Travel Diary: New Orleans

Sticky, beautiful, hot, stinky. My top four descriptors for New Orleans. If this is your place of home, by no means am I trying to be offensive! These are just a few of the things I noticed while my travels to this city down south. Definitely not known as a worldly women, I recently took a week vacation to roadtrip with my mother to a few different states. It was our first mother/daughter trip and was exciting enough to not be our last. With 2000 miles added to my car, I'm just counting down the days to my next roadtrip.

To those who have always traveled by plane; you're missing out. Granted, there is something beautiful about seeing cities thousands of feet in the air but there is something about a roadtrip you just can't beat. It's that fun feeling of running away and exploring new things (and the getting a little hysterical after 12 hours in the car with my mother) that makes driving through a state so adventurous. We traveled through Dallas in the night and, being from a smaller town, that was definitely a new experience driving through that much traffic. After that stress inducing mess (which I rocked, by the way) we decided to stop at a hotel right outside the city to get some rest.

The next day we got back on the road for a 10 hour drive into New Orleans. Once you hit Louisiana it's like a different dimension. Everywhere you look is green and swampy and the air feels wet. By time we hit New Orleans I was a driving pro; weaving in and out of traffic like it was nothing (as opposed to going 20 below the speed because I'm scared to pass in a 10 lane freeway). 

Of course, the first place we had to go was the French Quarter. Let me tell you, the area is as beautiful as you would imagine. Everything is so artistic and there are street performers and parades everywhere you turn. There is also a sharp smell of urine as well (due to little drunkies walking around all over) and of course beads being thrown left and right. If your looking to get drunk out of your mind; the French Quarter is the place for you. While we weren't into the college tit for tat showing, it was neat to just walk down the streets (with a drink in our hand; talk about something I've never done before) and watch all the amazing performances. 

On one cobble stone street we walked down, sweat beading down our faces and our beers slowly warming up, we watched a bride and groom being escorted down the street by a parade of Frenchman on stilts and a marching band playing a Beyonce tune. It was as if this town was an endless version of mardi gras; always living as if it was a celebration of life. 

We spent two days in this area soaking it all in (and getting soaked by the humidity in the process). Of course, it's not a true New Orleans trip until you take a street car past the business district into the garden district. This is where all those celebrity and the wealth live. The houses are intricately built with more rooms then a school; staring and daunting as you pass by. Right before you turn off into these amazing houses you pass by a cemetery. Now my types of cemeteries are nothing to write about; grass and stones sticking out of the ground. In New Orleans these areas are beautifully celebrated and toured on the regular. Honestly, they are a site to see just on there own (they even do 'vampire tours' where you get to go in during the nighttime hours). 

Even after just two days the moldy smell from the hotel was becoming a regular scent and we were used to having a glistening sheen on our face from sweat. It's definitely a place that you could spend weeks at just walking around the city. The amount of hot sauce (and amazing creole food) will have you drooling for more. Don't forget; if you're planning a trip you have to buy something from the voodoo shop (don't worry, there is one on every corner). 

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