Three weeks ago I was organized, on track, feeling good. Then I went on vacation. I love vacation and I could travel the rest of my life. But travelling and then coming back to work really messes things up. Since I’ve been back I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath at work, and with unpacking, cooking and cleaning we haven’t had much of a break at home. Top it all off with a housewarming party and another family party and you can understand why my blog has taken a backseat for a couple weeks!
Since I’ve been back I feel like my head is floating and that I’m forgetting something. I am trying to get myself organized again to make sure I don’t forget about any meetings, hangouts or appointments. I think I’m finally almost at that point so I wanted to share my trip to New Orleans!
I wasn’t all that interested in going to New Orleans, but my family was going so I thought it would be fun to travel with them. I realize now that I wish I did some research on the city – not just things to do, but the history of the city. However, at the same time, I think that the history wouldn’t have had the same impact on me as it did when I returned seeing what I did. I know that New Orleans was hit hard by Katrina – but it’s been 10 years now, which means it all went down when I was 15. 15 year olds for the most part don’t generally read or watch a lot of the news – so I had an idea of it all but not a total understanding. To me, a lot of the trip I saw how run down the city looks, how it smells like garbage everywhere, and how the streets are plagued with poverty and addiction. But when you research the history you actually see a city that is struggling to recover from a horrible disaster that killed hundreds of people, flattened hundreds of homes and set them back years. All the hard work the residents put into building up their lives was destroyed. I have a significantly greater appreciation for the city and its residents and how they have been able to start their lives over again. I hope that New Orleans can continue to see positive change and I believe that the city has done wonders in bringing it back to what it once was.
We didn’t arrive to New Orleans until around noon on Saturday and it poured rain for most of the afternoon. We didn’t do much site seeing but we walked the streets a bunch. On Sunday we did a bayou tour with Cajun Encounters – it was fantastic! We took a boat tour through the bayou to see the alligators, turtles, and pigs (but no pigs came out 😦 ). The bayou is an incredible place! It is so unique, beautiful and breathtaking. However, I would NEVER want to get lost in there – the trees are crazy, and there are wood spikes (possibly old trees) that stick out of the river bed. Our boat was definitely the best place to see it.
We got to see some alligators up close and personal – and my mom got some amazing photos. So mom, all alligator photo cred goes to you! If you click on the pictures they will enlarge 🙂
Seriously, every picture I took, the camera was so delayed I missed it. I’m not sure how she did it but these pictures are amazing!
Later in the afternoon we went to the World War II Museum and learned how to swing dance. It was so fun. The stage looked like the scenes you would see during the war with the American banners, and the women dressed up with their curly hair, singing tunes to dance to. We spent about 2 hours there learning the beginning moves to swing dance, and switched partners around the room so I met a lot of really great people. It was a ton of fun, and I had no idea swing dancing would be as hard as it is! I would love to try it again some time. It felt like a true southern experience dancing and listening to live music.
On Monday we went for breakfast at the Ruby Slipper. OMG their food is SO good. If you ever find yourself down in New Orleans, make sure to stop their for breakfast! I had the Costa Rican breakfast and it had slow cooked beans and rice with a fried egg on top of cooked plantain chips. Amazingggg! In the afternoon we decided to go to Mississippi to go swim in the Gulf. We spent the day in Long Island and spoke with some residents there about all the jelly fish on the beach – if they are safe or not. We were told that there were jelly fish at the beach but it was really hard to see them because the water is not crystal blue. It was super cool – there were dozens of fish, about 6 inches in length – that would just jump out of the water constantly. We also saw some other type of fish.. or water animal that was flopping around. We figure it was a sea monster, a local says it could have been a flounder that had issues, or a stingray. We will never know!
We also went to this fantastic local deli called Long Beach Market & Deli and spoke to the owners about Katrina and how much it took from them. It was surreal. If you ever find yourself in Long Beach – stop there, the food is super good and the owners are extremely nice!
On our way back we stopped at a NASA Visitor centre which was super fun! We arrived close to closing so we had to rush through it but it had some really cool interactive features and a lot of actual space equipment to see. They also have a section to make different paper airplanes and try and land them on the stage below – I found the best paper airplane instructions ever. When you want to make a killer airplane – make this one! You won’t be disappointed.
We got some pictures outside, and while in Mississippi, why not see these signs!
We spent Monday evening wandering Bourbon Street, drinking Hand Grenades and Daquiris. It was super fun. There is so much to see and people everywhere having a good time. I loved that there was jazz music playing on the balcony’s as you walked by, it gave a true New Orleans feel.
Sadly, Tuesday was our last day! There was so much to do and see but we ran out of time. We spent the morning wandering around the city seeing the last of the sites before we jetted back to Canada. We made sure to see the iconic sites before we left – including Jackson Square and the Mississippi River boats!
All in all, the trip was amazing, we had tons of fun and I fell in love with the city by the end. I would definitely suggest you visit the city some time if you have not, and to learn about the history in advance because it really changes how you feel about the city. My parents went on a couple other city tours and a cocktail tour (a tour on the history of the bars in the French Quarter) and they said they learned a lot and it changed their perspective as well, so all of these would be great ideas!
Thanks for stopping by!