Visiting – Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana is a town where things are different from the rest of the US. The oldest part of New Orleans is the French Quarter or Le Vieux Carré, settled in 1718 by Jean Baptiste le Moine de Bienville.
The French Quarter was built during a brief period of Spanish rule so the architecture in the French Quarter is to a large extent Spanish in style but blends Spanish, French and American architectural styles in a charming way. The French Quarter is home to a massive amount of bars and clubs and the nightlife is vibrant all week and all year long. New Orleans is also rich in culture and has a thriving music scene with Jazz being the underlying fabric that ties it all together.
In the French Quarter there is always the possibility that you might see a parade go by – in New Orleans any reason, or even no reason is a reason to have a parade…
Cafe du Monde, in the French Quarter is the main meeting place for New Orleanians, if you have a date this is one of the top spots to meet at – “see you at Cafe du Monde”… and it is of course also a destination for visitors. When you see the white powdered sugar on someones jeans or other clothing you can, with some certainty, assume that they have been enjoying a beignet and a chickory coffee at Cafe du Monde…
Here is a secret: If you don’t like waiting in the line for a table – it can at times be very long, check the opposite side of the establishment for the the take-out window line and get yours to go! Just – schh, don’t spread that too much.
I suggest that you explore more than the French Quarter once you get to New Orleans, you will be happy that you did. There are some very interesting plantations not too far away from New Orleans that are well worth the drive (or take a tour and let someone else drive). Oak Alley is one of those plantations, see picture below. You can tour the plantation and there is a restaurant and there is even an opportunity to spend the night if you like, check the website for details.
NOMA in the City Park area of New Orleans, at the end of the trolley line is a fabulous art museum with a wide range of paintings and other objects of art such as furniture and decorative items. The sculpture garden at NOMA is an extremely nice sculpture garden, it is very spacious with many interesting pieces and installations.
George Rodrigue was a Cajun artist who found his thing in the Blue dog – or Loup-garou as it is also known in the cajun tales his mother used to tell him. Loup-garou translates into werewolf and in the Cajun story his mother was telling him it was a mean wolf like being that was hanging around in the sugar cane fields and cemeteries. George would be told that if he was not good today the Loup-garou was going to get him! When George was asked to illustrate a book of Cajun tales he used his studio companion dog Tiffany (a Spaniel/Terrier mix) as the model for the outline of the “Loup-garou”.
Louisiana is also the home of the “original” hot sauce – TABASCO® and you can visit Avery Island located in Southern Louisiana where it has been made since 1868 by the McIlhenny family.