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My Travels

Spot light on Louisiana, USA

If New Orleans, Louisiana’s history was translated to the silver screen, it would be an absolute award winner– a story dripping with drama, romance, piracy, intrigue, tragedy, and a great deal of inspiration.  There is so very much to be said about this visitor’s paradise.

Volleyed between the French and the Spanish from the late 17th century until the United States bought Louisiana for pennies an acre in 1803, New Orleans is forever shaped by its European heritage. The city’s broad timeline offers a portal into what we see, taste, hear and experience in 21st century New Orleans. 

Visitors never fail to come away having been mesmerized, and rarely don’t return, often again and again, to this magical destination.  At the very least, they keep the special memory of their time close to their hearts throughout their lives, and for good reason. Whether or not one is a Jazz music fan – they will surely appreciate the soulful Jazz sounds heard here, as well as much of the music, enjoyed at a dignified night club, or stumbled upon spontaneously while turning a street corner, likely near Frenchmen Street….

Much more than just New Orleans, Louisiana is spread out and has a plethora of “Parishes” (known to people in other parts of the country as, “Boroughs”) each unique to the other, most offering charm and much to do, see and experience.  Culture, good music, the Bayou, mansions, rural vicinities, neighborhoods and tastes that all blend together making this a very unique place to come to with an open mind, and an eagerness for a rare kind of adventure.

Whether or not one is drawn to Architecture generally – in this State it can’t help but to fascinate.  With its many different styles, Victorian revivals, colonial revivals, the carefully crafted artistic wrought iron, the varied balconies that are so prominent, this is a feast for the eyes at almost every turn.    (A highlight would be a ride out of New Orleans, just a short hour away, to gaze upon several of its gorgeous Plantations, where history comes alive – and the attention to detail all around the vast buildings, is quite impressive.  Pictures almost do it all justice, but not as much as an in person, up close exploration, which is a worthwhile day trip.)

Cuisine, cocktails, flavors surely don’t disappoint here. There is something wonderful for all tastes.  One of the several must tries is, “gumbo”.  Gumbo unites most social barriers and is heartily enjoyed by all.  Although ingredients might vary greatly from one cook to the next, and from one part of the state to another, a steaming bowl of fragrant gumbo is one of life’s cherished pleasures, as emblematic of Louisiana as chili is of Texas. (Tip:  when ordering Gumbo never ask for “soup”!) And if there is a sliver of ‘andouille sausage’ in your gumbo, or anywhere on your plate, it’s sure to be ultra-flavorful.  And then there are the beignets!  Nothing like fresh, hot, sugary beignets (donut-like pastries) with chicory coffee from the famed Café Du Monde.   Treat yourself to the simple, sizeable sandwich, known in Louisiana as the, “Po’boy” which is a submarine/hero/hoagie-type sandwich made with French bread containing various ingredients (roast beef cooked in gravy, fried oysters, and more.)  You may be asked if you would like it “dressed” which means it will be piled high with mayonnaise, lettuce, pickles and tomato.  Did anyone say, “Bananas Foster?”    Cocktails such as, the Hurricane – a staple cocktail, a hearty Bloody Mary’s (almost a meal – and often spicy), the Sazerac, the New Orleans Daiquiri – a Cuban influenced classic cocktail unique to this destination, and all worth lightly sampling – to gain a true taste of Louisiana while visiting…

You may hear some French spoken here, and also a few words that are only said locally.  For example,  “Lagniappe” means a little something extra, and is a great term, that might well work into your vocabulary onwards.   (ie, similar to a bakers dozen, if you get 13 rather than 12….)  “Making groceries” is simply going grocery shopping,  “Tenny shoes” would be, of course,  sneakers….!

…..Creole, Cajun, Voodoo, History, Food, Music, diversity, quality shopping, Architecture are just the very beginnings of this very special part of America… Come see for yourself!

Have you visited this mystical destination? – Wouldn’t you like to treat yourself?                                              Roxan 2021

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