My Travel Journal: New Orleans

New Orleans epitomizes the concept of “living boldly.” With vibrant art scenes, a flourishing history of varying cultures, and delicious food, not to mention Mardi Gras, New Orleans can’t help but warm your soul.

One of my favorite things about visiting New Orleans was the unique array of foods you were constantly surrounded by. From Creole cuisine to fast food chains I had never been exposed to - being from NC - nothing I ate was lacking in flavor.

Favorite Foods to eat:

  • Beignets! (be careful of the powdered sugar though)
  • Gumbo (so good; I haven’t had a gumbo that stands up to it since)

  • Red beans and rice (the perfect comfort food)

  • Cane’s Chicken (um… AMAZING!)

  • PJ’s Coffee (fun fact: there are more of these in New Orleans than Starbucks for a reason)

  • Cafe Au Le (Morning Call serves great Cafe Au Les)

There is never a dull moment in New Orleans. This is not a city where sitting in the hotel room is an adequate block in the itinerary. If you need something to do, simply look out your window, or walk down the street. There are so many unique things happening at every hour of the day.

Places to go:

  • French quarter

  • Mardi Gras World

  • NoMA

  • Honestly just wander! It’s all amazing!

Audubon Crescendo: a Poem


Mighty Mississippi reflects portraits 

of cargo ships painted in brushstrokes of primary color

Families wait in line on Peach Street 

for snowballs drenched in lip-puckering syrup

Statues stand in gardens where 

crowds of people grow slowly over time

Sprouting furrowed eyebrows and distorted mouths

Their expressions frozen, their poses obscure

Cafe O Le steeping in cups that read “Morning Call”


All contrasted by jubilant jazz playing 

theme songs for lives

Of tourists, Louisiana natives, and students

Cigarette smoke resembles music notes 

as it climbs the bars higher and higher

Beignets escape their paper bags and enter into 

gaping jowls of street goers

Powdered sugar poofs out into the air forming clouds of laughter

Rot Iron snakes its way up the side of brickwork buildings

Mardis gras beads rain from the sky 

waves of green purple and gold

Mechanized floats flood the streets parading

the krewe of Rex


so the city sleep walks to work

Down Zimple Street as lines of trolley cars float past

Beads, coconuts, and high heeled shoes litter the floor 

if they are not already trophies on a mantle

Jazz plays softly in the breeze, never leaving the city

It lullabies people to sleep and wakes them up 

when the moon rises in the east

the music never sleeps

The art scene in New Orleans is huge, so if you’re like me, take advantage of the opportunities to jot down inspiration or just absorb all the creative energies that flow through this amazing city.

I highly recommend adding New Orleans to your travel bucket list. You can make a weekend trip out of it or a longer excursion; either way, make good use of all this amazing place has to offer.

Photo courtesy: Emma Martin