The 9th April 2015 in New Orleans will be a memorable setting – as that’s the day Tom got down on one knee and popped the question! Just before we set off for our day at French Quarter Festival, he candidly said…’Have you forgotten something?’, brandishing a splendid sparkly rock for my ring finger.
The French Quarter Music Festival in New Orleans is the world’s largest free outdoor music extravaganza with 23 stages dotted across the area. During the weekend festival, over 700,000 people flood into Jackson Square, bringing it to life in no other way, to hear a hot line up of NOLA Jazz.
Every well known New Orleans restauranteur also opens a food stall selling their signature creations to punters; it’s often the only way to actually get your hands on these delicacies without making a reservation or steadfastly queuing to get in to the actual establishment. I personally enjoyed the Nola Jitterbugs, but Tom was feeling too sick from the Grenadine overload in his Hurricane cocktail to participate in any strenuous dancing!
Now our engagement handily came in time for our session with our Flytographer. Flytographer is an excellent service which hooks up local photographers with visitors for a holiday themed photo shoot. Lizzie, our down-with-it Flytographer unfortunately had the shoot from nightmares… The festival meant that every conceivable parking spot was taken and once we did find each other her battery died. But with a whiskey and coke in hand , we had a splendid afternoon pretending to be a member of the A-list.
Preservation Hall is a temple dedicated to NOLAs truest form of Jazz – the house All Star band play rebel-rousing Dixieland Jazz in a dark and cosy stripped back hall. The audience piles in, sitting on the floor until there’s only standing room. For a special request, written on a twenty dollar bill, the group will play their best tunes in their to-cool-for-school style. So energetic their performance, Tom nearly got hit in the face (on more than one occasion) by an enthusiastic trombone player.
With the classic ‘When the saints come marching in’ filling our heads, we left behind this musical crossroads for Florida, stopping in Panama City (our highlight her was midnight shopping at Walmart!) and on to Orlando.