Fun in The Big Easy!

January 4

Well we’re now into the first week of the New Year!  I hope everyone enjoyed a holiday that was full of celebrations with family and friends, travel, or just having some time to stay snug in your jammies all day long!  I’m lucky to say I had the pleasure of all of the above this year…and those simple moments are often times the very best of them all!  After our Christmas festivities came to an end, my family and I headed to New Orleans for a few days for some colorful sight-seeing, exploring, eating, eating, and more eating!  None of us had ever been there before and weren’t sure exactly what to expect…I guess that’s the fun of investigating new places!  The truth is, we were blown away with the city–how easy it was to explore, the colorful and kind personalities of its citizens, the music, the festivity that never ends, AND the food…oh my was it ever good!  All I can say about that part is that my boys were thrilled but I’m glad to be back on a normal diet! (I sure did enjoy every bite though!) So without going on and on about how we fell in love with this city, let me share a glimpse of what we saw…

living well in NOLA!

this town knows how to do it up right, that’s for sure!  since holiday celebrations were still ongoing, we were cheerfully greeted with this spectacular holiday display when we entered our hotel…so enchanting!  we KNEW it was going to be a good week!

Roosevelt Hotel

and the nighttime view from the pool terrace was lovely too…a touch of the city life!  and since we were visiting during some unseasonable temperatures the boys were able to squeeze in a quick dip!  you can barely see the silhouettes of my family taking in some beautiful, evening scenery…

night view

but on to what we were really waiting for…the eclectic fun of this vibrant city!  we were so amazed by how the streets of the famed French Quarter still took us back to the days of the past even though there was plenty of modern day festivity and tourist spots mixed throughout!  watching all the street performers was a family favorite activity…

Bourbon Street

performers

statues of some of the greatest performers graced the entrance of this jazz courtyard…

jazz cafe

what you can’t see from the photo above is another statue of a performer named Ronnie Kole, a wonderful pianist and performer who played in the day with Fats Domino and Pete Fountain!  it just so happened that we stumbled upon a guest performance AND we even got to meet him!  he’s seated on the right at the keyboard…and his sweet wife was sitting at the table next to ours…an enchanted evening for sure!

jazz band

and even though it’s hard to top the encounter with Ronnie…there’s so many WONDERFUL sights in this town!   the famed Jackson Square…

Jackson Square

Jackson Square

we decided a fun way to see some of the sights would be to hop on one of the colorful carriages.  an interesting thing about these buggies is that they’re all pulled by mule…they can handle the hard work in the southern heat better than horses.  meet Elvis, the cutest tour guide we ever had!

Elvis the Mule

we loved exploring the area this way…our human tour guide was full of interesting information about the city and even pointed us in the direction of some great, off-beat places to eat!  the architecture of the French Quarter was what we expected but SO much better in person…

Nola architecture

if you look closely you can see all the beads hanging from this tree…a common sight throughout the city!

Nola beads

and more beads adorning a local’s means of transportation!  this might be one of my favorite images!

Nola

i was also infatuated with all the gas lighting!  some of these properties nestled further away from the hustle of Bourbon Street made us feel like we weren’t in this century anymore!

Gas lights

and we were told if visiting New Orleans a cemetery tour was a must-see…so Elvis and our guide took us on one!  we visited St. Louis Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in town…and an interesting sight for sure since the graveyards in New Orleans are built above ground because of the water table!  historic and hauntingly beautiful, if your family isn’t up for a spooky ghost tour, the graveyard tours are a wonderful alternative!

Lafayette Graveyard

Lafayette Graveyard

this particular graveyard required a tour guide to enter, and we loved having one so we could learn all about the history and the local folklore!

graveyard iron work

grave stone

it really was quite beautiful and people are still being buried there today!  tours are not permitted during burials due to obvious respectful reasons, but we were lucky that no one decided to take up residence the day we visited!

New Orleans graveyard

but back to the livelihood of this colorful city…

Nola trolley

trolley cars were such a fun sight!  and a day-pass to ride was only $3!

Nola trolley

we also fully enjoyed the quirky and beautiful Garden District!  from gorgeous, stately homes on St. Charles Ave…

Garden District

to wonderful shopping on Magazine Street…

shop front

Nola shop

one of my favorites…

Nola shopping

ok, they were ALL my favorites!

Nola shopping

and since i’m showcasing some shopping, i’ll backtrack to the French Quarter again to share a peek at the wonderful antiquities on Royal Street…

Antique shop

some garden treasures in a courtyard…so charming!  this street was abundant with antique stores and art galleries too!

antiques

but our trip wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the local fare!  indulging was a highlight for all of us but particularly my boys who really like to eat their way through vacations!  let me tell you that New Orleans did not disappoint!  we enjoyed some spectacular meals at some fine restaurants, but it’s the common delicacies that took the prize!  take a peek at these shrimp po-boys and try not to drool…

Guy's Po Boys

and we couldn’t miss this establishment…(in fact, we visited every day!)

Cafe Du Monde

beignets and cafe au lait…heavenly!

beignet

or a stop into Central Grocery Co…

Central Grocery

where at a long, common table in the back we stuffed ourselves on their famous muffuletta sandwich!  ONE could have satisfied us all…little did we know, so we ordered TWO!!

mufflatta

the restaurants can be as adorable on the outside as delicious the food is on the inside!  how fabulous is the Commander’s Palace?  (i had a little dose of color-love)

Commander's Palace

this is just a FRACTION of what this fun city offers!  we were all in agreement that we need to visit again!  so farewell New Orleans…

Nola river walk

until next time!

if you like what you saw, check out some of the included links for more!

Commander’s Palace

Guy’s Po-Boys

Central Grocer Co.

Cafe Du Monde

St. Louis Cemetery

Ronnie Kole

 

  1. Cassie

    January 4

    Stunning photography, Lori!! It looks like an amazing vacation, and your pictures really brought it to life for me.

    • Lori

      January 5

      Thanks Cassie! It really was a fun trip!

  2. Amy Lesniewicz

    January 4

    Lori this is just fascinating! Thanks for sharing your vacation, I’ve actually never had the desire to go to New Orleans until now! It looks amazing, but glad to have you back ❤

    • Lori

      January 5

      Thanks Amy! I didn’t really know what to expect but we fell in love with it! xoxo

  3. Anonymous

    January 4

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures! I felt like I got to go too! 😉

    • Lori

      January 5

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it too!