When I decided to go on Young Life staff in 2002, I had no idea I would end up in Louisiana. During my 2 years there, I repeatedly said that I would not have "deep roots" there. And, honestly I have no idea what I meant by that. It turns out I got those deep roots b/c it's where I met Adam. hello, deep roots! I also met one of my best friends & soul sistas, Laura Garcia, along with many friendships. I am so thankful for the 2 years I got to spend down there doing YL and for the people that God brought into my life during that time. In addition to the relationships, I discovered an amazing place in Southeast Louisiana...New Orleans.
One of my favorite places in Louisiana is the lake front (Lake Pontratrain) on the Northshore in Mandeville. There used to be a coffee shop there--Java Grotto--that I would spend countless mornings at. (...it never recovered after Katrina) The lake front was(is) one of the most peaceful places where I was able to be alone and it literally became a refuge for me during my internship.
the lake front what used to be Java Grotta us by one of the many giant oaks
On our trip back we visited some of our favorite restaurants. New Orleans has the best food ever!! EVER. Jacques-Imos is on this dark side street off of Carrolton where the street car runs. It is some of the best food ever. The fried green tomatoes comes topped with giant shrimp, everything is cooked in a rich, buttery sauce, and the atmosphere is spectacular. Another favorite place is Mr. B's Bistro which is owned by one of the Brennans (a local family of chefs). We always come here and at lunch b/c it's cheaper and they have $1.50 bloody marys. But, the best dish is the BBQ Shrimp. For most of us, this conjours up ideas of BBQ sauce or even a grill. Not in New Orleans. It is about 6 jumbo shrimp (heads and everything) cooked is a ridiculously delicious buttery and black pepper sauce (roux) and some french bread for soaking it up. You even wear a bib!! I took some pics of what was leftover. :)
Another one of my favorite things to do in NOLA is Magazine Street. It's a funky street full of funky places & people. A must do everytime we are there.
I am thankful for the deep roots.