Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Orleans trip: Evenings out

Of course a trip wouldn't be complete without trips the proper nightlife of New Orleans.  We of had to check out Bourbon street:

And got lots of recommendation to check out Pat O'Briens, the birthplace of the (very) sweet hurricane.  They had a  great courtyard too!

Another thing I loved about the city was the music everywhere.  Bourbon street, Faubourg Marigny, Frenchmen street and even just on the side of the street.

a second line parade for a wedding 

And some quieter evening sights

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Orleans trip: Swamp Tour and Nottoway Plantation

A few days into our trip Nick and I rented a car for the day and drove outside of the city.  This day was one of the highlights of the trip, we did a swamp tour and plantation tour!

For our swamp tour, we drove about 30 minutes west to Laplace for the Cajun Pride Swamp tour.  It was a blast! We were out on the bayou for about 2 hours driving around on the boat and feeding the alligators.  Our guide was awesome and it was fun to see a completely different terrain than I had ever seen before.

Another thing I was not expecting to do was hold an alligator!  Behind that smile I am terrified - I am not a reptile fan.  The guide assured us Elvis's teeth were really small if he did happen to bit us it would just feel like a kitten bite and I figured if I can feed a sting ray in Bora Bora, I can certainly hold little Elvis!

And we even saw an old trapper's cabin - complete with an out house!

After the swamp tour we grabbed a craw fish and shrimp po'boy to go at a local restaurant then continued driving west until we got to the Oak Alley Plantation.  We didn't have enough time to go inside, but we did get to see the beautiful exterior and the lovely oak trees leading up to the plantation.  So beautiful!   

Our drive west continued (we were about 1.5 hours outside of New Orleans in White Castle) and we reached the Nottoway Plantation, the largest plantation in the south, hence the reason I wanted to go out there!  The house was beautiful and we walked around the gardens then did a 45 minute guided group tour of the inside.  The house was right on the mighty Mississippi river and I felt like I was Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wine (I tried to do my best impression of her but it wasn't nearly as good as the movie).

Overall an awesome day and great time seeing more of the beautiful south!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Farewell to Oprah

Did anyone else watch the Oprah finale tonight?  I had some girlfriends over to watch the final three episodes (DVR marathon) and inspired by our New Orleans trip I made gumbo, jalapeno cheddar cornbread and green goddess salad for dinner. 

I called my mom after the show to tell her about my dinner that her southern cooking roots are strong in me (she was born in Dallas and raised in Memphis - a true southern lady!). 

We also talked about how sad it is Oprah is over.  One of the reasons we liked her show so much that she was such a positive influence on people and her show have the emphasis on bettering people lives and bringing them up.  There is so much negativity on TV today and people making fun of other people and Oprah always had her show have a core value of doing good things and helping others. I admire that so much!

And with that, farewell to my favorite hour of television!

image: Oprah

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Orleans trip: Garden District

I decided to try blogging about my vacation in topics and areas instead of days. 

Most of the pictures were taken with my new camera! My dad let me borrow his 18-200 mm lens which I loved using and will have to get my own one soon.

Probably one of my favorite things about the trip was an area called the Garden District, which is located west of the downtown area and the French Quarter.  We took the St. Charles streetcar to get there, I wish Seattle had fun streetcars like this.

taking a ride on the St. Charles line

The area has a ton of beautiful houses, including the house where The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button was filmed. One of the things I love about all these houses were their big wrap-around porches, I am a sucker for a good porch and sadly I feel like Seattle architecture lacks them!

beautiful tree-lined streets

an old carriage house 

they call this the wedding cake house

After seeing all the lovely homes we went over to where Tulane and Loyola University area.  More lovely homes and the beautiful Audubon Park. 

Mardi Gras beads in the trees

Audubon Park

Loyal University

I went to Catholic school growing up so I had to take a picture for the Jesuits!


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