This past Saturday marked the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall. One of the hardest hit areas, no doubt, would be New Orleans, Louisiana. We all remember the pictures, we all remember the destruction, we all remember the heartbreak. I remember my first trip to New Orleans well. It was my freshman year of college, two years after the hurricane. A short time spent connecting with people, hearing their stories, and lending a hand through the rebuild. I remember sitting outside at a cafe in the French Quarter and telling a friend that I felt like God was leading me to New Orleans, even if for a short time. Three years later, He did. And New Orleans became another place that stole a piece of my heart.
During my summer in New Orleans, I saw how the city not only rebuilt, but was once again thriving. I was able to enjoy a city full of life, culture, good food, and wonderful people.
I've been back to New Orleans a few times since the summer I lived there and each time I drive into that city it's like the first time. I always visit my favorite spots, but I always discover something new. So many little details float around my apartment, paying tribute to New Orleans. Photos around my apartment, coffee table books, and a bag full of Mardi Gras beads and throws from my first carnival in the city. Even two fleur-de-lis coat hangers are hung by my front door and the moment I saw those before I moved in, it felt like home.
The memories of Katrina will never leave, but the people of New Orleans are strong and resilient. They love and care for their city and their people. I am thankful they let me experience that in the short time I lived there. And I'm thankful they continue to share it with me every time I step food within its limits.
Have you ever been to New Orleans?
What is a place that has your heart and you love to visit?
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