Travel

I know what it means to miss New Orleans…

fb_img_1476214079124.jpgNew Orleans is one of my favorite cities to visit in the United States. I’ve been a few times and each time I go, I can’t wait to get back. This city is filled with so much culture, food, music, and good times. If you’re looking for a party, no matter what time of year, New Orleans is the place.

There are so many fun places to go, so many great places to see, and so many interesting people to meet. This is a combination of my past experiences in New Orleans and just a few places that I feel are a must, when you go visit.

The first place you should definitely go see is the St. Louis Cathedral. Now this is an active church, I believe they even still hold mass there. It’s a really beautiful place when you go inside. Filled with beautiful paintings, murals, and stained glass. It’s also one of the most well-known places in NOLA, so it’s a great place for a photo op.

fb_img_1476214070389.jpgRight in front of the St. Louis Cathedral is Jackson Square named for Andrew Jackson. That’s another thing I love about New Orleans. It is filled with so much great history and historical places. So if you’re a history buff, NOLA has plenty of interesting history for you to learn. Take one of the walking tours to learn more.

The next place I feel you should absolutely check out is Mardi Gras World. Here you will learn all of the fun facts about the infamous Mardi Gras celebration. You also get a chance to see the intricate floats they’ve used in the actual parades. My favorite part is the slice of King Cake they give you during the tour.

There is no way you can go to New Orleans without going to Bourbon Street. Bourbon is where the party is. I’ve heard that it’s mostly for tourist. Either way, you should check it out. There are tons of bars and clubs lining the street, take your pick. Catch a couple of beads from people on the balconies above. Don’t forget to grab a Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle, but pace yourself because these suckers will sneak up on you. fb_img_1476214064186.jpg

I’ve heard that Frenchmen Street is less “touristy,” if that’s a word. This is where the locals hang out. Frenchmen is filled with cool Jazz bars and restaurants. They even have a little market tucked away where you can buy anything from candles to wooden bow ties. If you’re looking for some good Jazz, go to Frenchmen Street. Last time we visited, we were lucky to see trumpeter Kermit Ruffins play at the Blue Nile. Needless to say it was a good time. If you don’t know who he is, definitely look him up an try to catch one of his shows in New Orleans.

20150320_184407You have to go to the historic Cafe Du Monde. There are no words to describe how delicious their beignets and cafe au lait are. We have to go at least once a day while we’re there.  You have to! It’s required.

Lastly, if you’re anywhere in Louisiana, go check out the plantation tours. These are really eyeopening and must see tours. No matter what your ethnic background I encourage everyone to go. We got to visit the Whitney Plantation and it was definitely a great experience. For us, it was emotional and afterwards we were filled with gratitude that we got a chance to view history up close and personal. Below are just a few pics.

So overall NOLA is a great city. It just feels like home to me. You definitely need to go if you have never been. Go #followyourNOLA and check out this website for more ideas on places to see while you’re there. http://www.neworleansonline.com/

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Travel

Home of the King!

Recently my husband and I went to Memphis for a family reunion.  It’s a pretty soulful town.  It’s a great place to go hear live music, eat good food and meet some interesting people. We started at the legendary Beale St. It was really fun!  Kind of reminds me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans or Sixth Street in Austin, if you have been to either of those places.

Beale St. 2Beale St. has lots of bars and great places to eat. They have everything from famous Memphis BBQ, Cajun, burgers, pizza and much more. I only wish we could have hung out there longer. I don’t feel like we got the full experience of Beale St.  We will definitely be going back.

People who know me know that I am an Elvis Presley fan. Every year during the time for his birthday or the memorial of his passing, I obsess over all things Elvis.  I watch his movies and TV specials all day.  I listen to the Elvis Sirius XM station constantly.  It gets pretty intense. So I could not go to Memphis without visiting the Home of the King…Graceland! Going to Graceland definitely rekindled my Elvis obsession. I was literally like a kid in a candy store. I really enjoyed myself!

wpid-20150802_171709.jpgThe only complaint I have about Graceland is that it wasn’t bigger.  It was also in a weird part of town.  I’m sure when Elvis lived there it was a totally different neighborhood, but things have changed. I can’t complain though because I got to walk in the footsteps of Elvis Presley. When you pull into the parking lot and approach the pathway that leads to your tour, there is a great photo opp near the sign that says Graceland “The Home of Elvis Presley.”

You check in at the central hub of Graceland, where the ticket booth and gift shops are (don’t know what it’s called) :/ You buy your tickets if you don’t already have them and you load a bus. What’s really cool and unique about this tour is that everyone gets an iPad and headphones. You get to see a lot of cool multimedia stuff and hear the voice of John Stamos! (Uncle Jesse!)

20150802_152136You load the bus and you ride over to the actual Graceland Mansion. The property is really beautiful and has been very well maintained of course. As soon as you enter the Mansion you hear John Stamos’ voice telling you all about the front living room and all of the great things that happened there and a little info about the artifacts in the room like photos and furniture that were special to Elvis. As you move from room to room you can use the iPad to learn more!wpid-20150802_142231.jpg

All of the areas in the house were my favorite but the most memorable for me were the trophy room (which use to be the racquetball room) the office and of course the meditation garden where Elvis is buried. It’s such a beautiful serene place.

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Depending on what package you get you also get to see other exhibits like the archive room with tons of Elvis memorabilia and artifacts, his planes and cars, and a dedication to his birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi. You can see more pictures from our trip on my Facebook page. Until then, Thank you, Thank you very much!

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