New Orleans: A Whole Different Country – Part Two

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It’s really hard to get a straight-on photo of Sazeracs at the Carousel Bar

Continued from
New Orleans: A Whole Different Country – Part One

Along our wanderings through the French Quarter in New Orleans, my (now-ex-) boyfriend Eric and I managed to stumble blindly across a place we were actually looking for: the Carousel Bar & Lounge at the Hotel Monteleone. The hotel itself is pretty swanky, but too close to the craziness of Bourbon Street for my taste. I’d rather just come here and drink enormous Sazeracs at the round and slowly-spinning merry-go-round of a bar, striking up conversations with other tourists and locals…and losing track of time.

Deeper explorations of the French Quarter yielded increasingly quiet streets in a swirl of France, Spain and Disneyland, with horse-drawn carriages, low brick buildings and ornately wrought iron. Don’t forget to look up, and around corners, as well: there are amazing little details everywhere.

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New Orleans: A Whole Different Country – Part One

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Shrine to faith and (memories of) love at New Orleans’ Voodoo Museum

New Orleans has grown slowly over a long time, as cities used to in the days before Wal-Mart, and dates back to an era when the New World still looked to Europe for its civic models and courtly manners. Historic plaques pop up on every other building from the Treme to the Garden District, like portals to a world of ghosts.

Modern-day NOLA has the Deep South’s languorous pace, complex system of race relations, and passion for a plot of land; the self-assurance and romantic notions of 18th-century France; and the beats, rhythms and magic of West Africa. It holds as fast as humanly possible to its own particular customs and traditions, some of which involve brass bands, a reverence for family lineage, and the right to walk proudly in the street with an open container.

It’s America and not America, all at once.

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Coming Attractions

The year’s soon coming to a close, and I find myself with way more freelance travel writing work than time for creating blog posts. Happily, my present work is fun, but I’ve been feeling itchy for these electronic pages…and I want to assure you that I’m still here!

Here’s what’s coming soon to Travels With Two:

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48 Hours in New Orleans

Since I haven’t yet made it to New Orleans, I’m happy that Tiffany Monaco has offered to share the itinerary of her recent trip.
Monaco — an elementary school teacher, blogger and aspiring novelist — lives in Louisiana.

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Tiffany Monaco and her husband in New Orleans

Sometimes, I think I look forward to summer even more than my third grade students. Since my husband and I rarely get the chance to get out of town during the school year, and he gets a little time off from his banking job between June and August, every summer break of our nearly six years together we’ve taken as many trips as we can possibly fit in the season.

For our first trip this summer, we decided to stay in our home state and simply travel south to New Orleans for a couple of days. Having both lived in Louisiana our entire lives, we’d been through New Orleans a couple of times before, but hadn’t yet done all the touristy things.

Happily, we can’t say that anymore.

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