New Orleans day 2 – Jazz and Crocodiles

Bobby: Mama, when did Benjamin Franklin invent electricity? Mama: That’s nonsense, I invented electricity, Benjamin Franklin is the devil!”- The Waterboy

It was our first free day in a while as there is a tour changeover today. 15 people left the tour group today and another 15 have joined. It is sad to say goodbye to them, but unfortunately all things come to an end. We got a sleep in (which we desperately needed) we’ve been so tired from late nights and early morning, doing so much, drinking so much and eating so much that our bodies are struggling to cope with it all. There has been very little relaxation and we feel a bit rundown.

We Slept in until about 10am and then we got up and headed to the post office as we had to post some more stuff back to Australia. Our bags have gotten out of control – again. We rolled to the post office in the pissing down rain. Post office’s in America are far different to ones in Australia. You have to go through airport-like security just to get into the  post office. The staff were extremely rude and extraordinarily slow. Over $100 and a horrible experience.

We decided to go grab some brunch at a place recommended by Braden, The Ruby Slipper up the road from our hotel. The restaurant only does breakfast food which we found interest. It was really busy. We had to wait for a table and ended up being seated at the bar. Ronnie ordered a Po-Boy with some fries which was enormous and delicious. A po-boy is like an open sandwich which had pulled pork, coleslaw and Cajun spices on it. They can vary and the main po-boy is made with seafood. Top quality. Aimee ordered BBQ shrimp and grits. It was nice too, though she didn’t know how to go about eating it. Some classic Cajun food for our brunch was a good way to get over the post-office ordeal.

We then decided to jump on the most historic street car route in New Orleans, St Charles line. It took us around for a look at the Garden District which was pretty stunning. They had heaps of them old glorious houses that are classic American that you would see in the movies, like in American Horror Story: Coven and True Blood. Just really cool. That took a while but was good.

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We then went back to the hotel for a bit of a rest before our optional airboat swamp tour today. The airboat people picked us up in their busses and drove us to the swamp. They had this albino alligator in a tank there which was cool, but a bit sad cause he did not have a very big tank.

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Then we loaded onto these massive fan boats which reminded me of the one Bobby Boucher’ mum drives in the movie ‘Waterboy’.  We cruised around the swampy river on that which really loud and really fun. We came across  wild alligators which was kind of scary but cool to see them in their natural environment. Then the old cajun bloke who was driving, got off the boat and started patting, feeding and kissing these alligators. What a mad man! The gators must be trained in some way. Still seemed pretty risky.

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We kept waterboating through the swamp after this. There were heaps of alligators and turtles as well as cool swamp trees and stuff. It was pretty sweet. We pulled up at a certain spot and the driver pulled a baby alligator out of an esky that he had on the boat. It was pretty awesome. We all took turns having a hold of the baby alligator. We enjoyed that.

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Then we boated it back to the dock for the drive home. It was a good experience. The people there had thick Cajun accents which was mad.

We went back to the hotel again for a little rest and then we were back out for dinner. We decided to go buy some fresh clothes because we have had extremely limited opportunities to do our laundry. After this we headed back to Bourbon street to a sports bar restaurant for dinner called Bayou Burger. We ordered the classic Bayou burger which was a massive, greasy burger. They actually deep fried the burger patty in batter which was strange, it also had deep fried onion, pickles and jalapeños on it. It was pretty much a grease burger. It tasted pretty good though. It was nice to spend time just enjoying the food while watching the softball on the tv and the little African American kids drumming on upside down buckets just outside the restaurant.

Then we took our clothes back to the hotel and dressed up to head out. We wandered over to Frenchman street that is wall to wall jazz bars all up the street. There is music everywhere, it is a really cool vibe. We went to a bar called Blue Nile where we watched a 9 piece Jazz band called Waterseed. They were so good. Incredibly talented. We had a drink and vibed out before going for round 2 at cafe du monde. Love them beignets.

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New Orleans is a great place, we highly recommend it to anyone travelling to the US. It is rough around the edges, there are a lot of homeless people, its gritty but also pretty. New Orleans has a certain charm that everybody should experience at least one. Not to be missed. A real experience.

Much love

Ronnie & Aimee.

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