The Crescent City, the “Big Easy”, NOLA, the birthplace of jazz music! All of these are referring to the one and only New Orleans, Louisiana! NOLA easily boasts the best food you will ever eat in your life along with a profound sense of warm, southern hospitality. Wherever you go, you will feel like a family member. So, year after year, we follow our hearts and stomachs South to the land of beignets, cafe au lait, seafood gumbo, muffalettas, soft shell crab po’boys, and bloody mary’s. Besides the food being amazing, there are so many other great reasons to visit New Orleans. One of our favorite things to do is ride the many street cars, especially the St. Charles street car which travels through the Garden District, where you’ll see gorgeous magnolia trees and beautiful historic homes with wrought/cast iron fencing and gates, some of which is draped in leftover beads from Mardi Gras.
Also, there’s nothing quite like walking through the French Quarter on a warm night and listening to the sounds of the many buskers playing music on every street corner as you make your way to Jackson Square to watch the sunset over the breathtaking St. Louis Cathedral.
Once the sun has gone down, we’ll usually grab a drink and meander over to Frenchman Street at least one night of the trip to drink and dance (or play air guitar…*cough*…Becky 🤣) in one of the many jazz clubs/bars. Even if jazz music isn’t your favorite, I guarantee you’ll have a great time.
Of all these wonderful things, the number one reason we go to New Orleans every year is…wait for it…JAZZ FEST!!!!!! Each year it’s held at the fairgrounds race course and slots the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. The musical talent is amazing and so varied, spread over multiple stages throughout the fairgrounds. There’s jazz, blues, folk, rock, pop, gospel, cultural and anything else you could ever imagine. It’s so much fun and there’s so many people and so much to eat and drink! Some years the weather is absolutely beautiful and some years it storms so bad there’s a foot of rain to dance in, but the weather has no bearing on how great of a time we have. The day we chose this year happened to be an amazingly gorgeous sunny day, which was perfect for the 50th year celebration of the fest. And of course, being in New Orleans, the food is out of this world. There is vendor after vendor after vendor set up serving so much delicious food it’s hard to even decide what to eat. The best strategy is to get there when the Jazz Fest gates open and stay all day so that by the time you walk around the fairgrounds multiple times to watch the different talents on the various stages you can sample a wide variety of foods throughout the day. This place is huge and you will walk a lot, thereby allowing yourself to eat and drink as much as you want…that’s what I tell myself anyway. 😉 Some of my favorite foods from the fest include crawfish Monica, soft shell crab po’ boy, stuffed crab beignet, mango freeze and of course the frozen alcoholic beverages; rum punch and pina coladas. If you’ve never been to the Big Easy, you need to go! It’s such a different, easy going lifestyle where you are free to be who you are and you will be accepted as such without a second thought. You can vacation to NOLA for a few days or a week and then leave, but NOLA never leaves you. As many people say, it gets in your soul and you will go back time after time because when you’re there you’re happy and life is good.
Thanks for reading and much love New Orleans! Until next time, I’ll be dreaming of beignets and the music of Frank Sinatra on a beautiful, warm, Spring night in May. ✌🏽