Sunday, April 29, 2012

NOLA Part 1 of 2

This post is long overdue and I apologize. 
For our second anniversary (why yes, it was in November of last year!), Rohit and I wanted to stay within the continental US for a variety of reasons and there had been one place that we had been hoping to visit since forever - New Orleans. It was everything I thought it would be and more. The food, the beignets (yes they are a whole separate attraction!), the music, the people - everything was exactly the way I had imagined it to be!   

For R and me, food is a big part of a holiday; I am not terribly versatile or particularly talented in the kitchen but for some reason having good food goes a long way in our travel experiences. One of our dinners and a place I would recommend is Chef Emeril's NOLA. We sampled the Veggie Pizza, Grilled seasonal fish (me) and the garlic crusted drum (Rohit). The service was great and the food delicious!

Ahhhh. Beignets. That's it - I have nothing more to add, my words could not do this justice.

We stayed adjacent to the French Quarter which I think was the ideal place to stay - because you're slightly distanced from the craziness that can be but just across the street from one of the most charming places I've been to in a long while - the quarter bursting with life, color, music and history.

Jazz on the street made the buildings and alleys all come alive.

St. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop - It is today a bar and has been so for many years but legend has it that Jean Lafitte and his pirates posed as blacksmiths here while using it as headquarters for selling goods they'd plundered on the high seas. I love when a place (especially a bar!) has such a colorful back story :)

Cafe Du Monde. Be warned, the lines are long but totally worth it! I don't even drink coffee and I LOVED the coffee!

This adorable little boy tap dancing on the street with tin can caps attached to his shoes as toe taps. So creative and very talented.

This is the line to Preservation Hall (I don't even think we can see the entrance from here - its that far off!). We braved this hoping against hope, counting people and putting our MBA estimation skills to the test and were luckily the very last people to enter! So thrilling!

Below are some pics of the hall.

It was as though we had been transported to another time and place. The seats were wooden benches for the most part and I could imagine the place getting stuffy in the summers but oh the music - its worth every second of the 45 minute wait, the uncomfortable seating and the crowds. The whole experience was unforgettable.

We also managed to squeeze in a plantation tour and will post about that in a subsequent post soon.
Update: Plantation tour post here

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