Traveling to New Orleans… counting down the days.
I can’t believe it has been five years since Katrina. It just seems like yesterday when Jeff and I flew there to surprise Paul, my father in-law, for his 60th Birthday. It was a lot of fun, until I freaked out. I did not handle it very well when I realized that I was about to experience my first hurricane. However, the horrible ordeal did not keep me from returning. In fact, we’ve returned every year since then (sometimes couple times a year).
In a couple weeks we’ll be heading back to celebrate Paul’s life and the revitalizing spirit of New Orleans. The spirit and fortitude of this community is inspiring. The citizens of New Orleans recently suffered another set back with the oil spill. I think their word should be RESILIENT. Maybe that is why I have a soft spot for this city.
Our first stop is always Desire Oyster Bar. Hopefully we’ll see our waitress Teresa. She treats us like family she hasn’t seen in years. I imagine that is the kind of treatment everyone gets from her. I have yet to try the oysters. (SHH… don’t tell Paul) There are just too many great restaurants in New Orleans to mention them all. One tradition we have yet to break is eating at Pascal’s Manale for dinner. It is located in the Garden District just down the road from where Paul grew up. I love their BBQ shrimp, which has nothing to do with bar-b-queing. It is a bowl of the biggest shrimp ever floating in a butter mixture that is to die for! There will be plenty of french bread for dipping and bread pudding for desert! MMM!
I love the zydeco and jazz music that fills the streets. One of my favorite things to do is play the washboard with Timmy at Tropical Isle. Last year there was a fire at Tropical Isle, so we spent our time at the Ole Opera House listening to The Bonoffs and twirling on a pole. (don’t ask) The last memory of Tropical Isle was on my 39th Birthday. I have a cool souvenir from that trip.
The Art and Architecture
I have yet to make it to Europe. New Orleans architecture reminds me of what I might see one day. Jackson Square always takes my breath away. The artists that fill the streets are amazing too. One of my most cherished pieces of art I bought from an artist in Jackson Square.
Artwork inspired by Katrina is along the river walkway, where you’ll find a series of small buses that were painted to reflect the resilient spirit of New Orleans. Life is a journey that takes unexpected turns. I have so many memories of New Orleans. One memory that felt as if was a ride of a lifetime and many other memories that were pure fun! I’m excited to head on back.
Stayed tuned at www.weekendretweat.com I’ll be writing about this year’s trip there under Independent Travel.
Let me know if you ever want to take the trip! There is still time to join us this year. However, I am always open to going back. I’ve always dreamed of taking a group there to share all my favorite spots.