Street Cars in mid town New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

An amazing cultural experience full of food, music, interesting houses and trams

There are so many things New Orleans is famous for and the Disney Princess and the Frog highlights many of them. If you’re looking to experience New Orleans cultural food, music, wildlife, religion, architecture, art or history it’s all easy to find. And if you get stuck, the locals are so friendly you can ask anyone for help in finding it.

Our Glimpse of New Orleans

New Orleans

An amazing cultural experience full of food, music, interesting houses and trams There are so many things New Orleans is famous for and the Disney

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Homes of the Garden District

Houses of New Orleans

Houses of New Orleans


The French Quarter

This area was the original town of New Orleans. It was settled by the French and named in honour of the Duke of Orleans. The street names are also named after their family including Bourbon St named after the House of Bourbon. This area predominantly had French speaking immigrants including French refugees from what is now known as Canada, Haitia and Sainte Domingue. Many of the French colony refugees included free people of colour who also lived in this area. Usually when immigrants came to New Orleans they settled in the French Quarter. This made for a very diverse racial population. 

There were French-African-Whites or Spanish-African-Whites called Creoles who considered themselves urbane. They were sophisticated and some of the wealthier sons were sent to France to finish their education while daughters were sent to local convents. Creoles are not to be confused with Cajuns. Cajuns were considered white French country bumpkin type people who were refugees from the Canada region. Creoles also should not be confused with the American slaves or descendants of slaves who were poor and generally uneducated, they lived in a different part of town. 

New Orleans allowed far more freedom for Creoles and people of colour, although they were still classed lower than lower class whites. Creoles had access to good education and were allowed to accumulate wealth. Along with the wealthy whites they loved cafes, masked balls and orchestral music. There were doctors, lawyers, teachers and business owners. Apparently in the 1850’s 85% were educated. 

This influenced the architecture in this area and many of the buildings are known as Creole townhouses. Many of the homes have a Spanish or French influence with cast-iron balconies and the top level is often half a level for children’s bedrooms while the bottom floor was a shop.



It was in the 1800’s when the white American immigrants settled in the French Quarter that the racial mix began to change. The whites did not like the freedom given to the Creoles and other people of colour. They began putting laws in place that divided the city and isolated whites from anyone else. It severely impacted the education and living standards of all people of colour who were sent to live amongst the American blacks. However, the blend also created Jazz and Blues music.

The Mid-City area where we stayed had a blend of Creole cottages and American style cottages. Although many of them were two-storey homes, usually they were duplexes or the upstairs was a separate home to the downstairs.

The Garden District

The Garden District was originally a separate city called Lafayette. It was English speaking and home to wealthy Americans. It had a variety of different styles based on the tastes of the owner.

Our Glimpse of New Orleans

Delicious Beignets

Food & Music in New Orleans

Food & Music in New Orleans


Food & Music in New Orleans are often intertwined. Being the birth place of jazz music it’s not hard to understand why. Many restaurants and bars have live music. And although some great jazz bands start after 8pm there are many family friendly restaurants where you can feed the fanau day or night while enjoying soothing blues tones or jumping jazz vibes.

Our first day there, we started our expedition on the famous Bourbon St, (named after the French Royal family at the time, not the drink as I had assumed) looking for food. We came across an impressive jazz band playing in the street as well as young tap dancers. Now, although these busking artists perform for free we made sure to leave a tip for those we enjoyed because this was their livelihood.

We found ourselves in Oceana Grill that served alligator chips, crab cakes and etoufee  and this intense cocktail that didn’t taste good. Looked impressive though. I tried a creole vegetarian rice and beans dish which was flavoursome with a bite. The Cajun fries were really good. Being on a budget we could only sample a few New Orleans restaurants but we did learn what a lot of the local dishes are. As a vegetarian I didn’t have an appetite for crawfish, gumbo or poboys. But I did indulge in many Beignets!! (Pronounced ben-yay). 


The place to grab this delicious dessert is apparently Cafe Du Monde but I find Cafe Beignet’s beignets equally delicious. They had the same freshness, lightness, texture and taste. I did have a local tell me Cafe Du Monde was the only place worth trying these but if you don’t think the queues in the midday heat is your gig then Cafe Beignet on Bourbon St is definitely a great alternative. It’s a family friendly restaurant that plays live jazz music which is the reason we had stopped here one night. 


On hubby’s birthday we ventured to where the families went in the evenings to listen to New Orleans music: Frenchman St. We were directed to B.B. King’s Blues Club  a family friendly restaurant that plays live jazz, blues, soul and R&B.


 On our last night in New Orleans we ate at the Creole House on Canal St. Hubby had the Crawfish Etoufee and loved it. After a satisfying meal we strolled along Canal St and stopped at some tables outside a restaurant where we were able to enjoy an americano while listening to a live saxophonist busking on the footpath. He played a mix of jazz, blues and R&B tunes that seeped into our weary bodies from the long day of sightseeing and invigorated our soul. Our 4yo’s unbridled spirit acted out what most of us wanted to do but didn’t. He moved every part of his body to the rhythm of the music. We could see it as he shook his hands or waved his arms, tapped his feet, swung himself around or shook his body.

There’s debate over where and how Jazz originated. My overly simplified understanding is that it is a mix of Creole and Black American music. Creoles were free highly educated blacks that spoke Spanish or French. They had precision in their use of European instruments particularly their Spanish or French rhythms. The American blacks were poor and ex-slaves. They had rhythm and soul from their blues, gospel or labouring music. During a period of segregation in New Orleans, Creoles were forced out of the French Quarter into the Black American part of town on the west side of Canal St. It was traumatic for everyone involved but it also birthed the mixture of two different music types into Jazz.

Prior to visiting New Orleans I had no knowledge of why this music came into existence but I’d had the pleasure of enjoying a jazz tune when lounging about. Now when I here jazz I associate it with a diverse cultural mix of people that blended to create a whole new type of music.


Our Glimpse of New Orleans


Vehicles in New Orleans

Vehicles in New Orleans



New Orleans city has “street cars” or trams for easy public transport. We took this one back to our Airbnb from down town. 

Rescue Vehicles

We saw many Police cars like the white one here and we stopped outside a fire station where they were selling t-shirts to raise money for breast cancer charities.


New Orleans is on the Mississippi River, the biggest river in America. There lots of boats to see including the famous water wheel boat.

When we went for a swamp tour we saw more boats. The big one is the boat we rode to look for alligators.

Rubbish Trucks 

Two rubbish trucks we saw in New Orleans, one in the French Quarter and one on Canal St

Horse and Carriage 

In the French Quarter of New Orleans by Jackson Square, you can get a ride in a carriage pulled by a horse

Our Glimpse of Vehicles Around The World

Baby gator on board the swamp tour

Wildlife in New Orleans

Wildlife in New Orleans


The Bayou

The Bayou is where the ocean meets fresh water rivers and lakes, much like Auckland’s estuaries, where the tide creates a current in and out. It tends to be low lying areas with lots of sheltered areas for water plants to take root. This type of environment allows all sorts of wildlife to flourish (assuming that it’s not over-fished or over-hunted).  When we went to a Louisiana Bayou we saw birds, turtles, fish and a baby alligator.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

This aquarium had sea creatures from all over the world as well as a special Mississippi River feature that included it’s bird life.

Our Glimpse of Wildlife Around The World