I'm back from New Orleans. What a crazy, great city that place is. Seriously. Although I was only there for 2 full days, I managed to see some pretty cool things. There are definitely a few places I'll have to hit up the next time around.

Since Mardi Gras is next week (Tuesday), I was in town at just the right time to see some super sweet parades. Let me preface this experience by saying that I've been to a few parades before and let me tell you, they don't compare to the ones you'll see down there in NOLA. Oh my gosh - pure craziness! Tons of people crowd around the streets, screaming for beads and other trinkets that people on the floats are throwing into the crowds. I didn't know what was going on at first but after all of the hype, I started screaming too! In fact, I did enough screaming and waving to land myself at least 20 strands of beads, some tokens, a stuffed animal and a little bouncy ball. It was awesome. I will never, however, wear flip flops to another parade like that again. That was super stupid. 

New Orleans Museum of Art

While there, I also went to NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art). There was an exhibit on display with works from Joseph Cornell. I learned about him years ago but had never seen his art in person, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Park City

Before hitting up NOMA, I stopped off at Park City and ate my grocery store lunch. It was gorgeous and the weather was absolutely perfect that day. Not a cloud in the sky and it felt like it was about 80 degrees in the sun. I sat there in the grass for nearly 2 hours...eating, drawing, and soaking up the sun. It was amazing. We are in the dead of winter right now in Cincinnati and so the experience, I think, was that much sweeter. Here is a sketch of a Dueling Oak tree; they're everywhere in Park City. I think they're also called Live Oaks, too. 

Dueling Oak tree / Live Oak tree watercolor sketch

And of course, the French Quarter. You can't go to New Orleans without spending at least 1 day there, right?! It was there that I saw the original Cafe Du Monde! This place is famously known for it's beignets and chicory infused coffee. Yum! I didn't get a photo of the original one but here is a picture I took of another location in Metairie, a town just outside of New Orleans. 

While in the French Quarter, I also went to the Audubon museum. Saw lots of bugs and weird insects. The different types of beatles on display were especially pretty. 

Here are some photos I took of some buildings and other sites in the French Quarter on my last day there!  

Street performer (in the green hat).

The St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square

I actually forgot to go check out the inside of the St. Louis Cathedral...so I only got a few captures of the outside! Woops! It sure was pretty from the outside, though. There were lots of people there at Jackson Square, just lounging around and hanging out. Street performers, musicians, other tourists and pick pocketers too, I'm sure! I made sure to use my favorite Victorinox Swiss Army day pack. It has a special pocket on the strap that lays across the front of my body and that's where I store my moneys. I never go on a trip without it!

After doing some site seeing in New Orleans, I flew over to Dallas for an extra long layover that was spent visiting with my in-laws and nieces and nephews. I was only there for a day but was happy to see everyone. I got to go to some estate sales with my Mother-in-law and afterwards, we ate some delicious Lebanese food (first time ever)! After that, I watched my first sports game in over 10 years. It was a full day!

Today, I'm happy to be back in Cincinnati despite the freezing weather! It was a fun but exhausting trip...they always are. Ha!

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone. 

Dallas, aerial view.