Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Big Apple or the Big Easy - Jolene Navarro


Hello, Jolene here. With summer vacation just around the corner, my husband and I are talking about places to go. All my stories are set in my home state of Texas. The small towns of the Hill Country are in my DNA, but I love to travel beyond our borders. 
My father was a commercial airline pilot, and growing up we traveled a lot.  On the other hand my husband grew up on a ranch (ranchers do not take vacations) and was one of eleven children. Needless to say traveling was not done, so I love to take him to new places. 
We've been talking about our favorite places and maybe revisiting one of them. New York City and New Orleans are right on top. My husband was surprised by how much we enjoyed our experience in New York. The energy and vibe of one of the biggest cities in a very land locked piece of property was amazing. We got to dance in the rain in Times Square. I was able to see works of art I’d only studied in art school.


 We found a family diner off not far from our hotel on Wall Street. My husband was exited to discover  burgers under 5.00 plus the owner spoke Spanish. 
We found this gem of a family diner off Wall Street. Home cooked food with very good price.

Just the history alone was mind boggling. I have to say the people were super friendly and even when we got a bit confused in the subway there was always someone willing to help.




Lower Manhattan - I amazes me so many people can live in such a small space. It looks as if it could just fall of the little piece of land.
Lower Manhattan – It amazes me that so many people can live in such a small space. It looks as if it could just fall of the little piece of land.
In the city you can hardly see the sky. From the river it looks like another world
In the city you can hardly see the sky. From the river it looks like another world
The human spirit is amazing...you can see it and feel it in large doses all over New York, but no matter how many building we build we still are drawn to nature. Central Park is an oasis in the mist of a man made jungle.
Central Park

The human spirit is amazing…you can see it and feel it in large doses all over New York, but no matter how many building we build we still are drawn to nature. Central Park is an oasis in the mist of a man made jungle. Did I mention the history everywhere you looked?

Then there is the southern city of  New Orleans. 
Reid, my hero in The Texan's Twins is a native of New Orleans. Katrina relocated him to Houston as a kid. I listened to hours of videos to hear the voice patterns of people from this beautiful city. It was fun and if you read, The Texan's Twins I hope you can hear the sounds of the city in Reid's voice. 

 A big city with a completely different feel from New York. Relaxed, happy, laid back and ready for a good time.  We were sent to New Orleans with a Smithsonian Educational grant and I wasn't sure what to expect. I’m not a party person so I wasn’t sure about New Orleans.  We fell in love with textures, people and food.
New Orleans French Quarters



Waiting to enter the unknown in New Orleans.
Pirate Ally
On the way to Pirate Ally in the French Quarter’s of New Orleans.
There is so much art and creativity in New Orleans
There is so much art and creativity in New Orleans
ANy one who has ever been to New Orleans will tell you to stop Cafe Du Monde, any time of day or night.
Anyone who has ever been to New Orleans will tell you to stop by the Cafe Du Monde, any time of day or night.
So many shops had a cat in the window. This one was watching over a weaving shop
So many shops had a cat in the window. This one was watching over a weaving shop
You can't go to NOLA without at least one visit to the cemetery. This was taken at Lafayette Cemetery No 1
You can’t go to NOLA without at least one visit to the cemetery. This was taken at Lafayette Cemetery No 1
Taking the Paddle Boat down the Mississippi while listening to live music was a wonderful experience. Warning: save your money and skip the dinner.

We stayed in the French Quarter and walked everywhere, even late at night we felt safe. We stepped onto Bourbon Street for about five minutes, that was enough.
The history, art, music and people made this a trip we want to make again. 
Have you been to both of these cities? If you had to choose one which would it be: New York or New Orleans?  Maybe neither? LOL
 Do you have a favorite city that you would visit over and over?





11 comments:

  1. Hey Jolene. I love your traveling soul. You truly get out there with Fred and experience life. New York City is so close to where I live in Connecticut. I love going there and experiencing MOMA, Harlem, fine restaurants, Broadway shows, the parks and so much more. I have been to Nawlins twice and I really enjoyed the city. The cuisine, the art, the jazz, the music being played on the street, Bourbon Street and the southern hospitality. It's really an impossible choice. But our favorite city is now Savannah, Georgia. We have been numerous times and it is gorgeous there. The food, the southern charm, the quaint sights and the historic aspects make me wonder if I should retire there one day.

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    Replies
    1. I have never been to Savannah. I should put that on the list. One day I would love to see NY with you.

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  2. Great pictures Jolene. I love New York. I lived there for year before kids not too long after my husband and I married. It was a wonderful experience. And I often go back and revisit where we used to hang out. There is so much to see and do in New York. Our last trip my husband rented one of the bicycles and to lead around while I had lunch with my editor. And I’ve also been to New Orleans. Back when RWA was there in the early 2000‘s. It was a Fun town. We didn’t do too much exploring. But I did get to see some of the big plantation type homes. And the French quarter. And of course bourbon street. And the nightlife. I love cafĂ© Du Monde. Yum.
    I really love San Francisco. And I really want to go back to Boston. I also really enjoy Washington DC.
    Not to mention Paris and London. OK I just love to travel and love to explore cities so there you go. LOL

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  3. Jolene, I've never been to the Big Easy, but I did get a chance to visit New York a few years ago. This Kansas farm girl was sure she would hate the place. How wrong I was. Manhattan New York was abuzz with activity day and night. It was awesome and everyone was super friendly. I would go back in a heartbeat. Looking forward to reading your new story.

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  4. I love to travel and always enjoy visiting NYC and New Orleans. RWA will be in NYC next year, right? I also love Charleston and Savannah (waving to Belle) and San Fran where my hubby is from. I'm going back to Saint Augustine this fall and have a trip planned to Ireland. The best trip I've even take was to the Holy Land. Oh my! Such a wonderful experience.

    Need to get back to my WIP. I'm in Amish country. No bright lights. In fact, no lights except from oil lamps. But I love that area as well. I traveled to Holmes County last summer and left my heart there.

    Aren't we blessed in the US to have so many beautiful spots to visit! Thanks for your delightful pictures, Jolene, and a fun post. Happy traveling!

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    Replies
    1. I will have to put Savannah on my list. You are the fourth person to recommend it.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your travel photos and experiences, Jolene! I have been to NYC multiple times, but New Orleans is still on my list to visit. We tend to take vacations to National Parks rather than cities. I do love the vibrancy of downtown Chicago, though, where I have relatives to see. My last visit was during the Cubs' run to the World Series title. It was an exciting time to be there.

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    Replies
    1. A run for the World Series does bring out the best in a city. We happened to be downtown Houston last year when they were taking that road. My husband (a coach and all round sports fan) wants to visit Chicago. :)

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  6. Fun travels, Jolene! My husband and I want to return to France. We went to Paris and Mont St. Michel and the Beaches of Normandy and Bayeux. We were nervous as we had heard that the French don't like Americans and are rude and won't speak English. (Why should they when we're in France!?!) But we found it just the opposite (except for a tram driver at Versailles when we tried to get on the tram and discovered we were "hijacking" the tram...the driver got VERY upset at us). And the French bread. Oh, my! Delightful! Happy travels this summer!

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  7. LOL - In all my travels I think for the most part people are friendly when you treat them with respect.

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