Vacation Getaway to the French Quarter in New Orleans

Todd and Renee Keith at Cafe Du MondeThere is something wonderful about stepping off of a plane into a different feeling climate. New Orleans felt humid and warm… the weather forecast was showing scattered storms while we were in town, which turned out to be perfect. This was our first trip taking advantage of the free flight we now have from Todd working at Delta… unfortunately there was only one seat left on the direct flight, so he let me take it and then he waited for a later flight going through Atlanta, then to New Orleans.  So I took the flight alone, and the airport shuttle to my hotel, and met up with him in the morning. The first thing I noticed from the shuttle bus window (it was late at night, and dark) was that most of the houses and buildings had windows the size and shape of doors! COOL! My heart started racing with excitement when we started driving through the French Quarter. My hotel was the last drop off, so I kind of got a tour around the city. I totally expected that I would be hearing jazz everywhere in New Orleans, but I think I heard more 80s  music than anything, LOL.

Cafe Du Monde

The next day, I woke up dreaming about photography, imagining how the light would romantically bounce off of the buildings. It was early 6am (5am MST), but I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went for a walk, taking iPhone pictures (gallery above) with every intention of posting them to Facebook, trying to bring all those at home along with me. Todd ended up meeting me at the Lafayette hotel in the Art District a few hours later. We checked out and walked several blocks to our next hotel, located in the heart of the French Quarter, Place De Armes. After dropping off our bags, we headed out for Royal and Bourbon street. Royal street is filled with art galleries and antique shops, while Bourbon Street is bar after bar, after bar. I get super confused with my sense of direction… but I felt like I knew where I was going the minute I got there. After walking around, we stopped at a famous little coffee shop called Cafe Du Monde. I had their Cafe Au Lait, which was fantastic, and some beignets.

New Orleans

Since the weather is so humid and warm, there are ferns and beautiful plants all around the city… I LOVE plants 🙂

Royal Street in New Orleans
Royal Street in New Orleans
sculpture pieces by Jason Robert Griego
sculpture pieces by Jason Robert Griego

The second day we focused mostly on Royal street, making sure to see all of the amazing art and listen to the street musicians. One gallery had sculpture pieces by Jason Robert Griego, and they were A M A Z I N G. He does several different mediums, but there were these full size female sculptures there made out of 60% bone. And wow, did they have an amazing energy – I would buy one in a heartbeat if I had the money!

The street performers were soo much fun to watch, one of my favorite pictures is of a kid who sat in the middle of the street, singing and playing his guitar, tapping a bell with one foot and his suitcase drum with the other… so cool. I loved it so much, I decided to paint it! Here is a pic of the painting in the process. I plan to silver leaf the guitar and paint oils over this acrylic underpainting:

Artwork by Renee Keith

Update of painting:

NOLA Painting by Renee Keith

St Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans
St Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans

Mary Laveau's Grave in New Orleans

It started pouring rain about midday, which was fine with me… we bought some ponchos and walked over to a little restaurant near our hotel, which was soooo gooood. This was our last day there, and we wanted to go to a graveyard, but kept getting messages over and over that it is too dangerous and easy to get mugged. We figured we might have better luck wearing ponchos and sticking around tour groups. Fortunately, there were just enough tour groups there to not worry about getting mugged, YAY! So we had a blast taking pictures of graves and textures. The Graveyard we went to is named St Louis Cemetery #1 which contains the grave of the famous voodoo queen Mary Laveau. People leave strange offerings around her grave.

Later we were able to catch some photos of this boat, which is a dinner cruise on the Mississippi.. something we might try to book for next time!


Amzie Adams in New Orleans

One of the most interesting locals we met was a man named Amzie Adams… we saw him and both started taking his picture (lol)  he yelled, “Hey, what are you doing?!?” But then he said it was okay, and let us keep taking his picture. He told us some stories, which made me think… it would be cool if the people of New Orleans made a movie with their crazy stories, lol… they will tell you things you just can’t make up! It seems that the city collects wicked talented musicians and artists – there is so much talent!!

Here are some more iPhone pics from our trip:

Overall, it was a blast, and we LOVED it. Would love to visit at least once a year!

One comment

  1. When you both were asking earlier this year where you should go, NOLA was one of the first on my mind for you both. I have been there many times over the years and have enjoyed it differently every time. I knew – and hoped – it would be a favorite of you both because I had in mind you would be able to capture everything it has to offer. You both are so talented in bringing out what most can’t see. I am always watching for what you might bring out next. Don’t ever stop.

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