First, New Orleans has been the only place where I never once had to explain Nola's name. Everyone we spoke to instantly made the connection and got a huge kick out of it. Freaking finally. ;)
New Orleans is a very unique city, with a vibe and sort of grungy, ragtag beauty all its own. It's absolutely stunning in so many ways, and is a highly stimulating place to be. Architecture that's grand and gothic on once street, then delicate and undeniably French on the next, all kinds of restaurants and hole in the wall eateries for every palate imaginable, enough bars to keep everyone happy, and art around every corner. I spent hours wandering the French Quarter with Nola and still didn't get my fill.
|I loved these best of all. The the plants and massive ferns gave me life!|
It's also fucking filthy. Absolutely disgusting in several place. It still hasn't recovered from Katrina, and you get the sense that the residents are okay with that when you hear people speak and watch the way they treat their city. Trash is everywhere, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. So many places are not maintained in the slightest, and tourists and locals alike treat the place with zero respect. It left me with an odd sense of sadness to see such a beautiful, historic place left in shambles.
|One of the few intact and non-vandalized old horse hitch ups.|
Usually I am very pro-pet travel, and encourage taking your dog with you if it's at all possible, but let me give you fair warning if you're considering visiting The Crescent City with your dog in tow. Unless your dog is impeccably trained, socialized and stable, they need to stay home or at whatever place you're staying while you explore the more bustling parts of the city. The place is relatively dog friendly for the south (not that our standards are very high....), but if it's stimulating for people, it is a circus for a dog. Be an advocate for your dog and really consider if what I describe below is something they'd be okay with and enjoy.
|Waiting at each curb until release to pass. People don't pay attention at all when they drive through the quarter.|
|Tulane is behind her|
Nola blew me away with how well she did. She was flawless with the dozens and dozens of people that came up to interact with us, ignored the hundreds of other dogs (even when they came up quite rudely to her), perfectly obeyed every leave it no matter how tempting the food someone tossed was, stopped and waited at every curb and doorway. Was sweet and gentle with children of all ages and never hesitated to follow a cue. Was alert but non-confronational when we were approached by hustlers, and carefully avoided and ignored the many drunks that called out or stumbled by.
She didn't bat an eye at the horse drawn carriages passing mere feet from her, strutted through throngs of people, calmly watched a cacophony of street performers in Jackson Square, didn't so much as flinch at construction and freaking thrived on the energy of the place. This was the biggest city she'd ever been to, and she took it all in stride.
|Technically this one's a mule drawn carriage.|
I have never been more proud to be an ambassador for the dachshund breed than I was on that weekend. Everyone complimented her and gushed about how sweet, quiet and well behaved she was. The best compliment I can get is when someone tells me she's made them see the breed in a different light. We met people from England, Australia, the Philippines and all over the states, and she charmed every single one of them. She is truly the best little thing ever. #ProudDogMomAF
We visited Audubon Park, Tulane College, The French Quarter. Saw Jackson Square, the St. Lois Cathedral, had a banging salad with duck on it, and even visited a voodoo shop.
|Small dog friendly! Total tourist trap though. You'll have to dig deeper if you want to find the legit places.|
The park in Jackson Square is definitely not dog friendly, but I may or may not have snuck Nola in for a minute for shits and giggles. ;) Oddly enough, it's not marked at all that it isn't dog friendly, and there were at least 20 dogs that passed through while we were there. If I hadn't googled the city extensively before the trip, I wouldn't have known that park didn't allow dogs. Poor signage on the city's part, for sure.
The cemeteries and little trollies are also not dog friendly, and the cemeteries have very odd hours.
|There was very, very creative art featuring genitalia just out of frame on the right. You definitely don't run out of things to look at here. ;)|
The live music can't be beat, especially in Jackson Square. Everything from impromptu bands and dances, to solo performers and just people enjoying themselves. One older gentleman did a perfect rendition of Lois Armstrong Dream a Little Dream. You can literally just sit and have every kind of entertainment imaginable.
The place is beautiful, if disgusting at many points, and I'd love to go back there. Just not in September. Maybe January next time. ;)
After a long day of trekking around, we drove back around 45 minutes from the city to our hotel. Sunburnt, satisfied, and happy.