Now that we are settled in Oregon, I finally have some more time to write some blogs about our travels. I bought this crazy laptop with every intention to upload blogs and pictures along the way, but barely ended up using it. I also didn't really take as many pictures as I thought. As much as I try to dabble in landscape and travel photography, I still suck at it. Regardless, I will do my best to paint a visual for you guys with my words. =)
NEW ORLEANS. The French Quarter. The Crescent City. NOLA.
This place is alive with culture. Good food, great music, happy people. We got so swept up in everything wonderful, that we ended up staying an extra night in this hypnotic city. Even still, there is not enough time in 2 days to do and see everything you should. Every street you walk down is infected with its own energy. The buildings are stunning - a beautiful mix of French and Spanish architecture. It feels haunted. There are gas powered street lamps, night tours that explore the dark corners of the corridor, endless skies, and lush greenery.
Walking around these cemeteries is probably one of the weirder things I have ever done. It is like walking through a portal into the past. Row upon row of these raised, epic tombs. Welcome to the City of the Dead. In the St. Louis Cemetery #1, the legendary “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau was laid to rest; her tomb receives more visitors each year than Elvis Presley’s grave. Because of this they only offer guided tours of this cemetery, for $20 a person. So we went a couple blocks down to check out the tombs you don't have to pay to see. It's all insanely cool, whether you do the guided tour or not. Voodoo, witches and ghosts are around every corner.
There really isn't a place on earth quite like New Orleans. Little details in the city that could be overlooked, but are rich with history. Like the spikes on some of the poles in the city, they were used to protect the daughters of French aristocrats from unwanted suitors. There are more miles of canals in NOLA than there are in Venice, Italy. New Orleans had a lot of firsts. First home to the American Mafia. First opera in America. First permanent, for-profit movie theater. First site of Italian Immigration. First pharmacist, Louis Joseph Dufilho, Jr. There is culture oozing from every brick, every canal.
Jazz fills the streets day and night. Music is a huge part of the culture in NOLA. It was the only place in the world that slaves were allowed to own drums, which is said to be the beginning of Jazz. They even have Jazz funerals. The music and dancing parts of the funeral are to help the dead find their way to heaven and celebrate final moments in our realm.
I will be going back to NOLA to do some more exploring and even some of the tours. I really would love to go check out all of the swamp areas, and go find some true hole in the wall creole cooking. We actually didn't end up doing as much as we planned because we got swept up in the craziness of Bourbon Street on our second night. We went out for ONE DRINK, and ended up partying really late. We had so much fun, the energy on Burbon is insane. There are amazing people everywhere, but we got a bit too carried away. We felt like crap the next day and struggled to get our butts back on the road to head to our next stop, Texas.