“New Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying I want to be a policeman or I want to be a fireman, he say, I want to be a musician. – Alan Jaffe
This morning we got up early to begin our drive to our 12th state – Louisiana through our 11th state – Mississippi. We stopped halfway in Jackson (yes, the same place that Johnny Cash sang about) at a place called whole foods. Whole foods is a huge organic food type place. It’s massive. They have a buffet type system where you get containers and fill it up with food and then it gets weighed at the counter and they charge you based on the weight. It is a uniquely American thing. Whole Foods was pretty good but also way too expensive.
A few hours later and we arrived in New Orleans. As we arrived, a local tour guide jumped on our bus for a quick tour around the French Quarter with some good information about New Orleans including a humorous story about Nicholas Cage owning a burial plot here and spending hundreds of thousand of dollars on digging up 200 skeletons because a voodoo lady told him to do so to cure a curse.
We have found so far that nearly every place we go to feels completely different. In Australia, most places feels pretty similar and the culture is pretty similar across the board. In America there are massive differences everywhere. No two places that have felt the same. It is a really nice feeling. We did this tour and then checked into our hotel. A lot of people decided to stay at the hotel and rest as we were going to have a big night, we thought ‘fuck that, let’s explore’ so we went exploring with no real aim. We ended up walking around pretty much the entire French quarter which is amazing, it is crazy and wild but also funky and so much fun. There are a lot of homeless people here and it is a bit dirty and rough around the edges, but it is so unique and real. The Spanish architecture buildings with the second floor balconies adorning the street just create a sense of old school charm and beauty above streets of pure debauchery and mayhem.
The New Orleans French quarter is party headquarters, especially the infamous Bourbon street where neon lights rest overhead and you can carry your frozen grog drinks anywhere. It’s pure bliss. We came across a 7 piece Jazz band playing on the side of the road our the front of a Walgreens. They were pretty great and playing with so much passion and they had homeless people dancing in the middle of the road. When a car came by they’d dance off the road and then after it went, they’d dance back on. Such a great moment that felt so fun.
During the exploration we came to the world famous Cafe du Monde.
They have a tiny menu that includes cafe au lait and beignets (pronounced: Bin-yay). They are like a donut covered in stacks of icing sugar.
New Orleans is famous for Cafe du monde and it was damn good! Even if we did get icing sugar all over ourselves.
We had an optional dinner tonight called the Taste of New Orleans.
It was a 3 course traditional Creole meal at a place called Tujagues (pronounced: Two-Jags). Entree was a classic Gumbo which was nice and had very strong flavours. The dipping bread was in abundance and immaculate. We had fish in butter sauce with some mash and broccoli, it was nice to get some relatively healthy food in instead of the amount of junk food we have been eating, it was delicious. Then for dessert we got bread pudding with caramel sauce. It was very much like a sticky toffee pudding. Very nice. By this time we were very full and pretty drunk as we had been drinking these drinks called hurricanes that are sweet pink slushy drinks that you can buy and just carry around the street. The whole group headed on over to Bourbon street for the party to begin.
The vibe was bumpin’ for a Monday night. We went to a tiki type bar called Tropical Isle and got a drink called a hand grenade known as New Orleans most powerful drink. They are bright green (we are assuming some type of melon liqueur) and come in a tall glass in the shape of a hand grenade at the bottom. Also came with a little hand grenade plastic ice cube in it.
These are deceiving, they seem fun and delicious and then they become a savagely powerful drink. We smashed them and drank and danced and sang with the crew to the house band that we’re playing, it was good fun but we were very wasted at this point. Stumbling down Bourbon street, Ronnie was feeling sick and sitting down in the middle of the road trying not to throw up in the middle of the night. We ended up making it back to the hotel and settling in for another day in New Orlans.
Ronnie & Aimee.