Right now Mardi Gras is in full swing culminating next week on Fat Tuesday Feb 25th. If you've never been to New Orleans it's a must see since there's nothing like it anywhere else in the US. I've had the pleasure of visiting the city many times both during the early weeks of Mardi Gras as well as Halloween Weekend. While I am not much for the loud party atmosphere of Bourbon St anymore, I love the architecture and balcony gardens of the French Quarter and during my visit last year, we found much to enjoy in the Garden District.
My partner journeyed to NOLA a few weeks ago for his conference but unfortunately I was unable to attend. So all the talk of Mardi Gras celebrations this week has me a little nostalgic for The Big Easy. So I thought it might be fun to re-share with all of you my post about last year's trip.
Hopefully, it will give you some great ideas for your gardens and inspire you to pay New Orleans a visit.
And if you are celebrating Mardi Gras this weekend - Laissez les bons temps rouler!
A Tour of New Orleans 2019
Sometimes it's just great to getaway - especially to somewhere warm when it's cold where you live!
Earlier this week, I got a chance to go for a quick getaway. My partner always attends a business conference at this time of year in New Orleans. In the past, I've gone with him. But for the past few years, I've stayed home with our aging dog. Unfortunately we lost Oso in June. So this year I was free to go on the trip.
Both of us have been to this city many times so it can feel a little 'been there done that' to go again. And the conference usually falls during Mardi Gras. It can be really crazy! Finally, since this is a business trip where we meet with clients and vendors, it's not always very relaxing.
But this year, Mardi Gras is later in February so things were much calmer. We decided to go down a few days early and visit some things that we had never seen before. We chose to go on a vampire/ghost walk and spend a day in the Garden District. I booked tickets for the Ghost Walk but I really did not spend too much time figuring out the Garden District other than to find out that we could get their by trolley.
We spend so much time working and always needing to be somewhere that I decided to take my own advice and approach this trip in a much more 'relaxed' way.
We arrived on Saturday and were able to spend some time touring parts of the French Quarter that we had never seen before. We are both history buffs and love old buildings. I've always been fascinated by the architecture I've seen and wanted to see more. We walked almost 2 miles to try out a restaurant (Coops) with the locals and had some of the best food I've ever eaten in New Orleans for an amazingly inexpensive price.
The walk gave us the chance to stroll and really enjoy the buildings and their balcony gardens. The ghost tour was fun and interesting. My partner wanted me to see Jackson Square at night. During the day, artists set up stands in the square. But at night, the fortune tellers are there.
It was also fun to see the gas lamps that are still operating throughout the city.
But the real highlight of our trip came on Sunday.
We found our way to the trolley that would take us to the Garden District. The trolley system in New Orleans is a real treasure. It allows you to tour different parts of the city and see so much more than you would from a bus or car. We could travel all day long on the entire trolley system for $3.00 each.
And since we love history so much, it was fun to ride on streetcars that had been there since 1835. We rode the entire loop through the Garden District.
Many of the homes are as they had been in the 1800's and 1900's. It was easy to imagine people riding in horses and buggies instead of autos down these same streets.
We decided to get off on second trip through and visit Lafayette Cemetary.
After touring the cemetery, we stopped at a local coffee shop. It was so relaxing to just sit outside and enjoy the scenery. The quiet of these streets was quite a contrast to Bourbon Street. I saw a book on the table next to me about Walking Tours of New Orleans and I decided to look on-line to see if there were any available. Sure enough, there was one that was self-guided. It was for the streets around where we were and had very nice descriptions of the 17 landmarks it was featuring.
So we took our time, strolling and reading, taking photos, and enjoying the quiet streets and wonderful architecture and gardens.
We finished up our tour back at the coffee shop and then went into the attached bookstore where Anne Rice had had many of her book signings.
Below is a video of some of the photos I took during our two days exploring New Orleans. I hope you enjoy them. And, if you've never visited this fascinating city, I hope that you can add it to your list of places to see.