Since Spirit Airline flies cheaply from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans, Johanne and I decided to jump on the chance to visit a friend of ours that lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana! Baton Rouge is about 2 hours away from New Orleans (which is probably the most famous city in Louisiana)
Although I didn't spend that much time in New Orleans, I had a feeling that it's definitely one of those cities I can imagine returning too in the near future! It definitely had a French-ish, hippie, retro vibe to it.
Before actually coming to New Orleans, I didn't expect it to be so historical! The only thing I knew about New Orleans before coming here was that they host the ever famous/infamous Mardi Gras! So in some way I expect the city to be a bit more wild? But it was certainly not! It had so much charm, and character! Completely unexpected!
I think I paid a little under 200 USD from Fort Lauderdale - New Orleans! It was absolutely worth it.
The one thing about Louisiana I would never forget is how amazing Cajun cooking is! If you had never tried it, you seriously should! Cajun cooking is a little bit spicy - but not "hot", tons of flavours, but not "herby". Ok I don't make sense already, but Cajun cooking is definitely special! SO good.
The other fun fact about Louisiana is that like many cities/states in the US, they are big on their sports. Everywhere I went I saw either people wearing the colours/teeshirts/hats/sweaters/shoes the Louisiana State University or/and the Fleur de Lis of the New Orleans Saints. So if you're in for an American sport experience, the Southern States is it!
The one thing many locals/tourist alike still talk about is the effects of Hurricane Katrina, and prior to coming to New Orleans, I didn't know how largely affected Louisiana was! But as we were driving pass Downtown, reality struck - and it was not a pretty sight.
Some beautiful houses sat in the ruins because its occupants lost everything and could not rebuild it. And most/some houses are made of beautiful wood sculptures and because they were so badly damaged, they were also left to rot. What a shame for they were beautiful.
I remember driving down looking at the "X" marks on doors, marking whether or not there is a body to be found. Can you imagine how tragic it must feel for both the family, and the people coming to collect the bodies of the deceased. :(
What's even more horrid is the stories of victims I spoke to that tell of abuse and rape, theft and robbery at the safe camps. Unfathomable. But that just shows, humans are just as evil as evil can be.
In any case, I do hope the community stands together and rebuild this wonderful city. It's such a sad thing, but now the city has more history now than ever.
I give it my approval and say its definitely one of those must visit places!