Goodbye New Orleans!

It’s time for us to say goodbye to New Orleans.  We reluctantly load the car and start our long drive back to Colorado.  With a twenty plus hour drive in front of us, son and I have plenty of time to discuss our New Orleans experience.New Orleans

Garden DistrictI was particularly intrigued by the buildings.  New Orleans is well know for its abundance of unique architectural styles.  Wednesday afternoon, we ventured into the Garden District.  The historic and many well-maintained antebellum mansions, did not disappoint.

The Garden District is a residential neighborhood.  During the turn of the century, wealthy newcomers chose to build large, Victorian style homes in this neighborhood along with opulent gardens.

Not only were we fascinated with the structures, but also with the fencing and landscaping.  This is so different from anything we see in the west, especially for Logan.  He has spent the past three years living in Phoenix, Arizona, where the architecture and landscaping is so vastly different.  Today the Garden District is more known for its architecture than gardens.

Garden DistrictLarge front porches seem to be a common element, as well as each home is uniquely painted.  We see everything from white, to pink, to powder blue, to charcoal gray, and everything in between.  The houses are built relatively close together.  And the yards are, of course, gorgeous……lush and green with flowers galore.

The downtown area of New Orleans appears to be divided into different categories or rather neighborhoods.  There’s the French Quarter, which I wrote about in the previous post, aka “party central” in my book. Then to the west of the Quarter is the Warehouse/Arts District.  Our hotel is located within this area.  Then further to Garden Districtthe west is the Garden District.  Although when I say west, what I really mean is to the left on the map.

The commercial buildings in the Warehouse/Arts District are an eclectic mix of old and new.  There are numerous museums in this area, including one Logan was really hoping to visit; the World War II Museum.  Unfortunately time did not allow us the luxury.  There is also a Civil War Museum, a Contemporary Arts Center, a Children’s Museum, just to name a few.

warehouse district
Fundraising event in Lafayette Park located next to the Blake Hotel. Our hotel room window is to the left of the statue. Federal Reserve building in background.

The business district is home to the cities tallest buildings. New Orleans is a rather small city and thus has a small amount of high rises in comparison to larger cities.  The diverse architecture is every bit as interesting as that found in cities twice as large and that New Orleans flare is ever-present.

Garden District
Lafayette Cemetery

Garden DistrictWhen Logan and I decided to take a walk to the Garden District, we had a destination in mind; the Lafayette Cemetery.  New Orleans’ beautiful cemeteries, with their distinct above-ground tombs, are attractions in themselves.  All of the graves are above ground vaults, noted for their European style and Catholic faith.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the cemetery the wrought iron gates were locked.  We were an hour too late.  That was fine by me, because in all actuality, I don’t think I was ready to walk through the cemetery.  Just standing at the gate, shivers ran up my spine.  I’m not usually creeped out like this.  Perhaps its the age and/or the above ground tombs or maybe its the True Blood marathon I shared with daughter the week before.  Snapping photos through the gate worked fine by me.

French Quarter
Real Alligator stuffed

After the cemetary visit, we head back to the French Quarter for a little retail therapy, drinks, and food.  We’ll start with the drinks first  🙂

I’d say we made the most of our 42 hour stay in New Orleans, Louisiana.  We definitely intend to return with plans for a much longer visit.  After all, we need to get in a Swamp Tour and feed some gators!