Charleston is my happy place. Whenever I step foot inside the city, I start to smile from ear to ear. I am putting into the world that we will one day live there. It will happen people just you wait. In the meantime I will continue to visit once a year and take an incessant amount of pictures for me to remember its beauty from afar. I already told you guys the whole story about how we found Megan’s dress (which she has officially ordered and I can’t wait for everyone to see it – you are gonna die), but I figured I’d show you guys some of the images I took since I just got my film back from Richard Photo Lab. I realize we’ve shown you guys pictures from many a Charleston trip because we tend to go there a lot. But honestly, does Charleston ever get old? The answer is no, it does not. Most of these I took early Sunday morning which is my favorite time to wander. The streets are empty and the light is golden.
The story on this last photo is that I rushed everyone out of the hotel right before dinner on Saturday night for a quick photo only to find that my lens was completely fogged up from the difference in temperature from inside to out and from the humidity. I went ahead and took the picture since we were in a hurry but that is why they kind of look like ghosts. I almost like it a little.
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An interesting thing that you might not know about me is that I don’t really drink alcohol. It’s not a decision based on morals, I just happen to not really like most alcoholic beverages unless they taste like a chocolate milkshake in which case I will consume it immediately. Since New Orleans is so well known for its partying and for Bourbon Street, I have always been a little hesitant about visiting. Not that I’m a big square that would rather stay home and read Harry Potter (even though that’s true), I just didn’t know if it would have anything for me. Lucky for me, I was wrong. My favorite thing about NOLA (other than obviously, the historic gates, colorful homes, gas lamps, and BEIGNETS) was that it feels like it has a soul. Every corner you turn has an interesting story or the best jazz band you’ve ever heard playing on the sidewalk. And the people who live there seem to belong there. There is so much character and beauty.
I’m not going to do a full recap of our trip because I’m almost late for work (typical) but here are a couple of tidbits:
- We stayed in a beautiful home in the Bywater neighborhood. It is a little further from the things one would like so we ended up taking multiple 45 minute walks to and from the French Quarter several times a day. Not ideal but the house is gorgeous. So if you are wanting to go in New Orleans and not be smack dab in the middle of all the tourists, this is a good spot.
- Our favorite activities were probably a Swamp Tour (where we saw swamp pigs!!) and the Voodoo Lady Haunted tour which was really cool but a little long.
- Obviously we ate the beignets at Cafe du Monde. I don’t know why but they are way better than the ones at the French cafes in Charlotte.
- I loved walking around the Garden District, which is where most of these pictures were taken. Is anyone surprised?
- One of the highlights was walking to Frenchmen Street to listen to jazz and shop in a little bistro-lit alley. Frenchmen Street is basically a classy version of Bourbon Street, or so I’m told.
- If you want to feel super sophisticated, go have a beverage in the Sazerac bar at the Waldorf Astoria.
- A quick tip – whatever you do, no matter how tired your feet are, don’t get into the car with questionable strangers.
All images captured on film with my Mamiya 645 on Fuji 400h (although a roll of Portra 400 might have slipped in) and processed by Richard Photo Lab.
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So basically the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was like all of my dreams come true. When you are there, it really feels like you are living in the world of Harry Potter (if you can ignore the hoards of people around you). Many of the stores on Diagon Alley are actually physical stores that you can walk into and the inside is just as amazing and meticulously thought out as the outside. It is so over the top and wonderful. Everything was clean and efficiently run and the people that work there were great and many acted as though they are really wizards and we are muggles. Which I kind of took offense to. Obviously I am a witch and not a stupid muggle. The Hogwarts Express and the train station they built for it is an experience in itself. I would tell y’all every detail but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to go. And you totally should. So I will just share some of my pictures. I narrowed them down as much as I could but there are still so many.
Definitely stand in line for the show at Olivander’s wand shop in Diagon Alley. It was one of my favorite parts. Also, I bought Hermione’s wand to cast spells throughout the park. Duh.
Butterbeer icecream. Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to be eating some of that right now.
Knockturn Alley was like its own little world and super creepy.
Inside Borgin and Burkes was so interesting. There was also a vanishing cabinet with a faint bird sound inside.
Can you even?
The ride inside Hogwarts is probably the best ride I’ve ever been on. Even Chris (who likes Harry but is not obsessed like me) agreed that this is the best ride that we went on in Universal.
The last day we were there, we stuck around the park till later so we could see Hogsmeade at dark. I really enjoyed that as well. Diagon Alley was closed already so we couldn’t see that at night.
The Three Broomsticks
It is sad that we are not still there but I am awfully glad I went. Such a special place.
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