Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

I haven't been to too many places in the U.S. but definitely New Orleans would be UP THERE in my list of favorites :) There's just something sooo magical and alluring about this place that makes me want to go visit again and again and again..hopefully soon, right Daddy A?

Souvenir shot with Jan and Marivic
Four years ago I was invited to Cisco's Partner Summit held in New Orleans and it was such a huge blessing that I was able to arrange for everything in a month - a nearly expiring passport, a U.S. Visa, accommodations, etc. I really wasn't expecting much from the trip and was probably more afraid than excited as I was practically traveling alone.

After a few days in California with my relatives, I ventured to NOLA on my own. Good thing I arranged for hotel transfers before I left Manila so I didn't have to worry about that. But my gulay, was I surprised when the hotel didn't want to accept my credit card. I know I made sure to pay off the balance even if they weren't due yet. I guess I was a bit lucky that I didn't do my shopping yet so I still had a few dollars on me. Whew! The hotel transfer via bus was like a tour on its own already. While dropping off people, the driver was also sharing a lot of snippets about his city. We were also able to see Tulane University and the lovely houses (and their steps!) around the area. Aaaahhhh....so much beauty in one place!

The hotel I stayed in, Hampton Inn & Suites, was really nice. If I'm not mistaken it's really like a boutique hotel. It has that country feel and is just so homey. The food was great and I also like that they have free coffee and hot chocolate whenever you wish! Such a no-frills business hotel. The best part is - it's just across the convention venue. I literally just had to cross the street to get there :)

But of course I was on tipid mode that time so I also lugged in my snacks and my tide bar to do my own laundry. How I managed to survive the trip, attending conferences, spending early evenings out, calling then-bf during the most convenient hours and finishing my thesis in time? I honestly don't remember!!

My morning view for a week

You can see the convention center just across Hampton Inn & Suites
I got my first taste of New Orleans at a restaurant just a block away from the hotel. Oh, I instantly got hooked on Gumbo!!!

A hot bowl of Seafood Gumbo was all I needed to feel welcome in the Big Easy!

Thank you so much to the Cisco team for this dinner treat! Yum yum yum! :)

Fish and Chips..and a helping of Jambalaya
A place we frequented when in Bourbon St. was the Le Bayou Restaurant. Well, it's upon the recommendation of a DLSU faculty when I was still finishing my Master's Thesis. I ordered a few po' boys and probably tried their gumbo too (?).

A view from Le Bayou Restaurant
I was amazed how their police were actually using horses while on patrol duty. And look at that mighty black beauty! Was it just for the Mardi Gras celebration? You see, this is a "what-could-have-been" of our own dear Intramuros in Manila.

Pat O' Brien's
Revelers in the night..

Please don't blast me for my photo quality. I was still using my trusty point-and-shoot; and even then, I was still struggling with the settings :)

And what is a stay in New Orleans without joining a tour or two? We ventured towards the Haunted History Ghost Tour. Our tour group was large so it wasn't as creepy but the tales would leave your balahibo standing! Yep, specially if you were staying in some of the hotels mentioned in the tour!

Aptly so we were gathered outside Rev. Zombie's Voodoo Shop. For a 2-hour tour it cost $25 and we were regaled with tales of naughty ghosts using your camera while taking your picture, naked lady ghosts jumping off a rooftop, torture and butchery, a love story that ended horribly and also the fire that ensued in the quarters.

I guess it was also a good way for us to be familiarized with the local culture, history and the lovely French Quarters <3 Haha sana lang next time may food included bwahahahaha :)

Well they also have cemetery tours but ehrmmm yes, I'm afraid of the dark and ghosts! Gaaaah!! :D

Such wide esquinitas, I wish we have here..
That's the shadow of the Virgin Mary's statue at the church plaza..

And when they're not straddling horses, the police are on their wheels too!

Just some of the views (feeling street photographer na!) while on the haunted tour. I wonder what they're brewing in that cauldron.

May nagluluto rin pala sa kanila sa sidewalks hihi
Also, if you ask me, one thing I do love about this place is its old world charm preserved through the years. I loved this place even before they started with The Originals TV series!

Pero wag kayo mga 'teh, there are also some haunted stories involving some balconies, their version of Romeo & Juliet...#creepy hehehe..
I'm in love with their French Creole balconies! 

That's our tour guide right there!

We were also toured around haunted properties that are now owned by famous celebrities :)

Our tour guide
But who would be creeped out if there are lots of folks partying around and throwing beads around??

Over all it's a nice trip I'm forever grateful to have taken. A test of independence, albeit for a few days only. Also a nice feeling to see the other side of the world and have met and made new friends and acquaintances. And for getting me to dance up on stage to the tune of - Nobody, nobody but you (aiiieee!! hahahaha). And and and! Let's not forget, the food; if only for this I shall be back New Orleans!

To  my former bosses at Lamco / Ardent and our partners at Cisco, thank you so much! :)

Souvenir shot with Sir Jan B. and Stanimira K. at the send-off party
Is she who we think she is??
Powerful vocals!!

Philippine delegation - Marivic, Anjo, Louie, Jan and me

Goodbye New Orleans! Til we meet again! :)


Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Things I blog about..

#CaptureTheRealYou #OPPOF5 100 day wedding 168 18th month 1st birthday 2nd birthday 3rd month 50th birthday 6 months 7th month 8 millennium development goals 8th month a day in the life absolute accessories accessory activity books afritada aggy's Agico alex franco cake algo all of me almost gourmet alphabet altrenergy Alveo amazon amazon kindle anniversary anthem Anthony bourdain apatite appliques araneta architect aromatherapy art deco asking a godparent AVIDA ayala baby baby back ribs baby food baby gatsby baby gatsby party baby girl baby k'tan baby meal baby ootd baby routine baby shower baby shower games baby wearing BabyComfyNose babywearing babywearing week 2014 back to work bad bird bag bag of beans baked dory baking ballerina ballet ballet kids Bananagrams Banco De Oro band Banking On Your Future baon baptism baptism candles baptism dinner baptism reception baptism seminar barbecue barbeque bargain finds barong batangas bayleaf hotel bazi BDO beach bed sharing beef beef kabsa before five in a row belgian chocolate cake BF1st1000days BFIAR BGC big bad wolf bike billingham digital hadley binder binondo binondo tour binyag birthday birthday mtv birthday party birthing class BKS black and white blender body boss Boni boo book book club book fair book review books boppy pillow botejyu boutonniere Boy Kastner Santos boyce avenue BOYF bracelet brazil brazil breakfast breast cancer breastfeeding breastfeeding in church breastfeeding pinays bridal shower bringing baby to church broker brownie BSP budget buffet buhawi bukas palad song burgos circle buwan ng wika buzzfeed tasty cake caldecott caleruega call me tita cambridge satchel camcorder camera camera for baby camera for new moms can't breastfeed cannondale canon canon d10 canon d20 canon d30 canon sx50 canva career caren resurreccion carlos celdran cash benefit casserole cast iron cast iron skillet caterer catholic Celadon century city mall century mall cesarean section cfa champorado changi airport chapel on the hill charaptor charcoal berry charlie puth charms chayno cheese steak shop chef laudico chicken chicken rice chiffon childbirth children's book chinatown chinese books chinese fables chinese food chinese new year chinese nursery rhymes chinito Chinkee tan chinky christening christmas christmas party christmas spirit chunky chewelry church cisco clara ole cleaning co sleeping Colgate colors conch shell congee Conti's cookbook cooking cooking time cooking tips cordfree cordless corduroy corporate girl costume crib crystal healing crystals CS csb hotel cubao cupcake cwc cyclone dance date dawani de-cluttering dear future husband denise laurel design destination wedding devotional diagnosis benefit dice game dictionary diffuser dining dinner disinfection distributor divisoria divisoria mall DIY diy candles dlsu Dr. Seuss dry erase dslr dust proof dutch oven Dyson dyson cyclone v10 absolute Dyson v10 dzi beads e-books early bird breakfast club early pregnancy earrings easter eat all you can eating out ebook ecopark educator elena ferrante eleventh month Elin engagement engagement dinner escolta essential oil essential oils essential rewards essentially prudent estrel's estrels etc handmade etc handmade goodness Eucharist everio exercise exercise while breastfeeding expo markers extravagances fabric family fashion fat tuesday father's day feature feng shui feng shui sunrise fernwood gardens fifth month filipiniana filipino food finance financial advisor financial planning financial wellness fine jewelry first birthday first birthday party first day first month fitness flashback fridays flu buster fo GUANG shan fontana food food tasting food trip foodie forbeswood formula 1 fortress fourth month free to grow freeze proof friends friendship fruits fuji fuji x100s fuji x20 fujifilm fully booked gatsby gatsby first birthday gatsby theme gemstone gifts girl bonding glorietta 4 God good night good reads Goya Chocnut ganache pancake grandparents day greens grilling grolier guevarra's gumbo gymboree gymboree philippines habagat Hai Shin Lou halloween Hampton Inn & Suites hanamaruken ramen handheld happy folks Happy Folks Studio haunted history tours hd videocam headpiece health healthy heart rate monitor hearts of jesus & mary heirloom hello kitty hiit hole in the wall hollyland lark m1 homecooking homeopathic homeschool homeschool life homeschooling honey glaze cakes hong kong hospital bag hospital kit hotel hotel intercon hotpot how not to die how to hurom hurricane hwayugi i will take you forever ikea induction cooker infanta instant pot instruments insurance insuravest intramuros investment ipo ipo jac jacatel Jamie Oliver japanese jesse bear Jesus Jesus blesses the children Jo-Anne Wong joe cross john legend johnny air cargo johnson chua jolly phonics jolly songs joy JSC juice diet jujube jumbo jumbo Bananagrams Junior Savers jvc jvc camcorder jvc everio kamagong Kanto freestyle KAP kaya toast kiam peng Kiddie Account Program kiddie party kids kidzoona kidztown ph killiney kindle korean kris lawrence kyowa la cocina de tita moning la mesa dam la sallian lab set labor kit lace lactation brownie lactation room laguna lamco landers otis lcm le bayou legarda house let's eat pare letter of the week library life insurance lifestyle treats lillebaby lillebaby carryon airflow lilleletsme little note lodge lolong lotw luck chinatown mall lucky chinatown mall lugaw lzm restaurant madison events madre de dios chapel magallanes church makati malacanang mall of asia Mama Mary mamaway bamboo charcoal belly band mambo no 5 mandaluyong Mandarin Chinese Mango Bravo manila manila doctors manila hotel manila international book fair manila ocean park manipulatives mardi gras Marina Bay Sands marriage mary grace cafe mass maternity bag mayon volcano medela medela freestyle medela house medela moms mega prime meghan trainor men's wear messenger bag metromix mexico ferry mibf michael greger microinsurance midnight snack milestone cards milk mama milk mama diaries carnival mirrorless camera miss universe MoA mobler moira mom and tina's mommymeowmeow cooks mommymeowmeow finds momzilla fair money kit monkey king mosso mother nurture motherhood mozzarella-stuffed meatballs mushroom music video my loves my loves babywearing My Sunday narra hill Nasal Aspirator nasugbu national museum of natural history neapolitan novels nesting new orleans New Zealand tapa nicholas sparks nikon nikon l820 ninang ninong ninth month niu noir et blanc non-traditional party nosefrida novotel nursing station Nursing Wear nutrition nuvali oakley oily mama oilymama omelette ongpin Online Shopping ootd orb diffuser outback steakhouse outing paht chee pandemic paperwhite parenting parenting emporium paris partner appreiation night party party doll manila party planning party suppliers party tray party video passion cooks personal finance philippine homeschool conference philippines phonics photography picture books Pigeon Pigeon Baby Cotton Swab pilillia pinkerton pinoy food planning a first birthday plant based playground pluviophile po gelai podcast polar polar hrm polarized polka dots pop post partum post pregnancy clothes post pregnancy exercise post-partum postpartum powerplant powerplant mall prayers pre-nup precious medina precious stone preggy diaries pregnancy pregnancy symptoms preparations prepared childbirth class preschool preschool homeschool press con pressure cooking pretend play preview prewriting Primary science kit prime pinasarap moments procrastination product review productivity professor property review proposal protection pru life uk Pru Life with Madz Lim pua tiong chiu public service advisory pulse app pumping at work pumping station quadproof quezon quezon city rack's magallanes racks magallanes racks packages rain ramen ready for the world real real star beach resort reality box recipe reflections resort restaurant retail lab review rice rice cooker ring rizal roadtrip rockwell rome kanapi rosary run sabrina carpenter sale sampaloc san juan restaurant san miguel san pablo sandbox party sandstone sandwich saturdate savings saya carrier second birthday sennheiser mke400 sentosa sentosa resort & spa serendra serge igonia sewing machine shabby chic shabu shabu shangrila hotel share the adventure shimano shock proof shoe cabinet shopper's mart shopping shutter count works shuttercount shutterfly sick sick baby signity stone silla sincerity singapore singapore grand prix singer site visit sixth month sleep through the night slow cooker meals sm aura small party smeg smoothie smoothie lover snacks snow globe snowflakes obsidian snug a hug pillow soakswimwear soft structured carrier softshells Solenad solenn sonlight sophia the first sophie's mom spicy spiralizer ssc st. alphonsus st. alphonsus mary de liguori sta. rosa Stacy's stand out stc steam mop sterilize stick stickers storm strawberry shortcake street photography stroganoff stroller struggles sugar and sunbeams sugarplum suite blanco summer lookbook sunday reflections super mama surco surgical benefit swagger sweet home bakeshop sweet services swimming taal vista tabora taft tagaytay tagaytay children's choir tagaytay highlands talking english tamang kain tapsilog tbt teaching teething teething baby tenth month thankless the boutique bed and breakfast the creamery the happyness project the longest ride the north face the phonics handbook themed party thirty throwback Timberdoodle Timbuk2 time tips on choosing wedding photos tips on making wedding album toddler toddler life tokidoki tomas morato tornado tour toys tracing traditional weaning trails trajecito de bebe transportation travel treveia trones trumpette tula tula baby carrier tula manila tula philippines tula toddler carrier tuna melt tuttle tutu toddler twelfth month twin hearts twisty dropper ulam unboxing universal studios university life uno restaurant Usborne V10 vacation vacuum Valentine's valentines vans vatel manila VBAC vegetables verleo catering video video coverage videocam vikings vintage restoration vitamix vivo city vizco's vlog vlog kit vlogging wahm wai ying wakepark wallpaper wangfu watami waterproof wayback wednesday weaning weather wedding wedding anniversary wedding photo wedding photography wedding supplier wedgits wei wei Weleda wellness wfpb whole food plant based wii wilbros will you be windmills wipe erase wooden toys work work at home mom workout world breastfeeding week world teacher's day wrong ramen wyb x20 yaya seminar manila yaya training yellow cab yeng constantino yleo ymca binondo young living youtube zojirushi zucchini zumba