was no exception.

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…cafe du monde…

What would a trip to New Orleans be without “the original french market cafe”. I gorged myself on the greasiest of beignets and drank coffee tainted with chicory (GASP! the barista inside of my died a little, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting).  It clearly is a must see.

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…st louis cemetary no. 1…

So, this is something about New Orleans that I feel I should have known about before arriving (where is my worldliness??).  The hauntingly beautiful cemetaries.  Now, these are quite different than “normal” cemetaries, all of the crypts are above ground.  This makes for thin and winding paths through these graves. There are many well known New Orleanians in this specific cemetary, and perhaps the most controversial, the voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau is believed to be “buried” here. But, really, I believe these crypts are just so beautiful.

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…bourbon street…

And, of course, what would New Orleans be without the craziness of Bourbon Street?  I “indulged” in the craziness for a couple hours one night.  It was a lot more fun that I was expecting.  Although, I did drink a toxically green drink called a “hand grenade”, one of the specialty drinks of the city, along with the “hurricane”.  Just at least try one while you are there, just for kicks.

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…street musicians…

Now, Nashville has is fair share of buskers crooning/wailing on Broadway.  Most have average talent at most and seem like they are just trying too hard.  The street musicians of New Orleans are of a different league. They are uber talented and the music just flows from them simply because they can’t contain themselves.  They show true passion. If you walk around for more than 30 minutes, you are sure to see someone brilliant.

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…seafood and po boys…

It’s no secret that food is a very important of traveling for me.  Unfortunately, I feel I didn’t get a full New Orleans food experience, and the only person to blame is myself.  I didn’t really do my research and was often pressed for time during mealtimes.  But, at least I had a catfish po boy or two, and some delicious homemade jumbalaya.

 

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New Orleans, you and your dreamy fogginess didn’t disappoint.

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