Visions of Beignets, and Chargrilled Oysters Dancing in My Head

No matter how many places I am lucky enough to see on my travels, my mind continuously wanders back to beautiful New Orleans .

I was first interested in visiting New Orleans after reading a series of fiction books in middle school that took place in “the mysterious bayous” and “dazzling city” of New Orleans. The books, by V.C. Andrews, described it in such awesome detail I thought, “Wow, I’d love to see this city someday! It sounds like a magical place!” I am very fortunate to say that I have visited New Orleans numerous times, made some friends, and have “regular” spots where they are starting to recognize me!  There is just something so truly unique and mysterious about this city that keeps calling me back!

                 Here are my top five favorite things about New Orleans:

1. THE FOOD !! 

If you are on any sort of special diet plan, you are going to want to put that on hold the second you step out on the town and smell the delicious aromas emanating from any restaurant in New Orleans. It’s in this city that the recipes of Creole, Cajun, and French cuisine dance together to create a uniquely New Orleans flavor that will hook anyone’s palate. Here is a post I did about some of my fave places to eat and drink in NOLA!

Amazing Italian style Sandwich with New Orleans flair
Muffaletta

 

I was feeling adventurous when I ordered gator soup  from Antoine's . It was yummy !
I was feeling adventurous when I ordered gator soup from Antoine’s . It was yummy !

 

2. The People and the History

There must be something in the air (or in the food?) there because the people of New Orleans are some of the most fun, easy-going people I have ever met ! I guess that’s why they nicknamed it “The Big Easy”: It’s easy to make friends, and that Southern charm and hospitality puts you at ease. They have such pride and passion for their city and traditions, and it shows! I got to have lunch with a pretty rad New Orleans local and fellow traveler. She has gone on some amazing adventures but loves living in NOLA, and she shares why in this post.

Being French, then being Spanish, then French again, then American . Plus War, Jazz, Storyville, Pirates, Voodoo Priestesses, and the dark and tragic decades of slavery. If walls could talk, imagine the stories that could be told . Well, walls don’t need to talk much in New Orleans. You can really feel the pulse and energy of the city’s history just by walking down the streets.

Not sure about the history on this one. But the name is awesome!
The name is awesome!
One of the oldest Cathedrals in the United States. St. Louis Cathedral in the middle of Jackson Square.
One of the oldest Cathedrals in the United States. St. Louis Cathedral in the middle of Jackson Square.
 Supposedly , this is where the Voodoo Queen Marie Lavaeu is buried. St. Louis Cemetery # 1
Supposedly , this is where the Voodoo Queen Marie Lavaeu is buried. St. Louis Cemetery # 1
Peaceful and beautiful.
New Orleans has beautiful, unique cemeteries.

3. The Music

Sometimes when I hear jazz on the radio, or when someone plays a classic jazzy tune live, I get nostalgic for New Orleans.  It is the birth place of Jazz, after all! You can hear some of the most talented musicians by just walking through the French Quarter. There’s pretty much music on every corner. If you want more of a venue experience then head over to Frenchman Street . There’s tons of great live music venues, as well as places to eat and drink.

Walked right into this one!

Just taking a break listening to great music.
Just taking a break listening to great music.

4. Mardi Gras

Ahh yes, Fat Tuesday. I’m not into the crazy drunken “boobs for beads” party scene that takes place on Bourbon street. Contrary to popular belief Mardi Gras is a FAMILY FRIENDLY tradition . Just venture to parts other than Bourbon Street to see how much fun the Mardi Gras Season (Yes, season. Not just a day) can be.

Throw me something Mister!
Throw me something Mister!
mardi-gras-decor.jpg
French Quarter decked out for Carnivale !

Got these without showing of the boobage.

 5. The Bayou

The bayous surrounding New Orleans are another world entirely, teeming with life and swamped with distinct culture and traditions (see what I did there?). I tried to capture a bit of the breath-taking beauty of Manchac swamp in this post. If you’re in NOLA, take a break from the city and head out to bayou country!

Tim and I ready for our Bayou Adventure!

Gorgeous
Gorgeous
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Jamie is a writer with a passion for adventure, history, and more. When she’s not out exploring the world, Jamie is at home in sunny San Diego, CA chasing sunsets and carne asada fries, preoccupied with research, or invested in a good book and a cup of tea.

10 thoughts on “Visions of Beignets, and Chargrilled Oysters Dancing in My Head

  1. Jamie,
    Glad to see your blog finally! Candidly, I loved the narration. Honest & heartfelt! Best part is theres lot of take ways for someone who wants to visit New Orleans. Well written. So please keep writing & you have a follower already.:)

    Below is my blogsite. I do write sometimes but being a IT professional, my blogs could be boringly tech-heavy! 🙂

  2. Hello. I’m interested in going to New Orleans the first week of December. Do you have any recommendations as what to do during that time? I heard the weather is nice and not to worry about rain. How much do you think two people should save up to to spend around there? We’re planning on using Airbnb but our emphasis would be on food and maybe a tour of the swamps. We’re staying five, maybe six days there. Great blog by the way!

    1. Hi ! Thanks for reading! December is a great time to go. If your emphasis is going to be on food, I would save a good amount of money! There are tons of places to find delicious, affordable food but you will want to try some fine dining places while you’re out there too. I recommend Antoine’s especially for the Baked Alaska dessert. Commander’s Palace in the Garden district is delicious but keep in mind that the dress code which is pretty dressy is enforced. Muriel’s in the French Quarter has great turtle soup. You’ll want to try the favorites while you’re there: Gumbo, Jambalaya, chargrilled oysters, muffalettas, and beignets. There are some amazing breakfast/brunch places in the Marigny/Bywater area. My favorites are The Cake Cafe and Elizabeth’s. For things to do: A swamp tour I definitely recommend! I liked Cajun Pride tours the best. Also, a walking tour of the French Quarter would be fun. They have different kinds like a Booze tour, haunted tour, bike tours, historical tour etc. Here’s a link to a post I wrote about visiting New Orleans in December: https://jamiebethlaird.com/2015/12/11/yule-in-new-orleans/

      Happy Travels!

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