Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Beauty of New Orleans

Every time I visit New Orleans, I am struck by the architectural and natural beauty that surrounds me. The buildings, the neighborhoods, the trees, the river, the bayous... they're truly unique. They reflect an older time that will never be forgotten.

Yes, even the grand Bourbon Street has a place in history... I took the liberty of censoring a bit, because this is a nice blog. ;)

I stayed in this hotel once, Hotel Le Cirque. At night, the outside lights up to all different colors.

When's the last time you saw this many buildings in one picture?

When you walk down St. Charles Avenue, you see so many beautiful trees.

Often, they're decorated with all kinds of Mardi Gras beads. This city celebrates Mardi Gras all year round.

Here's a St. Charles streetcar. These streetcars are hundreds of years old, and still in working operation to this day.

This is the more modern Canal Street streetcar. These streetcars are so fun to ride, it's like being on an old-fashioned train.

This is the Mississippi river. Every time I visit the city, I visit this river. This last time, I enjoyed a nice little lunch of jambalaya, Camembert cheese, crackers and blackberry jelly by this river.

This is Bayou St. John. One of my friends lives near here, she's lucky she gets to see it all the time.

One more post to come, where I'll talk a little more about New Orleans and the rest of my Thanksgiving vacation. :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Celebrating Sandwiches

Well, I certainly had my share of sandwiches over the past week. The festival was fantastic, and I tried two kinds of po-boys there:

1. Oysters Rockafeller: fried oysters with lettuce and mayonnaise. Very tasty!

2. Hot sausage with collard greens and pickles. Different, but surprisingly pretty good.

There were a lot of people at the festival, and wherever there's a crowd in New Orleans, a "second line" (impromptu parade with a little band and people following it down the street) is bound to break out. That's so much fun.

While I was at the festival, I stopped by the "artist's village" and got some pretty ceramic art tiles for my family that featured famous landmarks of New Orleans, like the French Market and Cafe Du Monde. I also bought a cool vintage purse at a clothing exchange store, and a nice instrumental jazz CD at a book fair along the street. I tried some nice bread pudding, too, of a white chocolate variety.

I volunteered at the festival during the evening, handing out maps so everyone would know where to find the po-boys they wanted according to which side-street coincided with the main street at which the festival was being held. People were very appreciative. I got a free t-shirt, too. Whoever created the picture on the front has amazing talent.

Later on, at a restaurant in the Mid-town area called Lil' Dizzy's Cafe, I also had a fried shrimp po-boy. So, suffice to say, I've definitely given my love to po-boys this time around.

Next post: some pretty architecture and scenery! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Fun and Upcoming Vacation

I had a fun Halloween. My mom and I made pumpkin stew, which is cooking a stew inside a pumpkin, and it was very good. The pumpkin flesh tasted just like spaghetti squash, with a very nice flavor.

You can see that the second pumpkin was the one we used for the stew. My dad felt like being a little silly and carving a face into it afterwards, haha.

It doesn't get much better than this-- warm, hearty stew on a chilly Halloween evening. We got some of the cutest trick-or-treaters, too-- some preschoolers who barely even knew how to say, "Halloween," but gave it a good effort. We also ordered pizza and watched classic scary movies.

So, now that we're done with the Halloween excitement, it's time for me to work a couple more weeks.... then, I get a week off, during which I will be going to New Orleans again, then Palm Springs for Thanksgiving. It will be so much fun. There is even going to be a festival on November 20th when I am in New Orleans, featuring one of the foods of which I have wanted to try more.

They will have all kinds of Po Boys there, and arts and crafts, and live jazz playing all day. Some other new things I plan on trying/visiting while in New Orleans: oysters, a mint julep, their famous bread pudding, bananas foster, Antoine's, Mahony's, Croissant D'or Patisserie, the antique shops on Royal Street, and more. Hopefully I'll have enough energy to see and do as much as possible!