Two weeks ago I returned home from my honeymoon in New Orleans. It’s the first time my husband and I have been on a vacation in over three years … at least a vacation that didn’t include family, a major holiday, or getting married. It’s been so long since we’ve carved out time just for us that I forgot how important a vacation can be.
You see, my husband and I are both entrepreneurs with small creative businesses. This means we spend hours in front of our computers, we work late, we work weekends. We forget there needs to be boundaries between work life and home life. We don’t get out much. And then we’re surprised when the creative well starts to run dry.
The truth is, I needed this honeymoon to remind me you need creative input to create creative output!
New Orleans is a city unlike any I other in America. It breathes creativity. There are candy-colored houses, lush moss-covered trees, musicians playing on every corner (yes, this really happens), rich food that makes you close your eyes to savor it, parades in the street, and heartbreaking history. There are even oral storytellers (aka: tour guides) telling tales in the streets of ghosts and vampires.
I’ve been searching for my next writing project for months … and I came up with three entirely new novel ideas from one week in this city! I’ve clearly been starved for creative input.
So what’s my point? Interrupt the normal pattern of your life. Get out. Do something new. Go somewhere new. Turn off the TV, get out of your head, and experience what’s out there.
Please enjoy this small sampling of images my husband and I captured our trip!
We arrived on the first day of Mardi Gras Season and caught the Joan of Arc Parade!
Of course, we had to have beignets at Cafe Du Monde! Though the real treat was watching the man in the image below make the beignets through an open window at the back of the restaurant.
Oh the food! *Droooooools*
New Orleans is a culinary fiesta! Some of my favorite foods were charbroiled oysters, turtle soup, and sweet potato beignets with foie gras. Below the server is adding a whiskey glaze to my rice pudding souffle. I even got a special chef hat to celebrate my birthday.
Music is always drifting through the streets of the French Quarter. There really are musician on every street.
My husband and I tracked down the Lady Jettsetters second line parade. Police cars led the way as the jazz band and its entourage of second line followers could fill the road with music and dancing.
Dancers got up on porches, tombs, and storage containers to dance with the second line parade.
Every building in the French quarter has a gas lantern flickering on its doorstep. These are the specialty of Bevolo Gas and Electric lantern makers.
My husband I were entranced by the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. We learned all sorts of crazy things about medicine’s seedy past. For example early pharmacists developed a great new pain reliever called heroin to help ween patients off their addictions to morphine. Or that women wore eye shadow made from crushed butterfly wings. It was also in fashion at one time to cover your pills with silver or gold to show your social status. Of course, the metal caused the pill to go straight through your system and you never give you the drugs you needed.
I’m obsessed with the architecture of New Orleans. I adore the bright colors of the houses: lime, peach, canary, rose!
The cemeteries … called cities of the dead … were fascinating. You’ve got to bury your dead above ground when you live below sea level.
New Orleans is a city rich with stories. The tradition of oral storytelling is alive and thriving. It was so neat to see storytellers on every corner leading groups through the narrow streets as they told the tales of heartbreak, and torture, or ghosts and voodoo. We took several tours from Free Tours By Foot, which we highly suggest.
There’s a totally rad free sculpture garden next tot he New Orleans Museum of Art.
Of course, I had to walk around with a purple balloon on my birthday. Yes, I’m a ten-year-old at heart!
We ventured out of town to see the swamps and plantations of the nearby towns.
This grand promenade at Oak Alley Plantation was spectacular. I may be sliiiightly obsessed with trees covered in moss now. It’s not too much to ask for a front lawn/promenade like this one, is it?
I also met up with one of my VCFA Dystropians while I was in her neck of the woods. Here I am with my husband and good friend Meghan Matherene … who’s books (when they come out) are going to knock your socks off. I hope I’m as talented as her one day!
Thanks for enjoying this photo essay of my awesome trip to Louisiana! May you all find what inspires and excites you, be it across the country or in your backyard.
Tags: New Orleans