American southwest, likely Utah

shibori where snow meets desert

Last week we jetted down to New Orleans for a five-day Road Scholar program on the culture, music, food, mystique and more food. It was great fun and other than six freaky tornadoes hitting the state mid-week the weather was sublime.

I was my usual aerial photography fool coming and going with the best results on the trip South. The way the snow dusted the desert dazzled me with all these shibori like shapes.Then there was Lake Powell and the swamps surrounding NOLA.

lake powell, UT

aerial surface design, snow meets desert

swamp thang…see any gators?

Once we landed and acclimated we began a week long indulgence in music, sugar, butter, booze, cheese, fried and pure unadultered goodness! I had never really tasted Creole or Cajun food much, and thought it would be terribly hot and spicy, but truly Mexican is much hotter. I LOVED shrimp and grits, gumbo and shrimp etouffe. I skipped all booze and desserts until the last night, in an effort to outfox knee inflammation, which was successful. I also wore my new pure-torture right knee brace that allowed me to walk over two miles a day!

chocolate flourless cake at Muriel’s

On the last night I indulged in a cosmo and the chocolate flourless cake! It was SO worth it, although I had planned to have just one bite, which proved impossible!  Oh wait… I also had a killer sorbet in a fancy spun sugar bowl at Commander’s Palace. But that was it. I passed up booze, cheesecake, bread pudding, bananas foster, pralines and pecan pie for 5 days. So really I was quite disciplined! (insert pat on the back!)

sorbet in spun sugar bowl

shrimp & grits, Commandeers Palace

Other than the food and the music we also visited

cast iron gate

…the Museum of Southern Art, Louisiana State Museum and WWII Museum, which I boycotted. I have had it with war museums but really enjoyed the art of self-taught artists and the Katrina and Mardi Gras exhibits. We also had a thorough tour of the city, including the cemeteries, parks and sculpture garden. We even learned the interesting story of how the dead are buried, and moved in New Orleans.

tombs at St. Mary’s Cemetery

I loved these sculptures the most and mostly did not write down the artists’ names. We learned the difference between Creole and Cajun, cast iron and forged iron gates, and how resilient these people are who live not only with devastating hurricanes but a random tornado too. And we were blown away by the Southern hospitality. Never ever have we met such friendly & gracious people.

Overflow by Juame Plensa

Overflow, detail

sculpture by Korean artist in Sculpture Garden…incredible!

detail, korean sculpture






All in all it was a good and fun trip!

6 Responses to “NOLA”

  1. Martha Ginn says:

    Carol, so glad you enjoyed your trip to NO and that your knee did not diminish your pleasure. I live a hundred miles away in Hattiesburg, MS, and the same weather/tornado system came and threatened us here. If you ate at Commander’s Palace you had some of the best food available in the South.

    • Carol says:

      Thank you Martha! That was some storm and sad that 200 homes were destroyed in NO East. We had to walk two blocks through the wild thunderstorm to get to Commander’s Palace and wow was it worth it?! MS now remains one of the four states yet to visit!

  2. Rita Hannafin says:

    it is lovely to sit back and enjoy your travelog . As an artist you know just how to describe the beauty. I’m giving you a huge pat on the back, I could never have turned down all that great dessert. Thank you for giving me a piece of NO – I’ve never been there. On my list.

    • Carol says:

      Thanks Rita! It was our first trip to NOLA also. We were to go a week after Katrina ten years ago and it took this long to revisit the idea! Now we have just Mississippi, Alabama, Wisconsin and Michigan to visit and we have done all 50!

  3. Thanks for allowing we armchair travelers a peek at the fun available in New Orleans. We were there in the French Quarter for a wild nee year’s eve several decades ago. Our memories are very fond. We have to check out Road Scholar.

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