Monday, July 3, 2017

50th Family Trip: Lovely New Orleans

I knew very little about New Orleans before we visited and had never understood it's appeal. My mental images of the place were drunken revelry during Mardi Gras, the horror of Hurricane Katrina aftermath, and the bizarre statistics of being a city built below the level of the water surrounding it. Why would people wax poetic about any of that? And then I visited.

It didn't take long for New Orleans to work her charm on me. All those gorgeous buildings, painted in pastel colors and decorated with balconies and shutters and gingerbread trim softened me. The streetcars had me smitten. And by the time I stood on Canal Street and looked out at the palm trees and trolley tracks and the joyful life of the city, I was in love.
New Orleans is a magical place, even in the rain.

I spent part of an afternoon wandering around the Garden District, exploring the residential neighborhoods around our condo. Even there, in an area where tourists rarely ventured, it was lovely.






I took pictures of the First Emmanuel Baptist Church, across the street from my bedroom window.


My sister joined me and we strolled down St. Charles street, admiring the giant houses and the live oaks covered in ferns and stopping to sample pralines.







As we packed up and prepared to set out for the long drive back to Kansas, I kept thinking "But I'm not ready to leave!" There was so much I had not yet seen in New Orleans. I hadn't seen the universities or ridden the whole routes of the streetcars. I hadn't seen Bourbon Street at night or been in any of the downtown buildings. I hadn't visited the Insectarium or the zoo or ridden on one of the double deck tour buses. I hadn't talked to any New Orleans natives to see what how they viewed their city And the food! I hadn't had a Muffaletta or a beneit and I'd barely scratched the surface of Cajun food. Clearly, I had fallen under New Orleans's spell. Our time there, and our family vacation, were over. But someday I'm coming back...

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I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters

Sisters

Sisters
Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way