A few weeks back, my husband and I took a mini-vacation/ work trip to New Orleans, and I cannot begin to explain how hard I fell in love with this city. Every hour I would call/ text/ nudge my husband and say "When are we moving?"
Like EVERY hour.
These were the kind of discussions that went back and forth from my walking tours (and yes, I took every single tour)*
After learning that there was no industry in the city, meaning we couldn't really live there full time, I took to trying to convince my husband that is is where we should retire, or vacation, or be buried. Really, I was pushing for all three. Looking back at our pictures, I found that I took about 10,000 of various homes I wanted to live in, and not much else... but after looking at these, can't you see why?
The question of the day was always, "would you rather live in the Garden District, drinking sweet tea on the porch and absorbing the hot, slow pace of life, or in the French Quarter better, (where we stayed) a place where you can wake up every morning and get beignets and cafe au lait just steps from your home, and live jazz music 24 hours a day." My answer was always, "both, any, all, how did it take me 33 years to find this place????"
It's hard for me to describe the magic that is this city. Like Paris, it's one of those places you have to see to believe. Unlike Paris, everything was so reasonably priced, and borderline inexpensive, that it's not hard to imagine returning. Every year. As in, I already am making plans to go back. Who's with me??
Here are some of my picks, from the city that stole my heart.
We stayed here, because my husband had meetings in the French Quarter, but if when we go back I would probably pick here. We ate here, here, and here, and the bbq shrimp with 1.50 martini's here cannot be missed. Nobody (besides drunk co-eds) parties on Bourbon street, and the real action is on Frenchmen Street where there are dozens of little bars, blasting jazz from 6pm on. I also fell in love with Magazine Street, in the Garden District, which reminded me a lot of home. We were lucky enough to see on of the city's most famous musicians, Kermit Ruffins, play at this dive bar that was like something out of a movie. I also highly recommend what is touted at the "Katrina tour" which gives you a real glimpse into the devastation from that disaster, as well as the rebuilding efforts that are in place. It really restored my faith in humanity, if you are in town, and can make this happen, it is something you will remember it for the rest of your life!
My heart belongs in New Orleans... mark my words I will live there, even if I do have to wait 50 years!
*One of my favorite things about this city was that it was "cool" to be a tourist, everyone is. The city runs on tourism, and the various tours from plantation, ghost, cemetery, etc.. are so well done, there really is no better way to see the city. One day my husband asked if I brought my fanny pack, as I was scheduling back to back tours... but let me tell you, with a frozen hurricane in hand (drinking in the streets is encouraged) I really couldn't get enough. The best part was that I actually learned so much about the area, versus, just seeing it. Ahhhhhhhh I want to go back!