A couple of weekends ago, I went down to NOLA with a few friends. I'd never been there, and man, was it amazing. In, like, three ways: 1) HOT. So insanely hot. Like 105, and humid. 2) Gorgeous. Dripping with charm and whimsy at every turn. 3) Energetic. The city--and the swamps--were pulsing with energy. Here are some photos:This was the pool at our hotel, the Audubon Cottages. Some cottages were haunted, but we chose one that wasn't. Elizabeth Taylor used to stay here, we read. We swam about four times a day. Here's me having bathrobe time (I love hotel bathrobes!) under a really old painting that seemed too valuable to be in our room. But there it was. Alligators and swamps and fan boats, oh my! Our guide seriously did not lose one drop of sweat. Captain Lou was superhuman. (See how we're trying not to touch each other in that second photo? You cannot understand how sweltering it was.) We held this guy! The Columns Hotel had an amazingly huge porch where we had white wine and took in the shade. Special thanks to Pappy Strange for the amazing List of things to do and see. It did not fail us once! So who else has been to NOLA? Did you love it? PS-My friend Erin, who blogs for Glamour, put up more pics of our trip here, if you're interested.