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New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. What a way to kick off 2015, and to launch my next four months out of a backpack! I’m struggling to describe how perfect the week was, thanks in part to the fabulous company — my sister and her friends and boyfriend as well as my own wonderful best friend Zoe and her sister — in part to the holidays festivities and in part to New Orleans simply being one of the greatest cities in the world. We ate so many delicious meals, listened to so much fantastic live music, and had so many fun adventures — a spa day at The Ritz, a tour of Mardi Gras World, outings with my sister’s students, a cocktail tour of the French Quarter and an air tour over the city come to mind — it’s hard to believe I was only in town for one week.

It feels really good and right to be back on the road again, too, and I’m filled up like a balloon with excitement for all that’s coming up. But don’t worry, New Orleans, I’ll be back soon…

Photo A

The Insectarium New OrleansHanging with my sister’s students at the Insectarium

Photo B

The French Quarter in New OrleansClassic New Orleans

Photo C

The French Quarter in New OrleansStrolling the French Quarter

Photo D

Live Music in New OrleansEnjoying the city’s live music

Photo E

Nightlife in New OrleansMaking the most of legendary nightlife

Photo F

New Year's Eve on Bourbon StreetThe infamous Bourbon Street

Photo G

Flight Over New OrleansFireworks over the Mississippi and a flight over downtown

Which photo is your favorite? So excited to see which one makes the cut this week!

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63 Comments...
  • Sarah
    January 5 2015

    Photo C! That’s what I always imagined New Orleans looks like (and the girl walking around in the pictures makes them even more interesting)
    Sarah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      That’s my friend Zoe, and she is indeed a fantastic model 🙂

  • Emily
    January 5 2015

    I’ve long wanted to go to New Orleans…not sure if I should wait for Mardi Gras or just go whenever…now that you’ve done both what would you recommend?

    Since I am a fireworks lover I will go with Photo G!
    Emily recently posted..

    • Leigh
      January 5 2015

      For a first visit, I would suggest not going during Mardi Gras, unless you are close to college age. That’s just my opinion, but it’s a fun city any time of the year!
      Leigh recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      Honestly, I think New Orleans is fantastic anytime of the year! I’d go whenever you get a chance. Let me know when you do!

    • Danni @Two Peas in a Pack
      January 6 2015

      For your first time I think going not during Mardi Gras is a good idea. A lot of cool things close for Mardi Gras because everybody wants to let the good times roll 🙂
      Danni @Two Peas in a Pack recently posted..

  • Claire
    January 5 2015

    Photo B gets my vote 🙂

  • Ashley
    January 5 2015

    Photo C- I love the architecture!
    Ashley recently posted..

  • Janice Stringer
    January 5 2015

    I was pulled by so many but it was the view of the city from the flight over downtown. It must be my urge to get back on the road!!! It’s Wild Scotland which seems to be calling me at the moment!:-)
    Janice Stringer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      There’s nothing like the view from a plane to inspire a bit of wanderlust! Hope you get to Scotland soon 🙂

  • Sonja @ Breadcrumbs Guide
    January 5 2015

    Love photo E and the reflection on the roof of the plane! Glad you had such a good time in New Orleans, it is an awesome city! In high school I played in a jazz club there called the Funky Butt. Yes, that’s really what it was called.
    Sonja @ Breadcrumbs Guide recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      HA! That is fantastic Sonja 🙂 One of my highlights of this trip was seeing Rebirth — one of the big famous brass bands — live! Sadly not at the Funky Butt.

  • becky hutner
    January 5 2015

    Ah, sweet NOLA. I’m gonna go with C because Zoe’s such a good model! (I think that’s Zoe?)
    becky hutner recently posted..

  • Olivia
    January 5 2015

    OBVIOUSLY PHOTO A

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      Had to get you in there somehow so I’d get an invite back!

  • Rekha Devarapalli
    January 5 2015

    With photos B&C, you just tempted me to visit New Orleans 🙂
    Rekha Devarapalli recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      Aw, so glad to hear that, Rekha! 🙂

  • Leigh
    January 5 2015

    I love them all, but agree with C for the architecture!
    Leigh recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      The French Quarter melts me! It is so beautiful.

  • New Orleans is one of my favorite US cities! I actually hope to do grad school at Tulane in a few weeks. Such a fun city to explore and always something to do. I like the picture of the city above.
    Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      If I had known how amazing New Orleans was back in my high school years, I totally would have applied to Tulane. Enjoy grad school there — what an opportunity!

  • Marni
    January 5 2015

    With every mouse scroll, I said in my head “that’s my favorite!”. Although C is an incredibly strong contender for me, G is just too stunningly beautiful to pass up. The lights and reflections in those pictures are gorgeous!

  • Carrie
    January 5 2015

    Photo C! It’s the doors…. always the doors… they get me every time. 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      Doors are pretty popular on Instagram, I’ve found 🙂 You’re not the only one!

  • Kristen Noelle
    January 5 2015

    These are all so great… I think you’ve got me stumped this week. I always hear so many great things about Nawleans — I didn’t get to experience much as a 16/17 year old on a quick visit there with my parents, but I just KNEW I’d have to be back. My friend just spent NYE there as well, between the two of your NO tales, I’ve scrambled to add that and/or Mardi Gras to my travel bucket list.
    Kristen Noelle recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      Make it a must in 2015 Kristen! I’ll try to make my posts coming up extra tempting 🙂

  • Leah
    January 5 2015

    Photo C because Zoe looks GORGEOUS! Whatta babe. Glad you girls had fun! x
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      She is, isn’t she! We look different out of our hiking clothes, eh? 😉

  • Meihoukai
    January 5 2015

    Girl, New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s culturally fascinating, lively, and just different. Great job with your photos – I feel like you really captured how the city is culturally fascinating and historic, but also lively and youthful. It’s amazing you got to go! And, okay, so I saw that you ate at Commander’s Palace on Instagram and I kinda freaked out. I went there for my 21st birthday (after which I explored the New Orleans bars, of course) and I still remember what I ate…so, so delicious. And they gave me balloons. Who doesn’t love balloons? Good luck on your upcoming adventures!! Also, I have to go with Photo B. The horses just get me every time.
    Meihoukai recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 5 2015

      I can’t think of a better 21st birthday! How lovely 🙂 It’s a must do for me now for future trips to NOLA!

  • Erin
    January 5 2015

    E and F – love it!! They bring up (hazy) memories of the time I was in New Orleans haha

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I think many travelers have similarly fuzzy memories of the city 🙂

  • Melodie K.
    January 5 2015

    Happy New Year, Meihoukai! Going with C & E. Always love a good cafe and strolling amid gorgeous architecture both alone and with friends.
    Melodie K. recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      New Orleans is chock full of both of ’em 🙂 I can’t recommend it more!

  • Justine
    January 5 2015

    I’m going with photo E, but really all of your photos just bring back so many good memories of New Orleans for me. If I ever do move back to the states there is a really good chance it’ll be to New Orleans. I’m in love with that city!
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I can see why, Justine! I feel so lucky to have a sister who lives there.

  • Danni @Two Peas in a Pack
    January 6 2015

    Sorry I’m all over the Nola stuff you keep posting. I just miss it so much.
    Can’t pick a photo because my damn eyes are all teary.
    Danni @Two Peas in a Pack recently posted..

  • Neysha
    January 6 2015

    My favorite is photo E! I love a good night out on the town :). Are any of these iphone photos? Your pictures are always so clear!
    Neysha recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      Thanks Neysha! The photos in C and on the right in A are all iPhone photos. The rest are a mix of my dSLR and my point and shoot — check out my Obsessions page for more details!

  • Steve
    January 6 2015

    I am choosing D Meihoukai. It is one of those iconic place I have to see.
    Steve recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I hope you get the chance someday soon, Steve!

  • Laura
    January 6 2015

    I’m going to have to go with C. The French quarter looks lovely and your sister looks so chic!
    Laura recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      Actually, that’s my friend Zoe — and I agree, she’s a great model!

  • Julia Nix
    January 6 2015

    USA is a wonderland of many landscapes and cultural excitement. Roadtrip is one of many highlights in your country. Lucky you but I know many who would prefer to be in South east Asia. Ha, anyway, do you think Koh Tao reminds you a bit like er, Laguna Beach (Orange county, CA)?

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I’ve actually never been to Laguna Beach, so I can’t quite say, Julia 🙂

  • Jess
    January 6 2015

    When I went to NOLA my favourite two things we did were the alligator swamp tour and the walking ghost tour. Did you do either of those?

    I really love the architecture in New Orleans, so the French Quarter is gorgeous to wander around. But have to admit Bourbon St. was not for me. Did you enjoy it or find it a little off-putting?

    – Jess

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I did an alligator tour on my previous trip to New Orleans (you can find it in my archives!). The ghost tour though, I don’t think would appeal to me… I don’t like to be scared, or even around spooky things 🙂 Bourbon Street I think is really fun for the people watching and the spectacle, though I wouldn’t want to go every night!

  • So glad that I found your blog!! It’s gorgeous! 🙂 Glad to see you enjoy New Orleans. I made my first trip last summer for NOLA Oyster Festival and ate my way through the town. My “A Dozen Ways to have A Dozen Oysters in New Orleans” has been one of my most popular stories. Oh, and I’m leaving for Thailand this Thursday for a couple of weeks. First time and I can’t wait!
    Julie from In A Half Shell recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I’m glad you found me, too 🙂 Happy to hear you had a good time in New Orleans, and JEALOUS you’re heading to Thailand! Enjoy every moment!

  • I’m going to say Photo B – I love the look of classic New Orleans! Sounds like an amazing way to ring in the new year 😀
    Sara @ The Let’s Go Ladies recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      I couldn’t have asked for better! Thanks Sara!

  • Marie @ Marie Away
    January 6 2015

    I’ve also got to agree with the people above who said C. I love the style of the architecture.
    Marie @ Marie Away recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 6 2015

      It definitely seems to be pick of the week this week! Love it 🙂

  • Chris
    January 6 2015

    D for me! (even rhymed a little there) 😉

    The music is immediately what I think of when I think of the city…
    Chris recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 8 2015

      Well than I can’t wait to tell you about the Rebirth big brass band show I saw at The Maple Leaf 🙂 One of the highlights of my trip!

  • Joya
    January 10 2015

    The flight over downtown is my favorite photo. I’ve never seen an aerial view of New Orleans like that. It’s beautiful! Happy New Year!
    Joya recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 10 2015

      Yeah, it’s definitely not a city with a famous skyline! It was quite the experience, though.

  • Katie
    January 12 2015

    It sounds so cliche, but all of them! New Orleans is such a seminal American city, everyone has to see it…
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 12 2015

      Couldn’t agree more! New Orleans is definitely one of the cities that has made me fall madly in love with domestic travel.