Although I'm still focused on Moon Florida Keys at the moment, my mind has drifted ever so briefly to New Orleans – the land of amazing food and equally incredible music. Admittedly, my mind drifts there a lot – whether or not I'm actually in the city at the time. But, on this occasion, I actually have a reason to muse about the Big Easy.
A few months ago, on Christmas Day, I shared with you one of my favorite U.S. travel secrets: the annual French Quarter Festival . As I wrote then, the French Quarter Fest  began in 1984 as the “locals' festival” and has since evolved into Louisiana's largest free music event. Typically, French Quarter Fest takes place in mid-April, a couple weeks prior to the world-famous, much more commercialized New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival . For a solid weekend, live musical performances occur throughout the French Quarter and along the Mississippi Riverfront, ranging from zydeco bands to blues artists, epitomizing the Pelican State's rich musical heritage.
Of course, what would any festival in New Orleans be without delicious food? From boiled crawfish and stuffed artichokes to Creole jambalaya and alligator sausage, the city's cuisine is always spotlighted during the three-day event. My mouth's watering just thinking about it.
Well, guess what, the blessed weekend has indeed arrived! The 27th annual French Quarter Fest is taking place from Friday, April 9, to Sunday, April 11, offering 250 hours' worth of free music. So, what are you waiting for? Drop everything and head to the Crescent City. Seriously, you won't regret it.
For more information about the Big Easy, the Crescent City, or whatever you call New Orleans, consult the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau  (2020 St. Charles St., 800/672-6124, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) or pick up a copy of Andrew Collins' Moon New Orleans  travel guide. And, by all means, laissez les bon temps roulez!
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Photo / Text © 2010 Laura Martone