In June, I’ll be taking a vacation to New Orleans. Just a few days in the French Quarter, but I’m super excited about it. I’ve been to New Orleans once before, for a week, and stayed in the French Quarter–and never left it. Well, except to go on a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi. I know there’s lots of other things to see in New Orleans, but I was spellbound by the French Quarter and had no desire to leave it once I got in it. I did a lot of the classic tourist things–a ghost tour, visiting Jackson Square (which could be seen from the hotel balcony), and having beignets at Cafe Du Monde. I didn’t get to walk through the cemeteries though, so that’s something I want to do this time around.
If you’ve never been to the French Quarter, it’s definitely everything you see and read about it. Party every night (and day), crowds, music, lights, beads, endless fun (and trouble) to get into, marvelous food, and an achingly historical air about everything that’s hard to describe. When I first arrived, I was not prepared for how run down and dirty it seemed. But once you’re there for a few hours, you start to realize it’s the reason for the phrase “it has character.” I’ve never visited another place like it, not even other ‘party’ destinations like Las Vegas. In Vegas everything seems very slick and modern, while the French Quarter has never lost the veneer of the past. It’s beautiful in its own raw, sprawling sort of way. While Vegas felt overwhelming and incredibly phony to me most of the time, the French Quarter had a charming cozy grittiness that captured my heart. It felt like being in another world. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because I worked for five years in a New Orleans-themed restaurant. Though I didn’t visit it during my time working there.
I can’t wait to go back! It’s sure to be blazing hot in June, but I love the heat and so does my best friend, who will be accompanying me. We’re staying in a cute little pink guest house at the edge of the Quarter. Since I’ve been there before I’ll be acting as a tour guide. I have a habit of wanting to do EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE everytime I go somewhere, so I’m sure we’ll have a few full, interesting days.
Have you ever been to the French Quarter? What did you think of it?