Happy Fat Tuesday! As I am finally getting caught up on past travel posts [that I drafted and never completed], I got inspired by all of the Mardi Gras/Carnaval travel everyone is doing lately and wanted to share how amazing my first trip to New Orleans was! I hope you will make sure to visit NOLA super soon!
I headed to Oklahoma [the 7th state of my solo 48 state road trip] on a mission…Priscilla [my Prius] needed an oil change. I had no idea Oklahoma City was such a big city, and before I knew it Priscilla was all freshened up & ready to hit the road.
I committed to taking a photo of each state line sign thinking it would be a simple feat however, I had to drive back and forth a few times to capture most. For Oklahoma, it didn’t exist! I swear! Back and forth and many extra loops and I just couldn’t find one, I think the back roads I chose were a bit too small to be considered worthy of a sign! [So I made the one below LOL]
I enjoy driving the back roads when possible so I did here and was surprised to see a lot of fancy homes in this area [& lots and lots of corn]. However, while driving I almost hit a turtle. A freakin’ turtle!!!
There was no water nearby and I didn’t see a rabbit waiting on the other side [LOL sorry I crack myself up], but there were so many trucks racing down this road I knew his life was close to ending. So, instead of allowing that to happen, I almost died rescuing him instead! He popped his head out in what I translated as a ‘thank you’.
Afterwards, I just made a quick stop in Texas [my 8th state]. I have been there so many times before [it was actually ‘my region’ for a previous job and therefore I traveled to it regularly for years], and it is such an enormous state that I decided not to explore it on this trip. However, for the record, I do like San Antonio & it’s super cute River Walk BUT Austin is my absolute favorite Texas city there and I definitely recommend a visit!
Then I crossed the border into Arkansas [my 9th state], explored a bit and got some photos…BUT I was in a hurry to get to Louisiana. I have always wanted to go there and couldn’t wait a moment longer. Its sheer proximity was magnetic.
And thus, began my love affair with the state – I Heart Louisiana!
I made it to Shreeveport and was excited to see water again! The heightened cost to live near water is always justified in my opinion. I wasted no time getting my fix of Southern food [Yum! Delish!] and exploration of the town.
Despite meeting the friendliest locals, I was dying to get to New Orleans. So I headed South and WOW! It is even more fantastic than I ever imagined!!
Why, hello New Orleans…how you doin?!?
Because I unfortunately blindly follow my GPS (I remind myself of the commercial where the pop tart who is lead into a toaster without even realizing) I turned onto Bourbon Street as instructed. LMAO. Soooo stupid!
In my defense…I changed my iPhone voice to a British male and now I do everything he says! I swear my phone is more attractive now also. #iloveaccents
Technically, you CAN drive on Bourbon Street in the daylight hours, but intoxicated people walking slower than my turtle friend are smack dab in the middle of the street making it difficult to actually get anywhere. Also, when Priscilla coasts, due to her hybrid engine, she is silent like a ninja so that did not help me get anywhere any faster. #sneakylikeaninja
I located my hotel, paid an arm and a leg to park, and made my way to my room. Apparently, all the traveling has paid off and my hotel points got me a room with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street! It was fantastic!
Not only was it 4th of July weekend but it was a magazine/music festival so the crowds were hefty and I could sit there and people watch forever! But there were things to see and lots of food to eat so I forced myself to leave. [I squeezed in some bead distribution later with my neighbors though…don’t you worry!]
New Orleans – Bourbon Street Balcony View [Click to watch video]I LOVE food so much and with so many great chefs in the area I was torn on where to begin. I treated myself to a dining adventure and then hits the bars for live music! Live jazz, hip hop clubs, pirate bars and restaurants galore…it is really easy to love this city!
Click to watch some live jazz from NOLA here.
I made sure to go to Commander’s Palace [I’ve ALWAYS wanted to eat there] and really stretched just how big of a hypocrite vegetarian I can be. I tried turtle soup. Yup. So that turtle I saved??? Well, I basically ate his brother instead. Horrible!!
Then, as the server recited a long list of ingredients, he also casually mentioned veal. Freakin’ baby cow! Baby cow and turtle. A faint cry of ‘MOO’ and some noise that I assume is what a turtle crying would sound like, echoed in my ears. I wish they could have just thrown in all the other meat I have never tried so I could get it done all at once. Le sigh.
I just had a little bit though because, despite their 25-cent martinis [yes for real…3 maximum], I could not muster up enough liquid courage to stop thinking about the poor critters I was feasting upon…but the flavor was very unique [again endless ingredients and a smokey/creole after taste] and because it is a local staple I had to try it!
Wandering around NOLA was such a blast. Old school cemeteries, and colorful houses are EVERYWHERE! The style, architecture, and plant life is such a unique combo. Definitely check out the Garden District and the outskirts of Bourbon Street for sights you wouldn’t even expect to find here.
And really, the food is some of the best you will ever have in your whole life! Sweet treats like beignets, southern smokey flavors, seafood galore and so much more. Please just try as many new items as you can, I know you won’t be disappointed!
Great music, delicious food, voodoo shops, tons of history, and basically a 24/7 party…New Orleans is FABULOUS! You must go. Sooner than someday. 😉
AHC Shout Outs to locals Daniel & Chris in Shreveport! Thanks for the recommendations…you guys rock!
Thanks for reading! Have any favorite spots in Louisiana and/or New Orleans? Thinking of visiting there soon? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂
Read about Amy’s entire 48 state solo road trip here.
Amy’s 48 state road trip route [starting @ home = Southern California] to: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming [again], Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada & UTAH!