New Orleans is one of those incredible cities that you don’t forget easily. Its buzzing energy and (without sounding too corny) its soul seem to stay with you long after you leave.
Yes, it’s as abstract as it sounds.
Although my time in the city was way too brief, I crammed in as much as I could. I tend to have total FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when I visit a new place, which is totally amplified if I’ve never visited the city before.
For me, New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the United States.
It has a really awesome vibe about it and a deeply embedded culture that dates back to French colonial times.
Like it is the birthplace of Jazz, Delicious French and Southern Cuisine and the French Quarter that I fell head over heels in love with.
Eat at Mothers famous sea-food gumbo and Po’ Boys
There is so much to take in when visiting New Orleans. I arrived in the city hungry… you know, that kind of hunger that makes you hangry; yup, that was me! So once I checked into the hotel it was straight out for a bite to eat.
One place that I always wanted to try was Mother’s that has become a true institution in the city.
The likes of Obama, royal dignitaries, Hollywood A-list stars (and of course hangry old me) have all visited to enjoy some of “Mothers” famous sea-food gumbo and Po’ Boys.
Be prepared for a mountainous portion of food and long, but fast-moving queues.
Even in my hangry-induced haze, I couldn’t finish my mile-high meal.
The French Quarter
Situated in the heart of New Orleans, the French Quarter just begs to be explored.
My favourite memory was strolling for a few hours through the streets, listening (and terribly dancing) to some of the best jazz I have ever heard.
There seems to be such an emotional connection with the people of New Orleans and their music – which makes for a truly great experience when you get to listen to them play and sing.
At night and particularly around Bourbon Street the area houses much more of a fun “party” atmosphere… it’s as if Mardi Gras has happened every night.
It totally took me by surprise how crazy it was, particularly on a Friday and Saturday.
Thousands of people are partying and revelling in the streets, which makes for a great party vibe and everyone is invited.
Preservation Hall Jazz
One Jazz performance I knew I had to watch was at Preservation Hall.
If you intend on going, make sure to buy your tickets in advance as this is a tiny venue with very high demand.
Preservation Hall, in all its rustic glory, is a beautiful and intimate venue with some of the best performers in town! I’ve never visited a music venue like it.
A truly New Orleans experience that I will cherish.
The Happiest Bride and Groom
On my second day in the city, New Orleans became “rainy”… not just any old “I will get my umbrella” out the rain; actual massive drops. They came with such ferocity that anyone that was outside instantaneously become drenched; me included!
As I ran to some tree-cover in the City Park Yaya, Georgia and Chris we all noticed a wedding ceremony taking place. They asked if we wanted to join in the celebrations.
Which, as you can imagine, we loved and said yes!
The wedding took place in the pouring rain, everyone was in the highest of spirits, trumpets were blaring and guests dancing, everyone embraced the rain, even the bride and groom who I managed to photograph!
At that moment, I swear they were the happiest couple in the world.
It was such a profound and beautiful ceremony to witness and I feel so fortunate that we were allowed to join in.
I wish I could thank them for letting me share their special day with them.
A Breakfast Date With Anyone?
The next morning I was having brunch and I somehow ended up reading the personal ads in the local newspaper.
I assure you this was just by accident. But look at the adverts that I came across! I remember laughing out loud at the diner! So funny.