I’ve lost count of the number of friends who expressed jealousy when I told them I was heading for New Orleans, with my down travel pillow under my arm. The locals mostly refer to their city as NOLA, New Orleans LA. Frankly it had been on my personal radar forever but until this year it just never seemed to be the right timing. This year the planets aligned and off I went, pillowpacker inflatable travel pillow in tow.
Until you visit and experience it, NOLA has a magnetic mystique, an itch that has to be scratched. Much like the Grand Canyon where no picture can do it justice, with NOLA no amount of reading about it or looking at television coverage can prepare you for the actual experience.
This year NOLA is celebrating its 300th anniversary so right there you have some idea of the cultural depth and charm of the city. And its cultural depth is matched by so many other dimensions of interest to any visitor (and resident for that matter).
Having a personal guide while there certainly added to my understanding and appreciation for this super city. Charles, a long time friend was just this person. Funny thing, he's rather spend winter in New Orleans than in rural small town New Brunswick.....go figure!
I had the delightful experience of finding great accommodations using Airbnb for the first time. I had the good fortune of discovering Annie’s Place, oddly enough owned and operated by Sylvia (and Calvin). Their apartment is nicely located with easy access to main streets and an easy walk to central hubs like the St. Roch market.
Discovering Annie’s Place today is quite an achievement given that hurricane Katrina blew their roof off in August 2005 and surrounded their home with about 4 feet of water. With the help of family and friends Sylvia and Calvin rebuilt their home, a standing testament to one tough bunch of folks.
The image above is a 12-year-old symbol, still painted on Sylvia's front outside wall needs explanation. People called them X-Codes or Katrina Crosses but officially they were called Search Codes. The left quadrant showing the letters NG tell us that the National Guard visited these premises and countless others. In fact it was estimated that 80% of city structures were coded to display the condition of the occupants. The top quadrant shows the date that their home was inspected, some day in September a few weeks after the storm. The right quadrant shows NF, meaning No Fatalities (human) found and the lower quadrant symbol indicates that no people were found inside. With plans to re-paint her home Sylvia wishes to immortalize this symbol, an ongoing reminder that these are a tough bunch of folks.
Sylvia and Calvin are meticulous about their home and are the most welcoming people on the planet so if you plan on visiting NOLA look up Annie’s Place on Airbnb. In this selfie of Sylvia and me I am the one on the left….
Annie's Place was immaculate and very cozy but as a creature of habit I used my down travel pillow which I laid flat in my carry-on luggage because it flattened easily and took up no space.
So if you’re a traveller, whether it's to NOLA or Mount Kilimanjaro, and you are looking for the ultimate in travel comfort we recommend any of our Pillowpacker® inflatable travel pillows. They’re the perfect travel pillow for any trip and in fact we think they’re the perfect pillow, period. "Travelling" doesn't necessarily mean far from home it means anytime you leave home overnight and want to sleep on your own personal pillow.
Depending on your unique travel needs and your own preferences you can select between our microfibre inflatable travel pillow or one of our down travel pillows: duck down, white down blend, or goose down for ultimate comfort.
Rest assured wherever you roam, with a Pillowpacker® pillow, it’s like sleeping at home!