New Orleans, Louisiana (hereinafter "NOLA") has been on my bucket list of places to visit for awhile. I finally got the chance to visit last week while celebrating a big b-day milestone! I won't be revealing my age in this post, but just know I feel truly blessed to be another year older, wiser and praise God aging gracefully as well—one might even say aging like fine wine actually lol! I have been wanting to travel more to some of the U.S. States, and what I've discovered in just the few ones I've visited is that you really don't need to go far to feel like you're in a completely different country and experience a different culture. Our hotel in NOLA was centrally located within walking distance of shopping, dining and entertainment (few blocks from the French Quarter) and we were able to do a lot of walking. On first stroll to the French Quarter, I was a little underwhelmed if I am being completely honest. I loved the beautiful historic buildings and architecture, but it just didn’t feel quite like my scene. However, the place grew on me and towards the end of my four-day trip, I wished I could stay longer. All I can say is what a lively City! I can’t imagine what it's like, especially the French Quarter during Mardi Gras, Jazz fest or some of the other big events. I mean NOLA gives a whole new meaning to the word “lit.”
I would definitely recommend venturing out of the French Quarter a little however just to experience all that the City has to offer. This is a slight deviation from what this post is about but I feel that it's an important issue and worthy of mention. When you travel and you're a tourist you observe a lot of things, and one of the things I noticed in NOLA was that they clearly have a homelessness crisis, especially in the French Quarter. I know homelessness is a nationwide problem, but I guess as a tourist you notice things more because you're not just rushing to get from point A to B. I saw a lot of people sleeping on the floor under the hot 90+ degrees heat and my heart ached for them. I also wondered what the government is doing to help solve this issue. I know there are unique challenges to solving these social issues, but it just seemed like these folks were forgotten and invincible in the mist of all the fun and partying going on.
While in NOLA, I also learned of the passing of Anthony Bourdain. I was in complete shock and disbelief and quickly googled his name to confirm that he had indeed died. I loved his show “Parts Unknown” and especially admired how he could travel anywhere in the world and was so bold in his willingness to try many different cuisines and his ability to relate to the people of the different cultures he traveled to was so admirable. He truly exposed his viewers to lesser known parts of the world and his stories were always so beautiful and exposed just how alike we are and our common bonds as human beings! I know his passing has left a void in the hearts of many who loved, admired and respected him! I didn’t try the alligator wings at that restaurant, but I thought of Anthony at the time and said he definitely would have tried it and would most certainly have enjoyed it. But alas we’re not all as bold and adventurous as he was. I pray for his family and loved ones; I hope he’s resting in peace. Anthony Bourdain's death is yet again another reminder to prioritize your mental health and strive daily to live your best life!
If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of harming yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention 24 hours hotline: 1-800-273-8255. In honor of Anthony Bourdain, whom I didn’t know personally but felt like I knew through his openness, travel adventures and love for good food, I will be sharing some foodie gems I discovered during my trip to NOLA.
NOLA is definitely a fun city, and let's be honest most people go there for mainly three things: food, booze and music (Jazz in particular). There’s no shortage of any of that there, and you'll have a variety of restaurants/bars to choose from. With a little research and lots of walking/exploring we stumbled upon a few gems that’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in that part of town. Below, I am sharing foodie guide for spending the perfect day in NOLA.