Tuesday, February 10, 2015


so this is kind of late but ehh. so my last day was pretty short, rushed, and did not really go as planned. i knew i wanted to see at least one cemetery. nola is known for its intricate above ground graves. originally, i wanted to go to st. louis cemetery no.1 (the most popular and famous cemetery in new orleans). i read online that you should only go with a tour, but i really did not take it very seriously. i have been to many places that are not "advised" to visit and have never had a problem. when i asked the young lady at the front desk, she said that i really should not go. for some reason locals really do not like tourists visiting. this kind of ruined my plans. it was somewhat close to the french quarter and i wanted to spend the rest of my day there.

instead, i decided to just get off at the end of canal street and see what cemeteries were open...

the first stop was cypress grove cemetery (it was right across the street from the streetcar stop). it was quite small and in disrepair, but it was nice to see all the old graves. i am also very happy to see it, because in the end it was the only cemetery we visited due to lack of time.

"family tomb of _______"

i noticed right across the street was the cemetery where the hurricane katrina memorial is. i first thought it was locked, but my father noticed only the latch was down.

the memorial was extremely touching. it was quite simple, but i think better served its purpose. after katrina, many bodies were found and were either unclaimed or unidentified. here is where those souls rest. the bodies are in these mausoleum like walls with no design or anything, just blank slates. i think the purpose is to remind visitors there is no known name to those bodies. very impactful. this area is also where those who lost loved ones can pay their respects.

the neighborhood we stayed in and where city park is located.

i knew i wanted to visit city park one more time. i got to see it once (the first day, which was overcast), but i wanted to see it when the sun is shining. the trees are just so beautiful, and of course more so in person. 

my beautiful forehead wrinkles

of course we had to go to morning call one last time! they have such delicious beignets. we also ordered a cafe au lait, irish coffee, and crawfish etouffee.

i also though it would be a good idea to walk through the park and visit another cemetery across the bayou, but that did not work out. city park was larger than i thought as well was the bridge. i knew i would have not been able to enjoy the cemetery and make my flight in time. we decided to ditch that idea and just go to the airport early.

we took a taxi to the airport and met a very nice driver gentleman. i was really interested with what he said about hurricane katrina. he left before the hurricane hit, but his house was severely damaged. he had to stay in the trailers provided by fima and said it was absolutely horrible. for many days he did not have electricity and knew of many kids and dogs that were getting sick from the high formaldehyde levels. throughout the conversation he kept repeating, "katrina kicked our ass."

overall, i really enjoyed my time. nola is such a unique city in the united states. there is such a deep, rich history. it feels very southern, but is really its own city. hurricane katrina has made such an impact to the city and you can see that everywhere, whether it be the infrastructure or the locals. i would recommend anyone to go.

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so, now to reflect: my travel bug has not been cured. in DC, I was really spoiled. everyday was an adventure. as I have said before, everyday i had off i would go out and do or see something. definitely out of my whole house (and everyone from my school) i was definitely the most active and adventurous in discovering the city. i still want to travel so bad! hopefully, maybe, i will be able to save enough money to go to boston in either september or october. i really hope so, but i have time.

i also hope to in the next three years (aiming for summer 2016) to go on my first solo/backpacking international trip. at the moment, I am thinking of eastern europe: germany, poland, czech republic, and hungary. hopefully…

i cannot see myself outgrowing solo trips in the foreseeable future. i would like to think as i get older, and maybe have a family of my own, i would still take the time to travel solo. instead of having “me time” at the spa, i would rather travel somewhere alone and on a budget.

now for a song! this may be a tad corny, but i am going to allow the high schooler in me pick this ong of the post, green day and u2's "the saints are coming."