A Taste Of The Big Easy

All photos are from May 4-8, 2018

In one of life’s moments of spontaneity, my wife asked me if I would like to visit New Orleans for a long weekend. She was traveling to Biloxi, MS for work and thought it would be fun to take some extra time to stop in NOLA since it’s only an hour from Biloxi. 

It didn’t take much convincing to get me on board with the plan, so on May 4th we hit the road! 

NOLA 

I have been in New Orleans once before in high school (I can't believe that was over ten years ago!). I went on a mission trip to help after hurricane Katrina. While you can still see remnants of the destruction caused by the hurricane, the city has come a long way in recovery since then. 

We rented an Airbnb in the Bywater neighborhood, one of the safe havens those that were displaced during Katrina were able to take refuge. Now it’s an up and coming neighborhood, filled with murals, artists, musicians, dive bars, and great food. 

Adjacent to Bywater is a park that was constructed along the Mississippi River where there had once been wharves and abandoned railroad sidings. Known as Crescent Park, this 1.4 mile stretch of land creates a wonderful link between Bywater and the French Market district. Speaking of, we spent a large portion of our time in the French Quarter.

French Quarter

Saturday morning we set out early to explore the neighborhood. It was pretty quiet, despite its reputation, but the peace wouldn’t last too long. By noon the sidewalks were packed to brim with people moving at a glacial pace, making it nearly impossible to move. We took that as a cue, and headed back to our rental. 

That night we headed back in for a ghost tour. This was when we got to see the nightlife the French Quarter is known for. The tour was a lot of fun, but I have to say I prefer the area in the morning! 

Oak Alley Plantation

Sunday, after going and getting beignets at Cafe Du Monde, we drove to the Oak Ally Plantation. We did a self guided tour of the grounds, which were very beautiful, but I definitely had some mixed emotions knowing how it had been built.

There was a recreation of the plantation's slave quarters, along with the names and stories of 200 slaves that lived there. It was a very sombering experience.  Our last stop was a tour of the big house. The tour really hit home the disparity between the owners and slaves. 

I didn't create many photos at the plantation, it just didn't feel right at the time.

Biloxi

We arrived at our final destination Sunday night. I had planned to leave for Saint Louis the next morning, but opted not to because I was exhausted; taking on a ten plus hour drive didn't seem like a smart move.

Im glad I stayed! Walking along the beach was a nice change from the bustle of New Orleans.

I headed back home Tuesday morning, not to see Annika again for two long weeks. After her week in Biloxi she was flying down to Puerto Rico for work. It wouldn't be long before I headed down to join her. But I'll leave that for another time!

Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed the trip, but it was a lot to undertake in such a short time period. I think it would be a lot of fun to do again next year when Annika travels to Biloxi again. This time though, we'll have a better idea of what to expect and what we want to do. There is so much more to New Orleans than the French Quarter, and we just scratched the surface of it.

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