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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Exploring the Big Easy: Part One

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As I walked out of the airport I was instantly hit with the humidity and sun that I have never felt before. I love warm weather, but you could walk outside with wet hair and it will be dry within a few minutes. Getting into a cab as we made our way to the hotel, I was able to see the makeup of a city that has had it troubles and triumphs. At first it looked like any other city filled with large buildings and busy streets, but it was not until I reached the French Quarter that the true identity and spirit of New Orleans could be found. Since I was spending a little under a week in New Orleans I really wanted to see as much as I possibly could. Mixing well known tourist destinations with simply walking around and discovering the various characters who makeup the city.



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Coming from Montreal, I felt that there would be many similarities between Old Montreal and the French Quarter. I was expecting the cobble stone roads, the buildings which appeared to be hundreds of years old, and an overall European feel. I must say that the French Quarter in New Orleans has got to be one of the most beautiful attractions I have been to. Yes it does have the cobble stone roads, but it is the architecture that makes it a stand out. The balconies with detailed fences as well as the arch ways and colourful accents made every building individualistic. You can definitely sense the French influence when walking around the French Quarter, but it is the people who truly take the experience to another level. As we walk you can hear live music, spot street dancers performing, and other types of street performers who were all working tirelessly in the high heat and humidity. 

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Stepping through the gates of Jackson Square it almost feels surreal as you look around. Filled with massive trees, some flowered with darling sweet pink flowers and a fountain near the centre of the park. People can be found lying under trees trying to catch a break from the scorching sun, while others are enjoying the glorious July weather. The park itself is gated with openings on all four sides. Entering from the main street can lead you to the hub of the French Quarter or directly in front of St Louis Cathedral. The magnificent cathedral is white with pillars stacked from floor to ceiling. The detail of this building, specifically the colour and height of it, demonstrates the historical ties within the French Quarter. Surrounding the square are various shops, cafes, and street artists who are out selling their work. The arts, especially music and painting, are fundamental parts of the culture here in New Orleans. 

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After spending a few hours roaming the small side streets I finally found one that many will recognize; Bourbon Street. For those who do not know, I was travelling to New Orleans for a dance competition which you can read about here, thus drinking and partying were not my priority. However, it was an experience within itself to simply walk the street. If you are looking for a good time there are hundreds of small restaurants, bars, and clubs that can be found on Bourbon street. While I was visiting, unfortunately, certain sections were under construction so I did not see the street in its entirety. 


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An aspect of travelling I was both excited and anxious about was finding places to eat. Being a vegetarian with allergies, I was expecting to have a difficult time finding meals. Probably one of the best moments of this trip was in fact finding a small Mexican restaurant that was close to my hotel. Back home it can be difficult finding authentic Mexican cuisine so I was extremely excited to try the food. The restaurant makes its own tequila and uses fresh fruit to create their cocktails. I was thrilled to try their classic margarita and wow was it ever delicious! The perfect balance of sweet and sour from their own house made tequila and freshly squeezed limes. Even the tortilla chips and salsa were all made fresh at the restaurant. For dinner that night I had a vegetarian fajita platter. The main dish was roasted vegetables which had been marinated and the side dish was all of the toppings. Fresh lettuce, pico de gailo, and beans were cooked to perfection and just melted into the roasted vegetables. It was beyond delicious! It was light and so flavourful. I could not stop eating and even when I was completely full, I was still trying to shove more bites into my mouth. 

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Rolling ourselves out of the restaurant, I found myself in a very relaxed state (probably because of that incredible margarita). After a long day of exploring my feet were ready to rest and kick back at the hotel. Watching the sun begin to set I was already looking forward to what adventures the remaining days would bring here in the big easy.  















Stay tuned for part two of my trip!

10 comments :

  1. That gigantic tree is so beautiful! I love it. I want to go to New Orleans and the French Quarter so bad! I heard a lot of fun things about the place, and this post also makes me want to. Also, one of my fav tv show, The Originals, was filmed in French Quarter so would love to visit sometime soon!

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    1. I didn't realize the originals was filmed there, very cool! Thanks for the lovely comment

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  2. OMG! Please take me with you hahaha:) SO beautiful! Would really love to travel see places like this one day:) The photos are stunning as well:)

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  3. My husband has this place on his bucket list. I'd love to see it too and discover its old world charm. Plus the food seems interesting to try, for sure!

    Mae | http://www.thegospelofbeauty.org

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    1. Definitely a place to visit! Especially for the interesting food haha

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  4. Love the way you have described the city and the moments you have captured. Now, I guess this place is on my bucket list. :)

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  5. I love NOLA! The city has so much character, great food, and tons to do. Great photos!

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    1. Couldn't agree with you more! Thank you

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