The first night in New Orleans was a late one because of the time spent driving from Texas. We decided to sleep in but the next day we were off to explore this old city.
For years, this french inspired city or Nola as they called, had been on my bucket list of places to go. I had heard so many amazing things about this place including it’s intricate architecture, delicious food and live entertainment. I was really excited to finally discover it for myself!
The buildings here in New Orleans and particularly in the French Quarter, made me feel like I had turned a corner onto a mystical street in Paris. The elegant yet rustic styled colorful buildings with iron balconies really set a stage for this little french city.
The tone of this city was of 17th century France, like a place where people who dressed and resembled people like Marie Annette might have once lived and partied.
Visiting in the springtime felt almost perfect because who doesn’t envision a spring day in Paris. The flowers and trees that blossomed on top of and next to the buildings and streets rustled with the cold breezes that flew by with the warm sun hanging overhead felt like a nearly flawless spring day.
As I walked around I noticed the amount of flags people had hanging over balconies and windows that set a diverse tone with flags from all over the world because the city itself was full of rich and diverse people.
The Louisiana Creole French language also seemed to match the elegant and antique vibe of the vibrant city.
Cafe Du Monde
All around the city, there was all sorts of different restaurants but most famous was the seafood and beignets especially Cafe Du Monde. This cafe which in english means “cafe of the world”, had been recommended to me by people literally all over the world.
When I arrived the cafe was like all things here in New Orleans was full of people and was always open and ready to serve.
My family and I sat next to other tourists and locals where we ordered a set of beignets for each of us (which I know realize was way too much). As I munched on my first beignet pastry, I realized how warm, crunchy yet soft and delicious the sugary pastry was.
The cafe itself was open, loud, and super cute and I loved it all the same.
I visited the city at the turn of sunset and it was the perfect time to visit. I felt like anytime after would have been too spooky (not that it’s opened after sunset) and anytime in the day too impersonal.
The grounds and cathedral were all designed after the famous 17th century Place Des Vosges in Paris, France. The St. Louis Cathedral that stands beautifully looming in the background of this small park is said to be the oldest cathedral in America.
Ghost tours stopped every once in awhile nearby and told stories of the haunted souls that still roamed around in this old Louisiana city and really set a eerie tone for the area.
It really was a hauntingly beautiful place and I could see the appeal to the ghosts that came and went in a place like this for some moments of peace as a sunset loomed over and cast a golden glow.
Next to the this square was a pathway that contained a true with no leaves but rather hundreds of beads hanging from branches, remnants of Mardi Gras past and of just last months own festivities.
As the sky grew dark, I headed down to Bourbon Street, which after sun down begins to liven up with people. Drunk bridal and bachelor groups are all around ready for a week of partying and good food. People on balconies of bars and clubs throw beads to people they find attractive and as the night progresses they start throwing them for other things.
Along the street is live music at almost every corner where the musicians ages range from young ages to older ones, all having the common goal to bring life and love of music together. I loved being apart of the bright energy of this place by listening to the music, dancing around and being in the moment.
Being that at this point, it was late March, I was nearly two weeks away from turning twenty-one so I didn’t go out but my parents did and they said Nola had some of the best nightlife around.
The clubs and bars are always full of entertaining people and the bartenders and DJs are very welcoming and will definitely not let the night pass without giving you a drink or having you dance on a stage.
African Americans back in the late 19th century and early 20th century created, right here in New Orleans, and in my opinion, one of the best musical genres in world, jazz.
While walking around, we stumbled upon a group of four guys playing jazz. They played classics along with some modern jazz with their own interpretations of the songs. Listening to them play some of my favorite songs was magical in the middle of a place like Nola, back where it all began.
Although it was an group of older folks among us listening, I felt completely myself in the crowd like I was meant to be there in that moment.
Listening to jazz is what I imagine falling in love would feel like. It’s highs and lows of the song seemed to enter into the soul and certain notes brought out certain emotions of sadness or joy like love, or even traveling.
This would in a way be my last stop of this United States road trip and listening to those songs brought out the highs and lows of this trip. Traveling was always where I felt most like myself and ending it there listening to jazz, I knew the adventure was just the beginning.
I was thankful for all my time spent discovering my home country but I was excited to discover more about the world and myself.
Thank you for reading about my time spent in New Orleans, and if you’ve ever gone or plan to go, be sure to comment below!