I love to travel. Plain and simple. I love to experience new cultures, foods, and see new sights. To take things in that one has read about and been told…but to see it with ones own eyes and get the “experience” for oneself cannot have a price tag placed on it.
I not only enjoy traveling, but also sharing the experience with others. I have started giving “travel” (either with myself or cash funds to supplement travel plans) to my nieces and nephew as their Christmas present instead of “things”. So often we purchase stuff that ends up getting put in a closet and never worn, used, or seen again until a “purge” and then it is drug out and put in a yard sale or given away. By giving travel, I get to go places and there is no clutter involved.
This all started three years ago when we went to Washington DC (you can check out the previous blogs from back in July-August 2014), then I took Kirsten to Utah in 2015, and then we hit Gatlinburg earlier this summer for her 2015 present. We opted for New Orleans for the 2016 trip, for all of us. I’ve wanted to visit, and this is one state that I was unable to “color” in when marking a map…now I can mark Louisiana off the map and New Orleans off my bucket list.
We headed out Wednesday morning early to make it to NOLA before rush hour traffic. Let’s just say that Mississippi is the LONGEST state EVER. The majority of the trip was driving through Mississippi. The kids slept the majority of the way. We made it and checked into our “motel”.
I reserved a suite in Mid-City area, it was the same price of a motel room, but it’s a two bedroom, two bath suite. Has a kitchen and sitting area, and laundry available if I get to bored. Enough space to kick back and relax, and be able to get ‘away’ from each other if need be. :) We’re not trying to sleep, eat, and relax all in the same space. It’s a great little house owned by Hosteeva (google it…they have a cool locations).
Thursday morning we slept in and then went and toured the French Quarter. Started the day off at Cafe du Monde for beignet’s. We were able to grab a table, and wait for it to be cleaned off, placed our order and enjoyed some of the french donuts. Powder sugar galore!!! Well worth the wait, and we can say that we ate at Cafe du Monde!! Rumor was that it was a dirty cafe, but they either have cleaned up their act or working as a nurse has changed my idea of “dirty” to the point that I didn’t notice it being bad. LOL. It’s amazing what a nurse will do before going and grabbing lunch…or break from eating then come right back.
We spent the day wandering around the French Quarter, shopping, eating, enjoying the beautiful weather. Every corner had different music going, and it is flowing through the streets. We saw one group that played Amazing Grace, it sent chill bumps down my arms. So much raw talent on the streets, and playing for a buck.
We had the opportunity to see a wedding procession stop traffic and walk down the street, just prior to the lighting of the Christmas Tree across from Jackson Square. We thought there was some people that were really dressed up for the tree lighting ceremony, then a lady says “o.k., you can play now”. A band struck up a song and then people started dancing down the sidewalk into the street waving white handkerchiefs. It was pretty cool to see.
We hit up a small joint called Preservation Hall tonight to listen to “big band” music, and so Peyton could write a paper for her music appreciation class. It was AWESOME!!! It was old school band music, the leader stated “Now you can say you been to New Orleans”. My minds eye envisioned 1920’s Flappers dancing around. They performed and sang, at one point the leader had a Louie Armstrong voice that brought a smile to my face. It was well worth the wait around town and standing in the old building feeling the atmosphere. Recommend a stop by this place if you are ever in town.
We found a little food joint next door, Ali Baba, that was serving up fresh Gyros. The guy cut the meet fresh from the slab that was kept in a “cooking barrel” (for lack of better term), and made the food to order. Very small…but very tasty. The obscure little places are sometimes the best.
When we made it back to the flat, I kept trying to put the key in the slot that did not have a key-hole. Simeon kept stating “it’s this one” as he tapped the doorknob. Maybe I was just a little tired.
Great start to our Christmas trip.