Sunday, 22 March 2015

Trek America Day 6 and 7: New Orleans

I heart NOLA!!!! My words and photos will not be able to convey just how great this city is.  I think it may be one of my favourite ever places in the world.  Forget New York everyone, come to New Orleans instead!!!!

We arrived after a really long drive with a lunch stop off at Whole Foods, this place is amazing.  Huge huge fresh salad buffet and other stuff including an incredible cake selection (see photo).  Apparently there's 3 in London, how could I have not known this!

The drive down was pretty miserable, we drove through rain storms, but the sun was there to welcome us to New Orleans!!  Our hotel is the most beautiful building, located just opposite the French Quarter, it's a ramshackle sprawled out building with a central courtyard that contains a small pool.  Our rooms have wooden floors and shutters and balconies overlooking the pool. It's all very quaint and I think I'm in love and never want to leave!!! If you ever come here the hotel is called New Orleans Courtyard Hotel.

I did the important task of laundry (such a treat wearing clean clothes) then we headed out for a quick walking tour with Ben.  We went to Lafitte's which is the oldest known bar in America, and got an alcoholic beverage to take out (24hr drinking is allowed in New Orleans and you're allowed to drink on the street..  This isn't the only reason I love it here I promise!!) .  I got a frozen voodoo daiquiri which was huge and delicious.

We went for dinner where we ate typical New Orleans dishes, I had the taster menu which was jambalaya (alligator sausage, shrimp, vegetables and rice), crawfish etoufee and red beans and rice. All very nice.  My spelling of these dishes is probably a bit dodgy, don't judge me.

After dinner we went to Cats Meow which is the most amazing place ever - a karaoke bar!!! But with a stage and an audience. I actually didn't sign up to sing anything as the queue for songs looked quite big however I do slightly regret not doing it now. I'll have to come back!  I also met a guy with the coolest job ever, he basically introduced the karaoke acts and in between each song he got to do his own karaoke. I want his job!!! Everyone in the bar was completely trashed but not in a horrible let's all knife each other way, just a jolly happy way. It was nice! Also some of the staff looked stoned.  I think it's very liberal here!  There are beggars here but they all seem to want a dollar for a beer which I find funny. They literally walk up to you asking for a dollar.  There are also some with amusing signs, such as "heartbroken, I need beer" and "Fuck it, I'm just lazy, give me $20".  If I'm ever unemployed I may try these tactics at home.

The following day we had breakfast (the last two places we have stayed have had waffle making machines, woohoo!) Then Julie went off to church (I was tempted but think I would have felt a bit awkward) and I went off with the boys to do some exploration. 

There's so much to see, the architecture is so beautiful that you can literally just wander around and be happy.  It makes such a change to the rest of the places we have been so far which are just big concrete buildings.  The buildings here are very quaint, all bright colours with little balconies, very colonial, with tree lined pavements.  It also smells really lovely, we thought maybe jasmine or frangipangi but we couldn't tell.  Ben just described NOLA as " elegant decay" which is actually quite spot on because parts are a bit tumbledown but it's still beautiful. We strolled round the French Quarter (which should actually be called the Spanish Quarter as Spain occupied it far longer than the French did), walked around a cemetery (all raised coffins), checked out some voodoo shops, tried on hats in a vintage store (Leanne I took photoa just for you!), saw some live bands playing in the street and just generally mooched before heading back to the hotel for some chill out time by the pool. I already said it but I love travelling with people from different nationalities, we had a really interesting conversation about accents and vocabulary and language in general.  It makes me wish I had chosen a different dissertation topic when I was at uni as I could have chosen something I found interesting rather than something I knew would be easy!! Hindsight...

In the evening we went to Frenchman Street which is the "proper" music street (Bourbon has a reputation much like Pub Street in Cambodia, just a party street).  We sat and watched a band get set up which seemed to take forever, then watched them play jazz for a bit but I really wasn't feeling it.   The musicians didn't seem as enthusiastic or energetic as past bands we have seen so far.  The only thing worth watching them for was the faces the drummer pulled.  I love musicians faces, my friend Samer makes the best bass face ever.

Anyway a bit off topic.  New Orleans is bloody brilliant. You should go visit.

2 comments:

  1. Well done on the hat front Nains! Also, I am so jealous now - New Orleans is a beautiful city! It's definitely on my list of places to go! Also also, I have been in the Whole Foods in Camden, and I don't even live in London! Double lolz. Seriously though, I'm glad you're having fun! -x-

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    1. Pahahaha! I'm such a rubbish Londoner!!!! Xxxx

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