I was finally able to check a major goal off of my bucket list! I have been wanting to visit New Orleans since I was a little girl, so when I finally had the opportunity to not only go but celebrate Mardi Gras, I was delighted!
What began as a fun dream trip was interrupted by my companion's personal emergency. I found myself on day 2 of a 5 day trip by myself. It was disappointing, but I stayed and enjoyed every moment of it.
Knowing what I do now, had I been aware that I would end up unescorted, I would have chosen another time then Mardi Gras to enjoy New Orleans.
The city is incredible and ripe with history. It is impossible to not be drawn in by the sights, the richness of the culture, and the decadence surrounding you.
Unfortunately, Mardi Gras means that all of the roads are blocked off due to traffic and daily parades. Through I had access to a vehicle, I left it parked because it was too much trouble to go anywhere.
Instead, I took a couple of bus tours to get a wider view of the city. Since I was traveling alone, I made sure that my exploration was complete before dark. That actually worked out well for me, since the hotel bar was nice, and the bartenders were friendly.
If I return to New Orleans (post-Peace Corps) I will definitely make sure to go when it is not carnival time. It just makes movement too challenging. For example, on my last day, I was stuck for hours by the parades. I could not get past the barricades. I finally gave up and enjoyed the show.