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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My New Orleans Wish List

This Fall I'll be traveling to New Orleans for the first time and I'm super excited. We had originally planned a two-week trip, but have cut it in half so we can also go to LA in December to check out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Being our first trip to Nola, there are a lot of things we want to do. Number one is to not rent a car, except to take a day trip. So, let's look at our must-dos and must-eats and then you can tell me your suggestions, whether it's what I should add or what I should skip.

Things to do in New Orleans
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When I travel, I love to find great little places that make for beautiful photos, since that's the majority of what I bring back when we go anywhere. The historic Court of the Five Sisters looks like one of those places and I can't wait to grab a table, have a great meal and then take a ton of photos of this vibrant little courtyard.

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I know that people think that Bourbon Street is a tourist trap, but there's no way I'm visiting the city and not going there. I won't be taking a horse-drawn carriage, but I will be taking a bunch of pics, because I gotta!

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I'll not be renting a car for the most part, so we'll be relying on our feet and the streetcar. It'll be fun to ride around on this historic mode of transportation. And I love that it's all open.  

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Okay, you know I love a farmers' market and open-air market. They're the perfect place to learn about your destination and the foods the locals eat. Plus, you can pick up wonderfully fresh fruits, breads and pastries for breakfasts and snacks. I absolutely need to hit up the French Market.

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If I leave New Orleans without at least one visit to Cafe Du Monde, I think I may never be allowed back. Beignets and a really good coffee sounds like heaven to me. And also like it may keep me going for much of the day between the caffeine and sugar. I love that it's open 24/7, too.

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I'm super into old cemeteries and love when there are interesting headstones and tombs. You may remember my visit to Pere Lechaise Cemetarie in Paris.  I've been dying (ha!) to go to St. Louis Cemetery #1 for years. I expect to take a lot of pics to write a big blog post on it, so if you're also into learning more about it, stay tuned. I think we'll be taking a ghost tour that includes this final resting place as well.

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I just learned about this not too long ago, but New Orleans has a wall called the Before I Die Wall, where you can write the thing(s) you want to see/do/eat/achieve before you die and get inspiration from others' wishes as well. It's like inspirational (and legal) graffiti. 

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When you're in the place where voodoo was invented, you can't ignore that. I love a good museum that's also unique, so I'll be headed to the Voodoo Museum to check out how Marie Laveau and others harnessed the power of voodoo and what they hoped to achieve with it as well. 

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So, something you may not know about me is that I love a good absinthe. The taste and the process is fantastic to me and I am really interested to visit the Original Absinthe Bar where folks like Mark Twain and Andrew Jackson drank. 

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Okay. It seems irresponsible of me to wander the streets of New Orleans without soaking up some French influence. I may not be into getting a bowl of gumbo, but I am excited about French pastries and picking up some sweets, like macarons, at Sucre Bakery.


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The South has a controversial history of slavery and such. Evergreen Plantation is one of the places where I plan to learn more and maybe even catch a glimpse of a ghost. If you're lucky, I can catch it on film and share it in a future post.

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Here's where I'll be renting a car for the day and heading to Avery Island. There's no place else you can see Tabasco hot sauce being made and it sounds pretty awesome. We can buy a bunch of bottles to send home, plus wander the gorgeous grounds and check out the Jungle Gardens before heading back to the city.

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I have never really wanted to visit the madness of New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but I do want to check out the cool floats and props. Fortunately, for me, Mardi Gras World is the place where a lot of that stuff is stored and I can take a tour to see previous floats, costumes and more.

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There's always a splurge meal on my trips and brunch at the Commander's Palace is going to be the one in New Orleans for us. I'm going to dress up a little, listen to live jazz and dig into delicious food. They serve unique dishes like Braised Rabbit & Carrot Cake Flapjacks, Turtle Soup and Tabasco & Sugarcane Smoked Salmon. 

Okay, I have other stuff on my list as well, like a swamp tour, some specific happy hours, a ride on the ferry, possibly the aquarium and of course that ghost tour I was talking about. If you've been to New Orleans, where should I go, not go or eat? Keep in mind that neither of us will eat jambalaya and probably not crawfish.
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