New Orleans has got to be one of my all time favorite cities to visit. It’s up there with San Fransisco and New York. Very touristy of me to pick those three, but I can’t help it. It’s funny because I was born and raised in a touristy city myself and yet, I take it for granted. I drive down Hollywood all the time and I see all of the people there taking photos and I think to myself, “Why would anyone want to visit this place?” I wonder if that’s how locals in places like NY, SF and NOLA feel as well. New Orleans is such a beautiful place to explore, though. It’s filled with friendly people and there are so many things to see. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you get used to all of the people (mainly in the French Quarter) it becomes a completely different experience. I’ve had the opportunity to go a few times now, and I’m so thankful for it. It’s been an equal amount of work and play and the best part of it all is that I get to catch up and work with my friend and fellow cat Joy. I was so sad when she moved, but it’s given me the chance to visit a city I probably never would’ve before.
The city will always have this spooky feeling, for me. And it’s not only because of the ghost tours going on throughout the French Quarter. That’s only part of it. I think it has to do with the fact that the city itself is just so old and full of history. It probably doesn’t help that Joy told me a ghost story the second I saw her on my first visit. Aside from the ghosts and voodoo though, it’s an incredible city with amazing food. The food is really what sets it apart. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but it never felt right or complete to me, until now. I think I just needed the perfect recipe to go along with it.
Julian has tagged along with me on a couple of visits now. We celebrated his recent birthday in New Orleans and let’s just say birthdays and New Orleans are the perfect match. We basically ate and drank our way through the city, much like we always do everywhere we go. We did all of the touristy things like eat beignets at Cafe Du Monde and drank all of the Bloody Marys for breakfast (through brunch). Yet some of our favorite things weren’t all that grand. Like walking in the rain from one part of the city to the other. Or drinking a few Breakfast Margaritas at an out-of-the-way joint.
I think it’s important to go out and explore a city you’ve never been to before and visit places that are off the beaten path. You don’t know what you might find, plus it’s always great to ask the locals where they go because those places are always 1 million times better than where everyone else goes. You don’t even have to spend money on travel. Go out and explore your own city. Make an effort to try restaurants you’ve never tried or drive down to a nearby city you’ve never visited. Do some research online and go out on an adventure. Put yourself in a tourist’s shoes and see your city as if it’s the first time you’re experiencing it. I guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun and might even discover a few things.
What are some of your favorite cities to visit? I want to know! Leave a comment down below with your favorite city with the best restaurant, dish or drink you’ve ever had while visiting. I’d love to read all about it. Or just tell me about a local spot you always go to where you live. I’m always looking for great suggestions! Julian and I are obsessed with a sushi place in Los Angeles that we go to every Thursday. Is it a problem if everyone in the restaurant remembers you and knows exactly what you’ll order? I think it’s kind of cool to have a place like that. If you’re ever in Los Angeles I can give you the longest list of things to do and things to eat while you’re here.
Last year I wrote a post similar to this one, the first installment in a series I didn’t even think about doing at the time. Now it kind of makes sense and I think it’ll be fun to continue with the theme. Sausage and Pickled Jalapeño Pizza: An Ode to San Fransisco was my pizza obsession for the longest time after my last trip to The Golden Gate City. I tried to replicate a pizza pie I devoured there, as best I could. Julian called me the other day, after work, convinced he had just come up with the greatest pizza idea ever, he suggested Jambalaya Pizza to me and it all sort of made sense after that. An ode to New Orleans was a must.