Friday, November 20, 2015

Take Me Home to New Orleans

If you've been following me on Instagram, you'll know I took a few days to visit the beautiful city of New Orleans! I did a lot of prior research to maximize my time in Nola and I'm so glad I did. The city is absolutely fantastic - beautiful culture, beautiful scenery and every corner of the state has rich history that spans back hundreds of years. 

We started our morning off flying into Nola from California - it was a four 4 or so hours. The moment we landed, i saw that it was raining. SAD. I knew it already but it never really hits you until you're there ;) When we exited to get our rental car, I felt a surge of humidity that is not comfortable. It was hot and humid. Not the best of feelings but we got on. Rented a comfortable car and drove to our destination. We rented a 3 bedroom house in a really nice neighborhood near the French Quarters using AirBnb. I've used Airbnb for years and that San Francisco based company is ON PAR. Fantastic experience every time. I've never been disappointed in all the years I've used them!

After we settled in and freshened up, we went to dinner. The car ride was quite traffic-y on a Saturday night. The rain started getting heavier and heavier, with wind speeds rushing by. The humidity and heat completely dissolved and what was left was rain and wind, cold. 

We finally arrived at our destination after finding the best parking right on the corner. With our umbrellas up and walking quickly through the bustling foot traffic, it was a rather short walk to Deanie's Seafood. We shared the crawfish étouffée, bbq shrimp and a fried seafood platter. Exquisite. I have a deep love for cajun/creole seafood and cooking in general so to call Nola my home for the next few days was absolutely the best tastebud-induced happiness. You get wonderful seasonal ingredients and gourmet style cooking so casually in this city that expectations are to be exceeded every time.

I went went on a swamp boat tour, which was super fun!!! Beautiful scenery of the swamps, local animals and just immersing myself in the rich history of Nola. Incredible. 

Some of the beautiful scenery in the swamp! So green and lush.

Gloomy. Quiet. Peaceful.

Of course I had to try beignets and cafe au lait. I think I still might prefer my San Francisco coffee over this but it was still fantastic. Beignets were good too! 

Lots of beautiful restaurants in Nola are made from beautiful oak. 

Taking a stroll and walked into this cutesy girly gift shop. Lots of jewels to be had :)

Visited several plantations throughout the trip. Most of its beauty really lies on the peaceful scenery. Incredible views right? Look at the trees!

We were driving to one of the plantations and the rainfall the night before caused the soil to be loose and muddy. Little did we know, we made a turn into a non-paved road and our car got STUCK. IN THE MUD. It was a dramatic experience but we pushed through. Two of us got out of the car to push the car while the third person stepped on the gas. 

Looks seemingly innocent but mud and mosquitos everywhere!!!

My shoes in the aftermath 

After that experience, we cleaned up. Look at this gorgeous home! Beautiful American style structure, with colonial porches and stairways. 

Beautiful. Nothing else like this. 

2nd story porches. Best to dive into a long novel and sip on coffee.

Gorgeous chandeliers. I have thing for chandeliers.

Pano view of the establishment. Land for MILES. 

By sunset, the string lights turn on. Looks so beautiful and festive... I was in awe the whole time. Felt like i was wrapped back to the 1800s. Everything here looked utterly perfect.

One of the beautiful cathedrals in Nola - this was across from Jackson Square. 

Above ground cemeteries scattered all over the city. Because Nola is a swampland, many of the graves are built this way so the water that fills up the city doesn't wash up the coffins! You never get used to seeing this but it was amazing. Some of these graves are so beautiful, like houses. A ton of mausoleums scattered about. 

French Quarters 

New Orleans was an incredible experience. I can see myself living there because of the incredible food culture, the nice Southern people and the bustling realness of the city. Generations of French Creoles and Cajuns live here. They have shaped the city to what it is today. So much of the food is so unique and unlike any in all of America. I think they are the most different of any. 

It has its charms and old world feel - like a cross between old and new. People here believe in tradition, voodoo, magic, and the beautiful chaos that is only in New Orleans.

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