learning to love New Orleans

New Orleans.
We were there for six days over the beginning of August.

You may find yourself asking: The bayou in August?
Yep.
And to be quite honest, it was actually hotter in VA while we were there, and the humidity was similar enough that we almost didn’t notice.

New Orleans seemed a magical place, and I was curious.
I’ve read loads of stories set in this city. I’ve heard loads of stories from travelers to this city. Seen many a film set in this city.
What was lovely about going at this time is that the city is celebrating it’s 300th anniversary!

Not to mention the first week of August is their jazz festival.
And the first Saturday of August is their annual white linen art walk.

Here’s what I discovered about New Orleans, it’s pretty much like Charleston, or Savannah.
Only dirtier. And louder.
Initially I was a bit turned off.
But, I came away with a genuine affection for New Orleans.
I would honestly like to visit again, and even stay in the French Quarter, just not half a block off Bourbon Street.
Who knows, perhaps with more time spent, I’ll love it the way I do Savannah and Charleston!

Beautiful courtyard breakfast each morning at Hotel Mazarin.

Fascinating people watching on Bourbon Street.
This was more a YBW thing than a Robynbird thing. My senses were a bit overwhelmed with the noise and scents. But once I adjusted to the chaos, I was able to find entertainment in it. YBW took loads of photos on Bourbon Street, even had beads thrown at him for his efforts! I spent most of my ‘behind the lens time’ in other places.

Wandering the Garden District in the rain. (was super-New-Orleans-gothic-romantic)

Riding the streetcar was actually one of my favorite things we did.

We rode the St. Charles Ave and Canal lines.
A delightful mix of tourists and locals all trying to get from one place to another. I honestly loved everything about the streetcar experience. Even the slightly-mad-completely-drunk-probably-homeless man who chatted us up on the way to the White Linen Walk. The smell coming off him was honestly something I have not the language to describe. He was ‘in your face’ but not disrespectful or belligerent, but I was relieved when he exited the car only two stops after we got on. YBW said, “That’s why this seat was empty when we got on.” Y’all, he ain’t lying!

Jazz at Satchmo Summer Fest

and with Second Hand Street Band at 21st Amendment Bar

The cemeteries. (My GOD, y’all! The cemeteries!)

White Linen Walk in the Arts/Warehouse District. I have no photos of this because it was more tightly packed than I expected. It was fun, but a bit of a let down. Though I do love wandering through galleries, and there was some unbelievably beautiful art to be seen. We drank a bit and walked along Julia Street before we zipped past the Central Business District and through Lafayette Square to our next destination.

A funky-fun and beautifully entertaining burlesque show.

Bella chatted us up before the show and was absolutely lovely! Though at the time, I didn’t’ realize who she was. Later on when I was a bit tipsy, I leaned into YBW and said, “How precious is she? When we were talking about how her gloves were missing rhinestones I didn’t realize she was the Queen of us!”
Y’all, she may be the Queen of that show, that venue, those folks, but she was a lovely girl and I enjoyed the time we spent with her!

We ate so much ridiculously delicious food. (from classic fried shrimp po boys, to the finest Creole cuisine, from dive diners, to the place that invented bananas foster)
If I thought it would make the trip, I’d mail-order a Parasol’s po boy once a week!
What’s lovely about well prepared food is the serving sizes. So you can more frequently eat smaller, rich, delicious meals. This is guiding me to rethink the way we eat ’round here.

Cocktails. (French 75 is to die for!)

I will never turn down a delicious cocktail!

We even joined a Second Line on the way to dinner one night!

When we went out the Canal streetcar line, we discovered the Katrina Memorial.
This is a damn resilient city filled with some damn resilient folks!

We shopped.
We drank.
We ate.
We walked and walked and walked.
We laughed.
We kissed and held hands in the street.
We got sunburned.
I got bit by fire ants.
I’m so pleased I got to spend time in “America’s Most Interesting City” with my beloved.

New Orleans is brash and loud. It’s a bit trashy.
New Orleans is beautiful and romantic. It’s filled with hidden delights.
New Orleans has a great big beating heart. It is tenacious af!
Writing this post made me love it even more.
I’m looking forward to when I’ll return.

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