Confession #9:

I was amazed at the history and architect of the the buildings on bourbon street and amongst NOLA as a whole. The French doors and windows were very unique and different from what I was use to seeing in GA. On the flip side, I also got a chance to drive through the more urban areas of NOLA and where Katrina hit, the Hoods, the places you don’t see on tv.”

 

I’ve never been to New Orleans, Louisana so I decided to take a weekend getaway from my busy work schedule in Atlanta. Luckily I have a friend who lives there so I didn’t need to worry about paying for a hotel…HALLELUJAH! It was super last minute so I needed a cheap flight that could get me there quick and on a nonstop roundtrip route. Have you ever been one of those people who swore up and down that you will never fly with Spirit Airlines but you get sucked into how cheap the flight is compared to all the others so you second guess yourself and say ok just this one time. Welp! That was me and boy was I in for a cheap thrill ride. Hunti! I will NEVER fly with Spirit again (I so mean it this time). $65 for a carry-on bag, no wi-fi, and I had to pay for water on the plane! No ma’am, I will pay a little extra coin to get to where I need to be.

But enough about my flight shenanigans, I want to start by diving right into my favorite part of the trip, FOOD! I absolutely love seafood and I knew I would be in for a treat considering that NOLA is known for their cajun style seafood. The first place we visited was called Drago’s Seafood Restaurant located in the downtown hub of NOLA. They are known for their Charbroiled Oysters, so I wanted to see what the hype was about. Hands down these were the BEST oysters I have ever tasted in my life! They were so fresh and cooked in garlic butter and parmesan. It came with a piece of French bread to dip in the garlic butter…OhhhMyyyGoddd. I ended up going back to this restaurant the next day because I couldn’t stop thinking about them! If you love oysters you have to check out Drago’s.  Another dope restaurant I visited was called Parkway Bakery and Tavern  known for their signature po’boys. I ordered a large shrimp po’boy and couldn’t wait to dive in. One thing for sure, they were not holding back with the shrimp hunti…yasss! **Disclaimer** I get very excited about really good food…that is all. One of my favorite foods of all time is Gumbo and I knew that I wanted to taste some fresh authentic gumbo from NOLA. We drove a little deeper in the city to get to one of the best spots that particularly makes some of the best gumbo in town. We walked into Cajun Seafood  located in the 9th ward area, and I immediate can smell the spices and aroma from the seafood they were preparing. I quickly ordered a large seafood gumbo bowl that was filled with crab legs, shrimp, chicken, andouille sausage and white rice. LAWDDDD…you have never had gumbo until you get some authentic seafood gumbo from NOLA. If you are not a fan of spicy, cajun, or creole flavors, run away as fast as you can because that is exactly what NOLA is all about when it comes to their famous authentic cuisines. However, if you are looking for a sweet treat I would highly recommend getting the beignets from City Park Morning Call  which is a 24hr spot and I bought 4 of them for a little under $3. Another famous spot we visited was Hansen’s Sno-Bliz which is a family owned sno-ball stand famous for their soft shaved ice and homemade syrups. I’ve never really been a huge fan of sno-cones until I had one of Hansen’s! I ordered the strawberry shortcake sno-ball and I could honestly say I enjoyed every spoonful of it. The taste was so smooth and creamy and it was perfect for the hot weather in NOLA.

Besides grubbing on some of the best food in NOLA, I also got a chance to hit the streets that never sleep…Bourban Street to be exact! I was on a mission to get the famous hand grenade drink that all my friends raved about when they came to visit. It was only 2pm in the daytime and the streets were filled with tourist walking from bar to bar, dancing, and stumbling with a drink in their hand. I finally made it down to Tropical Isle which is home of the hand grenade. The drink is very tasty and fruity, but I was warned by my friend it was one of those types of drinks that will creep up on you. Honestly, it didn’t do much to me. I felt perfectly fine after finishing and didn’t find myself stumbling across the pavement like other grenade drinkers. Let’s just say I may have a higher tolerance than others, but hey…it was good and reasonably priced at $10.

Passing by each bar you can see through the open doors and windows while people danced to the live bands. I was amazed at the history and architect of the the buildings on bourbon street and amongst NOLA as a whole. The French doors and windows were very unique and different from what I was use to seeing in GA. On the flip side, I also got a chance to drive through the more urban areas of NOLA, the Hoods, the places you don’t see on tv. I learned the hoods were broken up into wards, 9th ward, 7th ward, and 3rd ward were some of the areas we passed through. A lot of the neighborhoods in those wards were hit really bad by Katrina and I could still see the dark water rings around the homes and businesses. The streets were  like dirt roads or loose rocks and some neighborhoods had no sidewalks. Many schools, homes and businesses were still boarded up and roofs were caved in. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional at seeing how bad these areas were years later after Katrina hit. It goes to show you how the city made little progress in helping residents get their homes back.

 

Overall, I would highly recommend visiting New Orleans. From the cajun seafood to the rich culture and historic buildings, you will easily grow to love visiting this vibrant city but will also get an eye opener if you decide to travel beyond the glamorous side. I will definantly be visiting NOLA again sometime this year!

 

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