New Orleans, LA. My first and only trip to New Orleans was to photograph a wedding there at the botanic gardens, pre-Katrina. I would do anything to go back again! My thoughts upon landing: I felt I was in a another world. Actual tears formed in my eyes as I saw the bayou below me. Perhaps it was knowing my roots (my great grandfather immigrated from Europe to New Orleans, where he met his wife, and had two children). Or maybe simply it was a beauty I had never seen before? Warm and humid, and reminiscent of the south that I am so familiar with…the smell of jasmine and roses filled the air. My fathers maternal side of the family are all from Georgia, so I am familiar with the south; Savannah, North and South Carolina, Florida. I even drove once from Georgia to New York City with my sister in college. But New Orleans is different; looser, quainter, tropical, with a caribbean feel, very different than the south I knew. Aside from the food (which is legendary) and the beignets at Jackson Square at Cafe Du Monde, the city is more than that. It is alive with music, culture, history, and energy 24 hours a day. It is not just a place, but a feeling, a culture, a lifestyle, like no other city I’ve been to in the world. One of my favorite quotes about New Orleans is this, “We dance when there is no music. We drink at funerals. We talk too much, and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of those who don’t.” Chris Rose, reporter for the Times Picayune. March is a great time to visit, the humidity is pretty low, and temperatures are still tolerable. I stayed at the beautiful International House. A really nice boutique hotel close to everything. Happy Mardi Gras!