If you ever want to experience a myriad of cultures with so many beautiful, talented, and free-spirited people up close and personal, go to New Orleans. The expression of individuality and uniqueness is definitely commonplace in this amazing city. To be honest, after spending my weekend there, it is unanimous that I don’t spend enough time there. But, I plan to change that really soon.

I decided to attend Essence Festival this year to see all that it had to offer. Although there are a few things that I would do completely different, it definitely did not disappoint. I wanted to attend a few of the empowerment sessions and had every plan to, but unfortunately, I didn’t even get a chance to attend them. The few that I attended, I couldn’t even hear what was going on so I didn’t even try to strain my ears. As a matter of fact, it’s really hard to hear any of the sessions if you can’t get close enough and that’s only if they have space left.

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I got a chance to meet see Maxwell who was doing a meet and greet at the Walmart booth. I couldn’t hear anything he said, especially while the Old School vs. New School dance competition was happening at the McDonald’s stage directly across from it. And while I had EVERY intention on taking a picture with Maxwell after buying his CD, the line was just too ridiculously long for my liking and my patience. But he’s even more beautiful in person.

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Besides Maxwell, there were a slew of other celebrities that were there such as MC Lyte, Neyo, The Cast from The Real, Misty Copeland, even OPRAH. Please don’t ask me if I got pictures of Oprah, because I didn’t. Yes, I am still kicking myself. Just know, next year, I will be prepared! But overall, I truly enjoyed the experience.

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After indulging in a few more festivities in the Convention Center, we decided to head over to the French Quarter. Since we would most likely have to pay to park again, we just left my car in the parking garage by the center and we took an UBER to the French Quarter instead. This seemed most reasonable and proved to be a life saver. It was my first time using UBER and I’m very pleased with it.

I absolutely LOVE the French Quarter. There is so much to do and see. We grabbed pralines, white fudge oreos and even tried Cuban Rum cigars, which were amazing and I don’t even smoke. But I couldn’t help feeling like a boss while taking my puffs and flicking the ashes away.

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We continued to walk around for a bit — stuck around and watched street performers put their souls into their art for a few singles from the crowd. I always enjoy seeing the children and their talents.

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It’s been quite some time that I’ve made the most of my weekend. For the past few months, it’s been all about the next Netflix/Hulu/Amazon series to binge watch all weekend with the curtains closed and with enough snacks bedside so my body doesn’t enter starvation mode. Stepping away from that bad habit felt really good. It was refreshing to get out and enjoy the presence of so many beautiful and cultured people. It also felt really good to dust off my camera (although I brought the wrong lens) and dive back into something I love so much. This weekend has sort of been like me rediscovering myself.. rediscovering and revisiting things that I loved but have escaped me for whatever reason.

So since July has finally come, I plan to spend more of this month taking the time to rediscover myself. I’m working on getting back to me. Navigating back to my center and doing more of what I love and focusing on all that I’ve forgotten and abandoned.

July is for the rediscovery of me.

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8 Comments
  1. Shannon

    July 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    You’ve taken some great pictures. I always hear so many great things about New Orleans and I hope to visit some day.

    It’s always good to get out of the place we deem our safe havens and away from particular habits and/or routines. Though they make us feel comfortable and often relaxed, we tend to become lethargic and I believe this can have effects on our subconscious. When I’m laid up on the weekends I start feeling like I’m being unproductive and those thoughts tend to sneak up on me during the week. That’s when I start overthinking things and feeling like the things that I do aren’t enough. When I do happen to get out and enjoy my weekends, even if to just have fun, I feel like I was more productive.
    Reuniting With My PassionMy Profile

    1. Rae

      July 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Exactly, Shannon!

      I’m going to make it a habit to get out more and enjoy life and just to get some fresh air at the very least. I honestly believe that your weekend can either negatively or positively set the tone for the week ahead.

  2. mimi

    July 4, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I haven’t made it to Essence yet. Maybe next year, then again I say that EVERY year! It is so easy to let life get us away from our passions but making time to get in the groove again really does give you a sense of center.
    peach mango milkshakes and a movie + kroger giftcard giveawayMy Profile

    1. Rae

      July 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Well when you do, you better call me!

  3. Valla

    July 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I’m so making it my goal to get to essence festival for next year IT IS A MUST!!!! lol and Plus I haven’t been back home in a long time.
    Washington, DCMy Profile

    1. Rae

      July 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      If you do, let me know so we can meet up!

  4. Law_Fal

    July 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Good luck chica!!! And u allllready know how I feel about New Orleans!
    The Big Catch-Up…..My Profile

    1. Rae

      July 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Girl, you rep harder than the people who live there! LOL! But I can honestly see why you love it so much. I just need to make sure I have enough energy to deal with NOLA. It ain’t for the prudes.

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