I finally made it to New Orleans (or N’awlins as pronounced by the locals). YAY!!! I have been dreaming about that city for years now. I could never tell what was attracting me to this city, and still nowadays after visiting it I cannot pin point the reason of this attraction. This city is eclectic and random.
Coming from NY, where people are cold, angry with an attitude, it was a positive change to see people relaxed and welcoming, passers-by stopping to say hello and have small conversations with us, opened doors welcoming people into the stores and restaurants. Everything was charming in that city.
The food was exquisite. I tried everything that I could in the short trip my friends and I planned. I had jambalaya, alligator, oysters, shrimps and grits and so on. The only dishes I did not have a chance to taste were raw oysters and crawfish. I am saving that for my next trip. Surprisingly, the waiters at the restaurant over there were very confused by my asking to have a cup of tea with cream. It must be a northern habit. A waiter even insisted that it was too hot outside for me to have hot tea and that I should probably have a coke if I was craving caffeine so much.
The people were friendly and chatty. The first question they most inevitably asked was “where are you guys from?” Difficult question to answer because we were from the Caribbean but living in NY and MD. So we just answered “not from here (with laughs)”. Then, when they heard that we live in NY, they go on about how exciting their trip to the Big Apple was. The people of NOLA are nice. It changes from the standoffish and i-mind-my-own-business attitude the New Yorkers have.
Since it was a small-cation (small vacation), we were only able to go do three main things. We went to the French quarter, we went on a swamp tour, and we made it to the Jazz Fest (the main reason of this trip). The French quarter is attractive. It is a different city in daylight than at night. During the day, it is fuzzing with waiters trying to lure people into their restaurants, music, dance and parades. At night, it is a different scenery, it is ghost tours, bars, half-naked people in door steps etc… so different from NY. We even went to a voodoo shop. It did not look authentic at all, I only got a mug for my boyfriend. He wanted a gris-gris but I would not trust that anything there had any true powers. The swamp tour was funny. The gentleman who conducted it was agreeable, he even told us place to get local food after the tour. The Jazz festival was incredible. It was everything the reviews told me: lively, hot, and lots of food!
The trip was on a budget, therefore, the idea of making it a road trip. At first we looked up the prices of airplane’s ticket and considered many alternatives like landing in a near city then driving to NOLA from there, but the more affordable alternative was driving from NY. YES, I said driving from NY to LA. The day we had planned to leave was a raining day, so we had to postpone the time for departure. I was the one who rented the car, so woke up at 1 am, left my house at 3 and drove to my friend’s house in Brooklyn. A 2hrs drive took me 4hrs because the main roads were flooded, but that did not keep us from doing the trip. My other friend was living in MD, so we drove there. We left MD-Baltimore around 2pm and we arrived at NOLA at 8am the next da . Long trip, many stops, many songs, many gps re-calculations, lots of laughs. The coming back trip was tiring and exhausting. We left on Saturday night 2 am when people were still partying on the streets and I got home at 5 am on Monday. Very long trip, next time I will find a seasonal job and buy an airplane ticket. I am not sure being on budget is worth being that tired. It took me 4 days to recover from that trip.
I went with one of my closest friend G and another high school friend. What I like most about the trip was that it was drama free. It is hard to travel with people and not have anyone pick a fight. We were all easy going people, we had a few places we wanted to visit and we all wanted for each and every one to enjoy their small vacation. I loved that small-cation. Of course Nawlins is not for everyone, but if you want to discover another cuisine, experience another reality than the one you live in, or just want to go see swamps, NOLA might be the place for you.
Now my question to you is, do you have a place in your heart like NOLA? If yes tell me about it
Or what place do you suggest me to go visit next. I have gone along the east coast quite a bit (MA, NY, PA, NJ, CT, FL, NC, SC, LA) so where do you suggest me to go next