Yesterday was my first full day in New Orleans. I woke up early to take a van-tour around the city. The tour took us past many points of interest: The French Quarter, the Garden District, Xavier, Tulane, and Loyola Universities, important homes and City Park. I'm learning that I love places full of history and culture. I mean many places have a history and culture, but New Orleans is an intersection of histories and a gumbo of cultures. Even time periods are all mixed up here. I'm in a hotel decorated as if it's from another century, visited a restaurant and bar that is straight out of the Roaring 20s and seen places that are times everywhere in between. I love the architecture, the colors, the sounds, and I even liked the heat. I love the cemeteries.
I've eaten delicious jambalaya and beignets (which I have to have again) and drank Mint Juleps. I'm even going to have afternoon tea in Le Salon. I'm excited!
We also went into the 9th Ward and other areas devastated by Katrina. Four years later and there is still so much destroyed, but there is also hope. And rebuilding. So many thoughts on that part of the tour I can't articulate yet. I took pictures and I hope they honor the experiences of those who were there and are still here.
This city is full of so much history, and we can still see it. I will be back and it's tempting to want to stay a while longer.