Hello my lovelies! I’ve been MIA for 3 weeks. I am finally back from an awesome vacation and still sifting through all the memories and pictures. There will be quite a few outfit posts from this trip, so stay tuned, if you’re interested.
I finally did something I have been wanting to do for some time, and that is a road trip. They always seem like a great idea when you watch a movie or see a commercial, but I had never really set out to do one. I did always wonder how I would tolerate all the time spent in a car. I’ve heard some horror stories about road trips too, so I wondered if I would be a good or a bad passenger. Luckily everything went very well, in fact amazing. I can now say that I am ready for any road trip, any time. This trip consisted of south and east coast USA. Our journey consisted of 9 spots in the following order (you may also check out the photo below): New Orleans (Louisiana), Panama Beach, Clearwater, Siesta Key Beach (and Ana Maria Beach), Miami (but of course), Jacksonville Beach (all of the 5 listed are in Florida), Savanah (Georgia) including Typee Island, Charleston (South Carolina) and Whitetop in Smokey Mountains (Virginia).
First stop: New Orleans. After 20 hours (or 2 days) of driving starting here in Toronto, we finally reached this beautiful destination. I was so excited about visiting this city for its architecture, music and food. Like most tourists, most of the time was spent in the French Quarter (and couple other neighbourhoods along the Mississippi River). We were highly advised not to wonder off, especially at night, for safety reasons. I don’t know where New Orleans now ranks in terms of crime and violence, but I felt quite safe. Granted, I am not the one to wonder off in wee hours into unknown territories, unless maybe I was with a local.
Architecture is beautiful, French influenced, but the feel of the city to me was that of an island town. June is a very hot month, but I tolerate heat very well so I had no issues or complaints. Dress accordingly with lightweight natural materials and you will be fine. I read somewhere that due to its extremely humid climate, New Orleans colonial buildings started falling apart from the moment they were built. There seems to be constant work being done on them but I am happy to see the history kept intact. I definitely felt the humidity in my room, as I stayed in a hotel which is almost as old as the city. The room was not hot but towels could not get dry how humid it was. But I didn't care as it was beautiful and the staff were amazing. New Orleans has been through some tough times but it still stands beautiful. A real gem and an anomaly in USA.
New Orleans is also known for its music culture, in particular Jazz. It’s a birthplace of Jazz music. I won’t pretend I know anything about Jazz. In fact I’m no expert in any music style. I simply love anything that moves me (and I love to dance). What I was looking forward to was actually New Orleans brass bands. I was not so lucky, as in the 3-4 days I was there, there were no bands playing (that I could find). I got to listen to them couple of times on the street. One time was a wedding procession led by a brass band. It was beautiful.
If you spent any time with me before my trip, you would have heard me talk about being beyond excited about the food in New Orleans. I love, love, love to eat and love tasting regional foods when I travel. I think that one of the ways to get to know the culture is through their food. I tried pretty much everything. Some things were great others I found overrated. The first day I was there, oyster festival was on. I chose the longest line and stood patiently waiting. I got to talking with the event organizer (waiting in the same line) who highly recommended the oysters we were about to try. These were char broiled oysters (you can see one picture below), and they were AMAZING! The restaurant is called Drago’s and is the only one serving this type of oysters, so if you are visiting New Orleans, make sure to taste them.
Another place I loved was called The Joint and is located outside of French Quarters, in Baywater neighbourhood. This was the best southern barbeque I have had and probably the best ribs ever. Another place (I was beyond disappointed not to have tried) highly recommended by some locals and someone else who travelled there, was Perino's Boiling Pot. Considering crawfish was in season, this would have been the best place to try the local boil but I never ended up going. Plan was to go there on my last night in New Orleans, as this place is little outside of the city, but I had eaten too much that day that I could not eat another bite of anything. And those who know me well, know that I can eat beyond a normal capacity for a person my size. I also realized new things about myself, when it comes to food, which I didn’t know before. I guess the idea that anything that is deep-fried has to taste good, no longer applies to me. I realized I don’t really like to eat that much of deep-fried food. I especially don’t like deep-fried oysters. I also find that Muffaletta sandwich (on a must list of many travel guides) is beyond overrated. It’s a simple sandwich with some salami and what sets it apart are green olives, which are added to it. I went to the place best known for this type of sandwich and was not impressed. I have had better sandwiches in dozens of other places before.
I will finish my post here as it’s already getting lengthy. There is so much to see and talk about, but I gotta stop somewhere, right? There will be couple more posts from New Orleans very shortly where I will be sharing more looks and few more interesting facts and stories about this beautiful city. A definite must if you come to visit USA.
And before I completely sign off, let me briefly mention the outfit. Denim shorts are from Levis and since I bought them last summer, I have been wearing them non-stop. Top is an old silk one from H&M. Scarf is silk/cotton but is an unknown brand and is from Winners. The suede shoes are from Forever 21 and they got me soooooooo many compliments every time I wore them. They were perfect for long, long walks. Wooden African inspired bangles were purchased here in Toronto from a store called Kuwala. And the bag, well it's "inspired" by the Chloe bag.
One of the indoor yards of my hotel
And I made a lot of furry friends along this trip. The best kind of friends :)