New Orleans needs no introduction or fanfare. The historic streets, rich Cajun and Creole flavors, beautiful art, and colorful sounds are its well-established treasures, speaking for the unique city for many decades. While in town for the 2017 NBA All Star weekend I found myself smack-dab in the middle of Mardi Gras season – couldn’t have been better timing!!
If you’re not familiar, Mardi Gras celebration is largely a European holiday that was introduced to Louisiana as a French Catholic tradition in the 1700’s. The Carnivale celebrations begin on or after Three Kings Day and end on Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday represents the last day of eating anything and everything, as the next day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lenten fasting (a period when practicing Catholics refrain from eating meat). Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans include daily parades and floats decorated in the traditional Carnivale colors of purple, green and gold which signify justice, power and faith. After just one day in the French quarter it’s easy to see that Mardi Gras celebrations are a deeply rooted tradition for New Orleans natives regardless of religion.
The French Quarter was poppin’ with activity and laughter. Mardi Gras dress was out in full force ranging from high class pizazz to out-and-out kooky.
Most brilliant of all was the abundance of picture perfect back drops…this blogger was in heaven!! Gorgeous iron balconies hang high above the streets laced with colorful walls, ornate doorways, and facades of every medium imaginable; I only had to walk across a street to find my next shot.
And of course, a trip to NoLA wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the Cajun and Creole cuisine – dishes like seafood gumbo, crawfish ettoufee, red beans and rice, boiled crawfish, anything andouille, po boys and deep fried alligator to name a few. As for me, without a calorie doubt in my mind I made an essential stop at Café Du Monde for you know what…beignets!! I had a face full of powdered sugar and a big ol’ smile…so freakin gud! The experience of devouring a freshly fried French donut completely covered in powder sugar is one to be savored and cherished!! Café Du Monde is also known for its chicory coffee, but for those non-coffee drinkers be sure to order a hot chocolate…the BEST!
With our French Quarter day a wrap, my mind was in full of anticipation for our next location: The Garden District. TTL Workcations are the best for sure – see ya under the canopied trees!! Happy Fat Tuesday!!