Roadtripping through New Orleans
I’ve always loved Louisiana’s New Orleans, and have passed through this unique city many times.
On a roadtrip two years ago with my younger son, one that took us through much of Texas, I remember being sorry that we couldn’t squeeze in a trip to New Orleans. So when we took another American roadtrip last summer, I made sure to squeeze in a short visit to the Creole city.
I had taken my husband there many years ago, but it was my first visit for my son.
We stayed in a hotel in the French Quarter, and we all loved the typical courtyard style of the building. There was a pool, too, and we did some late night swimming – it was fabulous floating in that warm water and watching the Spanish moss floating in the trees.
We also enjoyed walking around and admiring the architecture. We loved the colorful Creole cottages and townhouses, with their beautiful and intricate cast-iron balconies and romantic galleries (similar in concept to the Italian loggia).
The mix of French, Spanish and Creole architectural styles and urban planning, including cobblestoned streets and broad squares, makes it feel much more of a European city, something I really loved as a kid.
The iconic Jackson Square is, indeed, designed after Paris’ spectacular Place des Vosges, so it’s fitting to feel one is in Europe, rather than America. The square previously had the French and Spanish names: Place d’Armes and Plaza de Armas.
This was the site, in 1803, where the Louisiana Purchase was made official, with France present at a flag-raising ceremony where the American flag was raised over its new port city. The Louisiana Purchase extended America’s borders across the Mississippi border and nearly doubling the size of the new country. The deal also provided needed funding to Napoleon for his European campaigns.
While we were there, we also enjoyed the spicy Creole food and walking the banks of the Mississippi.
While the city is still remarkably beautiful, it definitely feels a lot less safe today than on my visits in the past. And Bourbon Street was a place we were escaping from rather than considering as a focal point, as I recall from the past.
So I have to say I honestly didn’t mind our short stop through New Orleans on this trip. Gorgeous city – and great to be back, but hoping for a safer city on a future visit.
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