Louisiana epitomizes the phrase “melting pot” probably more than any other state. Throughout the history of the state, Native American, French, Spanish, German, African, Irish and Caribbean cultures have blended in a variety of ways creating a diverse and distinct culture in the bayou. From the food to the language, the music and history, Cajun (French Canadian or Acadian), Creole (European, African, Caribbean or Spanish mixed ancestry) and even the landscape impact the enchantment that is Louisiana. Within its mysterious gulf, Louisiana holds the secrets of pirates, conflicts of slavery and the paths of progress.  The bayou teems with life and stories untold. [courtesy National Day of Calendar]

I imagine people from the state of Louisiana feel a bit like I do being from New York, but not the city. There is a whole big state that isn’t near the Gulf of Mexico, the French Quarter or the Mississippi river that gets little to no attention. I too am guilty of only knowing about the coastal area. We visited New Orleans to enjoy the music, food and people and can’t wait to go back.

The major impression I came away from New Orleans with was people were just people. Ethnicity, sex, size, shape, or affluence seemed not to be in the equation of how a person was perceived or treated. It was a freeing feeling and provided one of the best places I have ever been to people watch because there didn’t seem to be a need to “put on airs” as they say. I wish I could say that was true in western New York state.

The top item on my husband’s and my bucket list is to drive the old Route 66. We are  looking into the cost and time needed to actually enjoy it. When that happens we will drive the north-south length of Louisiana and I will be able to tell you more about the whole state. I’m really looking forward to that experience.