New Orleans Vacation Log + WINTOUR

Hey, young bloods! I asked everyone a while ago if they'd like to see a log of my trip to New Orleans, and the response was mostly positive - so here we are!

ALSO I WENT TO WINTOUR SO PICTURES OF THAT WILL BE AT THE END OF THIS POST.

~ Note: credits for all pictures (except the Wintour ones obvs) go to my dad. Also, I apologize if the pictures aren't very evenly-spaced throughout the post - a lot of them had my family's faces in them (or mine, which looked like crap most of the time), so I mostly selected photos that had views of the landscape + attractions without our faces. The amount of this type of photo may have varied from place to place, so that's why you may see a lot of pictures of one area and not very many of another. ~

Day One - Tuesday, March 15

Today was the start of our adventure! Nothing much exciting happened, as we were mostly in the car all day (we drove) and the most exciting thing I did was eat a protein bar. xD

But then we stopped in Memphis overnight, and things got interesting! We went on a tour around the city in a carriage ride, then walked down Beale Street and got dessert at the deluxe, Victorian Peabody Hotel. Yum :D

Day Two - Wednesday, March 16

We arrived in New Orleans about noon! The land around New Orleans is swampy for miles, all water and Spanish moss hanging lazily from cyprus trees. It's so unlike anything in the Midwest (where I'm from), it was absolutely fascinating to watch as we drew into the city.

After getting turned around and lost about five times trying to get to our hotel, we finally arrived. It was a delightful old building in the French Quarter, with wrought-iron balconies overlooking a central courtyard. I spent a lot of time outside on our balcony - unfortunately, it wasn't large enough for me to drag a chair out there to sit, but it was still lovely to stand.

An evening view of rooftops from our balcony.
A corner of the courtyard - you can see the swimming pool that nearly overflowed when it stormed one night.

We began our New Orleans adventure by exploring the French Quarter! This is the only part of the city that rarely floods, as it was built first and therefore on the highest ground. Fun fact: only a few buildings in the French Quarter feature French architecture - the majority of the architecture is Spanish.

We had lunch in a local gumbo place and then walked to Jackson Square, where we visited St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest functioning Catholic cathedral in the U.S. The inside was absolutely beautiful - gold trim, multiple levels with balconies, and a huge vaulted ceiling.

A view of St. Louis from across the square.

After St. Louis, we went on a carriage tour of the French Quarter. Here are some pictures of the gorgeous architecture we spotted:





We also passed the house where the Interview with the Vampire movie was filmed (although I haven't seen that movie yet oops. I'm just afraid it could ruin the book, you know? Although I didn't like that book much anyway, so.) But we didn't get pictures of that.

After we ended back up in Jackson Square after our carriage ride, we went down to the Mississippi River (which was right there) and I dipped my feet in. New Orleans is near the mouth of the Mississippi, and it was really cool to put my feet in because I've been to the headwaters of the Miss. in Minnesota before and dipped my feet in there. So now, I've put my feet in both the beginning and end of the Mississippi! 

You can't go to New Orleans without trying beignets. We found a little beignet spot one of Dad's friends recommended to us. It had a live jazz band and all courtyard seating and was such a cool little spot! The beignets weren't too good (quite heavy and greasy), but at least we tried. xD

Following that quite exhausting outing, we went back to our hotel to rest a bit before dinner. We ended up having dinner at the hotel, but the food was really good.

And after dinner, we did our final event of the night - a ghost tour! Our tour guide was really quirky and funny. He took me, my parents, and a couple other families on a tour of the most haunted places in the French Quarter. I don't know if I believe in ghosts or not, but it was still really cool to see all the places and hear all the legends. :)

Day Three - Thursday, March 17

Today we explored the Garden District!

A little history about the Garden District: when Americans first began to populate New Orleans in the 1800s, they looked down on the Creole population, or the descendants of the first wave of Spanish and French settlers, and the Cajuns, French-Canadians who emigrated from Acadia during the French and Indian War. The Americans wanted nothing to do with these two ethnic groups, so instead of settling with them in the French Quarter they built their own, new part of the city where they resided in huge Victorian mansions with elaborate gardens. This part of the city became known as the Garden District.

Following one of our guide books, we went on a walking tour! 

One of our first stops was Lafayette Cemetery. Cemeteries in New Orleans are really interesting; because of the frequent flooding they can't bury their dead below ground and have to lay them to rest in mausoleums, or small buildings above the ground. As a result, their cemeteries look more like ruined cities of ancient, tiny houses than normal cemeteries.

I sit on the edge of a ruined mausoleum and look dramatically off into the distance.

Look at me being all cool with my hand on the wall and shit. 

After that, we walked around the residential areas of the G. District, looking at all the cool houses and houses of note. Here are some particularly awesome-looking ones:



Random picture I took of some sort of fruit in some sort of tree. xD

anD THEN WE WENT TO ANNE RICE'S OLD HOUSE ASDFGHJKL.

She lived in New Orleans for quite a while, and in fact a ton of her stories (most of the Vampire Chronicles) take place there (her novel The Witching Hour even was set in her own house!) It was super exciting to see her old home (she currently resides in Palm Desert, California), since I've really been loving her books in the past year.

Me reading on a tree root with the house in the background.

Plaque-thingy.

Then we went for dinner at NOLA, one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants. I got a pesto pizza, and it was absolutely divine. Mmmmm.

Day Four - Friday, March 18

This morning, we had a swamp tour!

We drove about forty-five minutes out of New Orleans until we were in wild bayous, and then got in this little motorboat with a bunch of other people and got a tour of the bayou! I thought I'd be bored, but it was really interesting - I learned a ton about the plant and animal life, plus the climate and history of the area. We also saw a few alligators - I thought I'd be scared of them, but they were so cute!

This is a tree that was also in the Interview with the Vampire movie. Now I really need to watch it xD



We fed this one (pictured above also) marshmallows from the end of a stick. He's only four years old, and LOOK HOW CUTE! Slightly scary, but cute.

After the swamp tour, we went to the Battle of New Orleans battlefield. The Battle of New Orleans was the ending battle to the War of 1812 - the British tried to invade New Orleans after failing to take NYC and Baltimore, and Andrew Jackson fought them back. (It's possibly the only part of his legacy that's not overrated.) It was really rainy and muddy, but I ran out in my raincoat and combat boots anyway (AND ACCIDENTALLY GOT STUCK IN A MUD PUDDLE OOPS). I also climbed the tower that's the monument to the battle, and though my calves hurt for two days afterward (I'm so unfit fml) the view was awesome. :)

Day Five - Saturday, March 19

To wrap up our time in New Orleans, we visited a plantation - Destrehan Plantation, to be specific. We got a tour of the house, then explored the grounds of our own. The house was beautifully preserved, and the grounds were so pretty! Everything was super green, and the trees were super old and breathtaking.

A straight-on view of the house.

An indigo plant! When it was operating, the plantation produced both indigo and sugar.

A slave cabin.

Part of the kitchen!

LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS TREE OMG.

And then from the plantation, we packed up and went home. :( Overall, this was an absolutely amazing vacation - I'll definitely be wanting to go back sometime.

and guESS WHAT ELSE I DID ON SPRING BREAK.

I WENT TO WINTOUR.

Olivia and Reagan and I went together and it was absolutely awesome and so much fun omg. Here are some pictures:






So, let's chat! What did you do on your spring break? And what's your dream vacation? Have you ever been to a concert? Comment below - I MUST KNOW ALL THE DETAILS. xD

Namarië,
Ellie

18 comments:

  1. dude new orleans looks so cool. i love all the architecture and those alligators and gumbo is so good.

    as for spring break i'm not on it yet >.< {mine starts saturday and we're going to myrtle beach so that should be fun}

    i loved this post.
    xx
    emily

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT! The architecture is stunning. I tried a cup of vegetarian gumbo while I was there, but it wasn't that good. I expect it was just that restaurant, though.
      Ooh, have fun! (AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO WENT ON SPRING BREAK LAST WEEK WTF.)
      Thanks!

      - Ellie

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  2. OOH NICE! I'm on spring break right no and all I've really been doing is watching Dan and Phil and texting my friend over a breakup. (long story.)

    YOU NOW MAKE ME WISH I LIKED ATL BEFORE FUTURE HEARTS SO I COULD GO TO THE FUTURE HEARTS TOUR. *pouts*

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    1. THANK. D&P are awesome. Have you seen Internet Support Group 7?
      *pats you on shoulder* *offers you tea*

      - Ellie

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  3. That's so neat!! I want to go to New Orleans! Random fact- the fruit you have a picture of is called a loquat, we used to have some in our backyard. They are edible and have a really big seed in the middle but personally I find the taste sort of cloying.
    -Vivian

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    1. Thanks! It's really awesome; I hope you get there. Ooh, cool!

      - Ellie

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  4. Looks like you had fun ;)
    I've been to New Orleans twice, once on a class trip (WHERE WE STAYED IN A PLANTATION—seriously that was the best part) and once with my family (including my seven-year-old cousin). Unfortunately neither of those times I really got to experience the history like you did. The class trip we only went to New Orleans for one day out of it, and we visited the Mardi Gras museum and toured the city on a bus. We only got out for a few things (cemetery being one of them, thankfully!). Then when I went last year with my family we stayed in a fancy, modern hotel and went to the more "kid-friendly" places, like some bug muesem. We did get to go to the World War II mueseum that time, which was AWESOME, and we ate at a lot of different places and got to experience a lot of different kinds of food!
    Wait. Did you not go to Café du Monde? You simply can't go to New Orleans without eating beignets at Café du Monde! That's where the actually GOOD beignets are! ;)
    Haha yes the trees are so pretty down there. The plantation we stayed at was closer to Baton Rouge, but it was still so gorgeous!
    Swamp tours are surprisingly fun, you know? We went on one both times I've been to New Orleans, and both times we got to hold a baby alligator, which is actually more adorable than it sounds. The aforementioned seven-year-old cousin thought it was the coolest thing ever ;)
    Saint Louis Cathedral is gorgeous, isn't it? Man, I wish we'd gotten to walk around the Garden District, it sounds amazing.
    When I went with my family, we were walking to the place we were going to eat (we would just kind of wander around in search of restraunts sometimes), and you know how some of the shops had mannequins out front? Well I was just looking at them as I walked, lost in thought, as I tend to do, and then one of them jumped out at me! Turned out some local guy was playing pranks on tourists. It sure scared the living daylights out of me lol
    THATS SO AWESOME THAT YOU GOT TO SEE THE PLACE WHERE THAT NOVEL IS SET. That's why I want to go to London (the Infernal Devices is set there) and Paris (A Tale of Two Cities! + history lol)

    Lol we just started my spring break (it being Good Friday) and I'm just going to my grandparents' cabin in the Ozark Mountains. It's really pretty there but not as cool as New Orleans ;D (plus there's no wifi there)

    -Ashley (wow that was long okay then)

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    1. STAYING IN A PLANTATION SOUNDS EPIC.
      No, we wanted to go there but the line to get in stretched halfway down the block. So we went to this place called Cafe Beignet instead.
      BABY ALLIGATORS AWWW.
      Yes, it is!
      Hope you get there! London and Paris are really fun.
      THE OZARKS ARE SO PRETTY I WENT THERE IN FALL. The mountains are so old and beautiful. Have fun! :)

      - Ellie

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  5. Nice pics! I've never been to a concert. It's pretty sad :(

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    1. Thank you! I'm sure you'll get to one some day :)

      - Ellie

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  6. I love that cathedral and the house with the green on it.
    FEEDING ALIGATORS MARSHMALLOWS SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN!
    Also mosoleums sound pretty cool. Have u read the graveyard book bt Neil Gaiman?

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    1. IT IS.
      They are. Omg there's this one in the cemetery closest to my house; it belongs to the richest family in the city and it's literally like a house wtf. It has multiple levels and spiral staircases and stained glass windows and lots of steps leading up to the door. If it weren't for the dead bodies I wouldn't mind living there tbh.
      NO I HAVEN'T. Good Omens is the only thing I've ever read that was kind of by him.

      - Ellie

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  7. New Orleans looks really cool, I've always wanted to go. The Fall Out Boy concert looks really fun.
    -Shannon

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    1. It is! I hope you get there :)

      - Ellie

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  8. Nice pics makes me want to travel.

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  9. Oh wow! I've only ever heard of N.O so... yeah forgive my ignorance do you guys call them alligators or crocs? er crocodiles? =D Awesome about the concert! Is that Olivia as in Olivia the Geek blogger if so that's super cool you guys went together! it looked amazing fun (although I prefer sitting in a nice seat watching musical or being cramped under the stage playing in one :P
    ~Ev

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    1. Actually, they're two different species! Alligators are much older and primarily live in freshwater, whereas crocodiles are a "newer" (still super old though) species that lives mainly in saltwater. The ones we saw in NOLA were alligators :)
      MAN I WISH. But nah, it was my IRL friend Olivia. It would be super cool to go with blogger buddies thought :)

      - Ellie

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