I am finally in my happy place, Disney World!!! We are just about two weeks into my program and finally have a break to write about my experience this far. So first and foremost, my mom drove with me and we had a long journey ahead of us. I have been wanting to go to New Orleans for a long time now and it happened to work out perfectly since NOLA is right along the drive to Orlando.
We left at 5 in the morning and as you can (kind of) see, my car was completely packed. You could only see a little sliver of light out of the back window. I may have overdone it, but….oh well.
It took about 8 hours to get to NOLA from Dallas. It was a fairly easy drive and we saw Natchitoches, Louisiana, where my best friend, Megan, goes to school so that was exciting to see! We then started our NOLA adventure by driving by the house where American Horror Story, Coven, was filmed. This was one of my favorite seasons of the show so it was really cool to see the mansion in person.
We stayed at an adorable hotel called the St. Marie, which was literally less than a block from Bourbon Street. We walked over to Bourbon Street and grabbed crab cake sandwiches at Oceana Grill. Then we headed over to Jackson Square which I was especially excited for because I love Disney’s Princess and the Frog, which takes place in New Orleans. In the movie, they portray Jackson Square really well, and seeing it in person was amazing!
After exploring around Jackson Square, we of course had to stop at Cafe Du Monde (and eat some more) for some beignets. We were really full so we could only finish one each, but they were tasty and loaded with powdered sugar. We had powdered sugar EVERYWHERE: in my purse, on my clothes, in my hair, and obviously all over my face. But it was fun and definitely worth the experience.
Later that night we headed over to The Palace Cafe and, you guessed it, ate more food. My uncle recommended this restaurant and we were so happy he did because it was our favorite stop! It looked really similar to Tiana’s Palace which made me so happy! And the food was delicious.
We split an appetizer and dessert, and that was more than enough for the two of us. We had their crab cheesecake which was an incredible, cheesy, quiche-like dish with a lot of crab. It was topped with three crab claws on top and was soooo yummy. We finished dinner off with white chocolate bread pudding and bananas foster that they made right next to our table. They both were decadent and tasty. They even had a quartet of singers who would sing to you table-side. We left very happy and VERY full.
We finished off our quick trip by doing a Haunted Ghost Tour of New Orleans. We went through multiple cemeteries with a tour guide and learned about some of the scariest and most famous mysteries in New Orleans. We also got to see the Hurricane Katrina Memorial. Our guide encouraged us to take pictures with the flash on because most spirits appear in pictures with the flash. He said if pictures come out blurry or with orbs of light, that is a spirit appearing in your photo. Our tour guide claimed that I got a picture of a ghost. While I am a firm believer of ghosts, I think that my phone case may have caused the picture to come out poorly, but who knows!!
The next day, we headed to Orlando! After a missed exit and arriving at the wrong hotel, we FINALLY made it to our hotel in Orlando!!! It was about an 11-12 hour drive from New Orleans. We were so happy to have finally made it. We headed straight to a different hotel to get a glimpse of the fireworks from their rooftop pool, and then went to Disney Springs. We walked all around because it was so different from the last time we visited! The last time we were there, it was still called Downtown Disney. Now it is Disney Springs and they added so many stores and restaurants. We finished our night with huge ice cream cones from Ghirardelli, a ride on a carousel, and lots of rest because we were headed for Animal Kingdom the next day. 🙂
Don’t forget to follow my Disney Instagram, @the_junglebrooke for a bunch of pictures of my Disney College Program journey.