New Orleans Day 2: Dirty Rice, Art, & all that Jazz

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The morning finally arrived and I  headed out to wander  down the streets. I could see the alleys bustling with  pedestrians, and the streets were filling with tourist and locals. Off in the distance, the French Quarter was  slowly awakening into an outside artist market. The atmosphere so alive, so thrilling.

It was simply stunning.

I stood there enjoying the street musicians for quite some time, watching the many artist set up easels and paint their hearts out.I start feeling  some soul, wishing I had some rhythm to match it, but since I can’t dance, (I may get some rhythm in another life), I just watch as other tourist gather around the corner in front of me, smiling at the enchanting  sound of smooth jazz music flowing out of the trumpets nearby.

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I could not have been happier. As I continued down the cobblestone streets I came upon such beautiful homes nestled between colorful shops. They were a mix of Key West Caribbean and French architecture.From the Cast Iron balconies to beautiful pastel shudders. I have never been to Paris, (That is my ultimate travel dream), but this place is a mini France in a lot of ways. I have to to start my travels somewhere, and The French Quarter seems a perfect inspiration to me.unnamedhouse

I continued down the block and that’s when I was entranced by one of the most beautiful and spectacular sites  I’ve seen so far . I remember saying to myself, “Amazing”, over and over again, completely fascinated by the architecture and royal grandeur of this place. I had entered into a fairy tale setting surrounded by magical gates. The St. Louis Cathedral is one of New Orleans’ most notable

plazalandmarks. This gorgeous building, its triple steeples towering above, looks down benignly on the green of the Square and General Andrew Jackson on his bronze horse and on the block-long buildings with their lacy ironwork galleries. Truly, this is the heart of old New Orleans.st loius

Of course, I then saw the  sweeping towers grace the sky on the  rooftop,  it reminded me that I should probably work a little harder on my Camera fund. As I mentioned before, (I’m saving up for a fancy, smancy , camera) for now my cell phone pics will have to do. Be patient folks, As I reach my goals and dreams the pictures will improve. I’m living my dream, what dream are you working on dear reader? I finally walked through the regal doors of the cathedral. cathedral ceiling

The Cathedral is said to be haunted by Fr. Antonio de Sedella, more commonly known as Père Antoine. He was a priest at the Cathedral and his body is buried within the church. He is said to walk the alley named after him next to the Cathedral in the early mornings.

Accounts of his apparitions by parishioners and tourists claim that he appears during Christmas Midnight Mass near the left side of the altar, holding a candle.

Another haunting is said to take place in the Cathedral by Pere Dagobert, a monk who resided in the church. It is said that his voice can be heard chanting the Kyrie on rainy days.

After touring the church  I just wandered Jackson Square for a while, a long while, focused on the creative experience I was having here.I was just soaking it all in.

I could  see the store fronts, the bicyclists, the musicians, the paintings pinned to boards, the flower shops, the long lines at the restaurants,  the food, did I mention the food? What I loved most was the ability to get to meet so many people. To make connection and memories.Just let yourself be curious when you travel. It will bring you great delight.     I stood there enjoying this artistic scene for quite some time, watching the different street artist paint, perform, and sell their precious treasures.

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  Now it was time for some serious shopping. I went through so many store’s I can’t count them. But one of my favorite was a Praline shop. Oh was it a sweet place to visit. Lot’s of charming souvenirs but the most delectable surprise was the delicious Praline themselves. Yes! I did indulge and bought some to bring home.parline
    Now I was famished, with so many places to eat, it was difficult to decide. I certainly did not go wrong in my choice. I had Cajun fish with dirty rice. Hands down the best fish dinner I have ever eaten in my life! No kidding. Here is the link to this fabulous little Cajun joint. http://pereantoine.com/pages/home.html
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    Heading back to my hotel, I stopped in after more shops. The alleys get quite dark, and as I mentioned in my last post, You don’t want to wander down these alleys alone. But their is such charm like an old Dickens tale with the lanterns lighting the cobblestone streets.
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My day had been quite busy, and filled with all the thing’s that make wandering worth while. Where will you wander next?
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                                                                     Wanderology Girl

Wandered the Big Easy : Day 1 Hotel, Street Cars, & Beniget’s

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  I arrived in the amazing city of New Orleans, and  I ventured first to check into my hotel. I ran into a bit of trouble trying to find a place to park. Parking is one thing I had not planned out in advance. You want to park in secured parking to prevent property loss (as I was instructed by many locals). I finally found a lot a few streets over from the Hotel. It had a paid security guard who told me even with my car being in a security patrolled lot, I had a risk of theft. So I chose to take all my belongings I could, into the Hotel. I finally arrived at the Hotel . I stayed at The Lafayette Hotel.

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The Staff was so friendly when I checked in. They gave me maps, and instructed me the safe streets to walk down. They told me streets to avoid, and even gave me a strong reminder not to walk down any dark streets or alleys on my expedition. I felt this advice very helpful. They guided me toward things that would be of interest to me. I was very thankful for their hospitality. I checked into my room it was beautiful. Not modern but historic feeling. Cozy and comfortable.

The Lafayette is in the heart of it all, on the fashionable Saint Charles Avenue Streetcar Line overlooking Lafayette Square across from Gallier Hall. The Lafayette Hotel offers guests New Orleans style and charm. It is a  1916 historic landmark, from Old World architecture, French doors and wrought iron balconies to marble floors, polished mahogany and English botanical prints. The ambiance is luxury.  The Lafayette Hotel is located close to the Historical Arts and Warehouse Districts. Only a short stroll away from all major attractions, it is within 5 blocks of the French Quarter, Superdome, Riverfront, and the Convention Center.

     After a relaxing night sleep I decided to head out get some breakfast and do some sightseeing. Many people I ran into gave great tips for seeing the city. One local told about Cafe’ Du Monde.The Original French Market Coffee Stand Since 1862 where they serve delectable French Benigets smothered in toppings and powdered sugar.

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After Breakfast I decided to head down some of the streets in the antique shop  district. On my way I was thrilled by all the street artist and performers. I came across this gentleman playing his guitar. I had to stop and just listen for while. I was amazed to realize that by stopping and taking in life all around you , how you truly begin to feel part of things. I learned from this artist, not to hide your talent, and you are never too old to do what your love. i don’t know his whole story, but his story is definitely still unfolding, because he has wandered into something he loves to do. That is what I encourage my readers to do. Find your passion. Then do it! Don’t find excuses. Find reasons why you can, and have to live your dreams.Where there is a will, there is a way.

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One of my favorite parts of visiting a few unique cities is their cute street car transportation system. They are icons for travelers that seem to scream a happy “Hello!” when with their charming bright colors and fun way to travel about. There is definitely an air of excitement in this city. It’s all about having fun here, and the Trolley is an innocent beginning to it all.

PhotoGrid_1425703217140New Orleans Streetcars are a great way to get out and explore New Orleans. The historic New Orleans streetcars travel throughout the Crescent City on four different lines: the St Charles Streetcar route, the Canal St Streetcar route, the Riverfront Streetcar route and the Loyola Avenue/Union Terminal loop. So climb aboard and take a trip into the past on a New Orleans streetcar. The streetcars running along Canal Street, the Riverfront and the Loyola loop (red) are more modern than those running along the St. Charles Avenue route (green) and they have more conveniences. The red streetcars are fully air-conditioned with wider doors that allow for handicap access. The street cars only accept cash or passes. For unlimited streetcar riding I recommend that you purchase a Jazzy Pass. For information on purchasing passes go to the New Orleans RTA website.

     just wander back over to the WanderologyGirl Blog to see the rest of this fun adventure. Hope you are thinking about your dreams now. Where would you like to wander? What are your dreams? Write them down today, and try to do 1 thing to bring you closer to making that dream a reality.

                                                  -Wanderology Girl