Beignet Fest now comes around each year on the first Saturday of October. Use it as an excuse to spend the weekend getting to know the New Orleans version of fried dough.
I prefer to drive whenever possible, or really to ride with my husband driving. We tend to be spur-of-the-moment kinds of people and don’t like being tied down to anyone else’s itinerary. When we drive we can look for interesting spots along the way, and some of our best travel experiences have been entirely unplanned.
There are so many but when thinking of Louisiana the first thing that comes to mind is the Chauvin Sculpture Garden, which I only discovered last year. This is a fanciful little outdoor art installation in Chauvin, LA, about 1 1/2 hours from New Orleans. It is very small but visiting is free and you can get lots of information from the people at the Visitor’s Center across the street. It’s a great day trip, especially if you give yourself time to wander around and explore. This is a mostly Cajun area of the state and it can seem like a whole different world.
The most important thing I have learned from travelling is that you need to be flexible. I have many times had plans totally changed by weather, illness, or just mistakes made by myself or others. Generally speaking, unless you are met with a total catastrophe, being happy and having a good time is a choice. Some of my best vacation memories have followed complete fiascoes. My husband and I spent our honeymoon camping in Nova Scotia. A huge storm blew through and our tent felt like Dorothy’s house in The Wizard of Oz. But we had a bottle of port from a local winery and a good sense of humor and we laughed and laughed. We took our kids to New Hampshire a few years back to see snow. Unfortunately that week was unseasonably warm and we were faced with mostly mud. We quickly found a place that manufactured snow and had sledding, had a fabulous first day, and that night there was a miraculous and unexpected snowfall. Then there are the wonderful discoveries when we decided to turn down that path and see what we find, like an abandoned mining community in Arizona or a cave with bioluminescent insects in Mississippi. It’s the little things that make the best memories, and for me that is what travelling is all about.