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I'll Never Do It Again: Bayou Tour In Louisiana

I'll Never Do It Again: Bayou Tour In Louisiana

Compromising my ethical values is something I do not do very often. And it never feels good doing it. But my bestie was coming with me to NOLA for the weekend. So I said yes to a swamp tour I had warned would likely be unethical to the animals. I've never been so upset about being right.

The last time I was in NOLA, I "broke into" the local zoo. Although I didn't pay to get in, walking around there reinforced my ethical standards around animal tourism. I've written about this before, such as with the Monkey Forest in Ubud. Basically, my standards are don't support it unless it's highly regulated and the interaction is as natural as possible.

The Bayou Tours in Louisiana broke these rules. And I say the plural word "tours" because it's more than just the one we went on. While I learned a lot about the wildlife and swamp ecosystem on the tour, I cringed as the tour guide fed marshmallows to the animals. That only scratches the surface. Read on to learn more about why I'll never support tours like this again!

Willie Mae vs Dooky Chase: The Fried Chicken Verdict! (NOLA)

Willie Mae vs Dooky Chase: The Fried Chicken Verdict! (NOLA)

The verdict is in! I finally tried the two most famous fried chicken dishes in NOLA to determine which is better: Willie Mae or Dooky Chase. Which will it be?!

The last time I was in NOLA was summer 2016. I went to Dooky Chase's with my then-boyfriend from New Zealand. We gobbled down a buffet of Dooky's best, including her famous fried chicken. We loved it. But then we went to the airport later on and a fellow traveler told us Willie Mae's was better. Talk about #regrets!

So, upon arriving in New Orleans for a second time, Willie Mae's had to be on my agenda. I checked into my accommodation and I hopped in an Uber and sped over to the neighborhood of Treme. Now I can tell you which I think is the better dining experience.

17 Things To Do in New Orleans

17 Things To Do in New Orleans

I love doing these lists. They are a good way to sum up some of the extra stuff I did in a location that is good enough to share but does not warrant a full blown post.

So here's a bunch of photos with descriptions about stuff I did that's totally worth doing in New Orleans. This includes going to the French Market which was full of all kinds of excellent treasures (and giant watermelons) as well as taking my Atheist self to church on Sunday morning. Say what?!

You'll also recognize some emblematic experiences I've talked at length about elsewhere. Enjoy!

Ghost Tour in New Orleans: Murders, Hauntings, and Swamp Monsters

Ghost Tour in New Orleans: Murders, Hauntings, and Swamp Monsters

Last week, I shared stories from a cemetery tour of New Orleans about its burial processes, dead bodies, tombs, and vandalism. In this post, I share more unsettling stories from a ghost tour I took through the French Quarter.

When I was little, I loved to read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark illustrated with those horrific drawings by Stephen Gammell. Today, I love to watch thriller movies, dress up for Halloween, and learn every story I can about the supernatural, even though I don't actually believe a word of it.

If you enjoy this stuff, too, then you'll love this post even more than the last! I include lots of in-depth stories and lore about murders, hauntings, suicides, and monsters, so you'll get your fill of everything from real-life horrors to silly (but eerie) myths.

Cemetery Tour in New Orleans: The City of the Dead

Cemetery Tour in New Orleans: The City of the Dead

The summer is officially over, the leaves are starting to fall, and all my favorite kitschy Halloween stuff is showing up in stores. This is, hands down, my favorite time of year to be in the United States.

In New Orleans this past summer, I went on a free cemetery tour and a free ghost tour where I learned historical and present day tales of the dead and other spooky happenings. What I learned easily qualifies New Orleans as one of the creepiest cities in the country!

With October only a few days away, I am excited to finally share the chilling history of New Orleans in two installments. In this post, I share what I learned from my tour of the city's oldest cemetery.

7 Symbols of New Orleans

7 Symbols of New Orleans

It's been almost 2 months since I visited New Orleans and I can still feel it. That city had such a lasting impression on me, it's as if the symbolic elements of the city left a permanent imprint on my mind.

When I think of New Orleans, there are several iconic features that stand out to me.

If I had to paint a picture representing the Big Easy for you, it would not be complete without the following.

Why July is the Worst Time to Visit New Orleans

Why July is the Worst Time to Visit New Orleans

I think I picked the worst month to visit New Orleans: The month of July.

When I booked my trip there, I did not realize that July is when many iconic experiences of the Crescent City completely stop for the month. Crawfish season is over, second line parades do not pick up again until August, and many more activities cannot be fully enjoyed as a result of the heat and excessive rain.

Despite these downfalls, I still had an awesome time in NOLA.

Send Your Support to Louisiana After Tragic Flooding

Send Your Support to Louisiana After Tragic Flooding

In the midst of posting about my visit to New Orleans last week, I neglected to acknowledge the tragic flooding happening in Louisiana.

The effects from the flooding continue to devastate.

So I'm going to take this post to express something I communicated on social media in the last few days. I will go back to my regularly scheduled posting next week!

12 Foods You Must Try in New Orleans

12 Foods You Must Try in New Orleans

At the end of 5 days in New Orleans, I felt like I had gained 100 lbs because of all of the eating we did. I regret nothing!

New Orleans is considered Americas "food city." There is literally something for everyone including some serious cultural eating you cannot get anywhere else. Yes, I'm talking about the Crescent City's famous Cajun and Creole influences.

In this post, I give a short review of all the traditional foods you cannot miss and the best places to order them. You'll also learn about the current BBQ craze and up-and-coming Vietnamese trend. Catch them both before they go out of style!

The Brassy Jazz Sounds of New Orleans

The Brassy Jazz Sounds of New Orleans

The music culture is one of the main reasons I decided to take Jono to New Orleans this summer.

Trumpets, tubas, and trombones lead the culture of this Louisiana town. It's where parades of brass instruments blare down the streets at the start of a new day and jazz processions commonly mark the end of a life.

From a famous, 20-year old brass band recognized by the Grammy's to simple street performing artists, I saw the Crescent City bring strutting jazz, indie funk, hip-hop attitude and old school swing together under one melodic genre that is uniquely New Orleans.