My favorite part of getting breaks from school is the traveling that my family does. This year for spring break, my mom and I took a trip to New Orleans. We flew out of Orlando the first Saturday of break and arrived at the airport in Louisiana. From the airport we expected to take a quick shuttle to our hotel in the French Quarter. However, this was not exactly what happened.
As we hopped into the shuttle, the driver seemed upbeat and friendly. We drove through the city, and our driver acted as a tour guide for the areas we passed. However, as it was a couple of days before St. Patrick's Day, there were several parades going on in New Orleans while we were there.
Mardi Gras had just ended, so the residents of New Orleans thought things had calmed down. They seemed to have forgotten that St. Patrick's Day was right around the corner, meaning they were not prepared for the crowds that had descended on the city. This meant our shuttle driver found the streets impossible to navigate. He radioed his coworkers with the statement, "Streets are impossible, get in Mardi Gras mode!" We had no option other than to get out three blocks from our hotel and walk the rest of the way, which was pretty hilarious with our suitcases in hand.
When we arrived at the hotel, we met my mom's friend Andrea and decided to go watch the Italian-American parade that was going on. The parade was a blast, and to get out of the crowds we decided to find somewhere to eat. After walking for a while, we found a small burger restaurant. Unfortunately, I ended up getting food poisoning from the meal, so the night was cut short.
The next day I woke up feeling much better, so we set out for the long day ahead of us. We did some shopping, visited a few historic sights, and had a couple of meals at some awesome restaurants. That night we went to a popular café called Café Du Monde, which served beignets, something New Orleans is famous for. While we were there, we ended up running into the actor Joshua Malina from the TV show Scandal! My parents are fans of the show, and I watch it occasionally, so it was awesome to meet him! He was incredibly nice when we asked to take a picture. We almost went to the café about an hour earlier but ended up deciding against it. Clearly our timing was lucky!
The next day we made the five and a half our drive back to Andrea's house on the Texas-Louisiana border and spent the rest of our vacation there. After our few days, my mom and I drove back to New Orleans and flew home.
Although there were certainly ups and downs to this trip, it was a good time! However, I am extremely glad to be home. Sometimes when I travel, I go somewhere and say, "I could see myself living here." However, the cold weather and crowded streets had me appreciating sunny Florida. When my mom and I got off of the plane in Orlando, I was overjoyed at my first glimpse of a palm tree. As we walked to get our luggage, one of the gift shops in the airport was selling bags of "real Florida oranges." I laughed and knew I was glad to be back home.