New Orleans Travel Guide

New Orleans Travel Guide!

I’m so excited to finally share our New Orleans trip with you guys! This was our first time visiting NOLA and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I researched a lot before the trip, but nothing could prepare me for the energy you feel in this city. The streets are scattered with street performers, Mardi Gras beads hang from trees, and the sweet scent of candied nuts wafted out of the numerous praline store fronts.

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

This was a quick trip, lasting only two and a half days, but Ian and I tried to squeeze in as much culture as we could. We flew into the city around 4pm so we wanted to take advantage of the remaining daylight by walking along the riverfront path of Woldenberg Park, trying our first beignets at Cafe du Monde, grabbing a patio table at the Crescent City Brewhouse for dinner, and catching a jazz performance at Preservation Hall.

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

Out of everything we experienced in New Orleans, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was by far my favorite. The venue is small and quaint, so you have to stand in line half an hour before the show to grab tickets, but the wait is well worth it. The band members are extremely talented, and it’s a great way to dive into the jazz culture of the city.

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

Ian and I started out our first full day in the city at the French Market. We strolled around looking at the different food vendors before settling on a strawberry nutella crepe. My only regret was not buying two! It was so delicious!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

After the market, we walked around Jackson Square and popped in and out of the little shops while listening to a jazz band performing on the street. At 1pm we stopped by the Pharmacy Museum for their daily tour and spent the next 45 minutes learning about blood letting, leaches, and the scary practice of using lead needles for injections! If you have some time to kill on your visit, I would highly recommend stopping by for a tour!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

We ended the night on Frenchmen Street and we were so happy we chose to forgo Bourbon Street. While Bourbon Street a famous tourist attraction, Frenchmen Street is more of a local hangout that is lined with bars featuring live music performances and an art market! Before we settled into a bar, Ian and I wandered through the twinkle light lit art market looking at local art pieces and hand crafted jewelry. Once we got our art fix, we grabbed drinks at Masion and danced the night away to a lively jazz band.

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

Our final day in New Orleans started off with a streetcar ride to the Garden District, where we grabbed donuts and coffee at District Donuts before walking along Magazine Street to gaze at the colorful homes and boutique shops. 

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

Once our feet started to get sore, we made a pit stop at the Columns Hotel for a drink and to feel like a true southerner on their expansive balcony patio. There was a derby party going on at the hotel, and more than anything I wish I would have had a fancy hat to fit in with the celebration.

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

After our little rest, we took the Canal St. streetcar to Audubon Park. Ian and I love wandering through tree lined paths and this park was no disappointment! The trees were massive and decorated with hanging moss which made the experience feel magical. I was told there was an ancient tree called the Tree of Life in the park, but upon further research the tree is located in the zoo which sadly was closed by the time we got there. Nevertheless, walking through the park was a great way to end our New Orleans trip!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

New Orleans Travel Guide!

Give this post a “like” if you would like to see more travel posts like this! Also, if you have ever visited New Orleans make sure to leave your travel recommendations below!

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Exploring the Scottish Highlands

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

By far, the Scottish Highlands were my favorite part of our trip! Our 12 hour road trip took us pass Glencoe and up to Loch Ness before heading back to Edinburgh. It was interesting to learn about the Scottish clans that inhabited this land and dive into Scotland’s deep history.

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

While on the road we passed hillsides spotted with sheep and highland cows. We were able to pull over and snap a few photos with our harry little friend below. Ian was bummed out that we didn’t bring any carrots to feed them. Maybe next time we will remember!

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

A few hours after Gelencoe we arrived in Fort Augustus, a small town perched on Loch Ness. As soon as we arrived the rain clouds came barreling in and left a dense fog on the loch. I wished we could have seen a better view of the loch, but Ian assured me the fog added an artistic element to our photos. You can’t help but love this guy!

IMG_1053Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

Tonner-Travels-Exploring-The-Scottish-Highlands

And just like that, our UK adventure came to an end. Ian and I loved our time exploring and catching up with his family. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long until we return.

 

Edinburgh Adventures

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Ah, it felt good to be back in Edinburgh! We decided to take advantage of the rare sunny Scottish weather and hike up Arther’s Seat, an ancient volcano. The tour book said the hike was moderate and would only take 30 minute. Note to self, never trust the tour book! The hike was more vigorous that we expected, but that may have been due to the fact that we went up the wrong side of the hill…regardless, the views were breathtaking!

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Rumor had it that J.K. Rowling walked through a Scottish graveyard for character names so Ian and I walked around until we stumbled across Tom Riddle’s grave. We also found a plot with the family name Potter. Sadly, we didn’t see anyone named Harry buried there. Never the less, Edinburgh proved to been a great city for Harry Potter fans to wander about.

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Between attending events during the Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, Ian and I toured Holyrood Palace and the Edinburgh Castle. While the castle was visually stunning, I preferred our time at the palace. That may be due to the fact that apart from one other family, we were the only people on the tour! It was a unique experience to be alone in the palace learning about it’s rich history.

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

My favorite part about Holyrood Palace was the abbey. It is now in ruins, but you can still see its beauty. We toured the abbey at sunset, which flooded the space with a golden light. Ian and I sat under the archway taking it all in. Sadly, the palace was getting ready to close so we only had a few minutes to soak in it all in before we had to leave.

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Adventures

Check back tomorrow for photos from our trip to the Highlands!