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Visiting New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans

The saying goes “There are only three cities in USA, New York, SanFransisco and New Orleans rest are Cleveland”. This prompted us to make a visit to New Orleans having seen the rest earlier.

We were on a visit to Houston in September 2019 and my brother Ratan Bhagat obliged by taking us on a road trip to this lovely town.

New Orleans has a multi cultural history which combines the shades of French, Spanish, Italians, Germans and more…

The heart and soul of this unique city are the French Quarters. This place has some unique old age architecture well preserved to date. Most of the buildings here are decorated with Wrought Iron Filigree work which gives the place its unique charm.

While here do walk the streets of French Quarters to enjoy its unique ambience.

There is more here then just French Quarters. This place is famous for its night life. As the sun sets get on to the Bourban Street to enjoy it’s night life, every night is party time here. Sharing few photos of my experience.

…the place has 1400 restaurants to choose from
This place is all about eat, drink and be merry

The streets remain agog with curio and gift shops selling some funky stuff celebrating Voodoo and the dead.

This place is musically inclined, Jazz being predominant.You can hear many bands performing on the streets.

If you are into street photography then this place has a lot to offer.

To get around use the street cars, hire a bike, ride a rickshaw or horse carriage or even get onto a skate board.

Do not forget to take a walk along the river front in the evening. If you have time do go for the sunset river cruise.

Do make a visit to the Jackson Square to view the magnificent St. Louis Church.

Another place you may consider visiting while here is the Garden District. You can view some historic cottages here. While here you may also consider making a visit to the historic Lafayette Cemetery. The dead here are buried overground due to the water table being very high.

While in New Orleans you may also consider visiting one of the plantations here which tell tales of the cotton kings of yester years and their slaves.

Self, Jo, Ratan and Nimmo at Destrehan Manor House.

Your trip here cannot be considered complete till you visit the famous Café Du Monde and indulge in the delicious Benigits  and coffee served here. A visit here also provides opportunity for some candid people photography.

May be someday we will visit again for few more street shots.

Trip to Helen, Georgia

Trip to Helen, Georgia

Helen a small mountain town is about one and half hours drive from Atlanta. Once a town of lumber jacks, it is now a tourist destination. Its quaint bavarian architecture, curio and wine shops are great attractions for tourists.

Being just an hours drive from my daughters home we made few trips to this amazing place. Sharing few photos taken during our visit.

Bars and restaurants overlooking the Chathoochee River are major attractions.

Once here, do visit the winery outlets to have a taste of some local fine. Feel free to carry some home.

Once here you can also enjoy tubing in the Chatahoochee River or take a roller coaster ride.

For those less adventorous there are buggies to ride. A nice place to spend a week end.

A nice place for people watching.

There are many waterfalls and forest parks just few minutes drive from this place.

……and this is part of my family on a visit to this place.

Road Trip Florida : Key West

Road Trip Florida : Key West

Our last leg of the road trip was Key West, the last town at the tip of Florida Keys. A quaint little town were people come to celebrate the sunset. You can literally walk the length and breadth of this town. This is the southern tip of Continental USA.

We reached late in the evening so we headed straight for the Malory Square were all the visitors congregate to celebrate the sunset.

 You can watch street performers keeping the visitors engaged prior to the sunset. This is also a nice place to watch people and engage in street photography.

As the sunset approached, the entire mood around here got vibrant. People were out in the sea positioning themselves for the sunset.

Those at shore also maneuvered themselves into advantageous position to witness the sunset. There was anticipation and excitement in the air awaiting the sunset.

During your visit, do make it a point to walk the Duval Street. This is the most happening place here,  strewn with bars, restaurants and curio & gift shops. You can also see many old time architecture around here.

If you have time to spare, do make a visit to Hemingway House and the butterfly garden. Both are unique and worth a visit.

Hemingway House, this is were the noble laureate wrote books such as “ Fare well to Arms” and “The old man and the sea”. You can also spot many decedents of famous Hemingway Cats who are well cared for.

I found this butterfly garden very exciting.

The visit here was the grand finale of our road trip across Florida. The most exciting and enduring part of our trip was driving back to Atlanta, a distance of 786 miles in one go made possible by grit, determination and stamina of my lovely daughter Shruti who drove for 18 hours to accomplish this feat.

Road Trip Florida : Islamorada, Florida Keys

Road Trip Florida : Islamorada, Florida Keys

During our road trip through Florida we visited Islamorada. People come here for fishing, deep sea diving and snorkelling. Islamorada is part of Florida Keys.

The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico (refer map above). They’re known as a destination for fishing, boating, snorkelling and scuba diving. The southernmost city of Key West is famous for Duval Street’s many bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.

A Fishing Boat
Shruti & Kids returning after snorkeling session

When you are driving through Florida Keys, it’s like driving on a strip of land bisecting the sea.

The Seven Mile Bridge

At Islamorada while Shruti my daughter and her children engaged in adventure sports, I got busy with my camera. Sharing few snaps of the place.

Before checking in to the resort where we were to stay, we visited the ‘Theater of the Seas’ to watch a dolphin show. The Dolphins put up an amazing show.

Mojo, my grandson

This is the cottage we rented and stayed in. This was a nice resort with beautiful seascapes.

Islamorada lends itself to some pretty seascapes.

The sunrise and sunset here are amazing too.

While walking along the seaside I came across these Iguanas and birds.

While at Islamorada, do make it a point to visit the ‘Robbie’s’. This is a nice place to enjoy some hearty breakfast, engage in Tarpon feeding and enjoy watching the pelicans waiting for their share of fishes.

Next we moved on to Key West, the southern most town in the Florida Keys. More about it in my next blog.

Beaches and Streets of Miami

Beaches and Streets of Miami

When you think of exotic holiday destinations, Miami is sure to cross your mind. Miami is one of the most sought after destinations in USA and the world over. It is famous for its white sand beaches, glamourous life style and colourful neighborhoods such as Little Havana and Wynwood Walls and offcourse the Bayside Market. Miami is also gateway to the Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys about which I will be discussing in seperate blog posts. We were in Miami in June 2019 and explored its famous landmarks. Sharing few of my snaps taken during the trip.

The first thing you would like to make a beeline for is the Miami Beaches. We visited the North Beach. This beach has good eating places and vast expanse of white snad beaches.

South Pointe is another place from where you get a good view of the skyline.

To appreciate the beauty of Miami’s skyline, you need to drive through its streets, pause for a moment and take a look. Here’s what I got through my lens.

Another unique outdoor destination featuring huge, colorful street murals by artists from around the globe worth visiting is the Wynwood Walls. I enjoyed the freaky art around here.

My Grand Children in the Fore Ground

At the end of the day you must head for the Bayside Market to enjoy its exotic ambience, view the skyline by night, enjoy the free music and binge at one of its many restaurants.

Little Havana is another quaint neighborhood of Miami which is worth a visit. Check out my blog post Click Here .