Well today was the day we went to New Orleans. We were up and off by 8am, 10 am we swapped drivers, my turn to drive, then Beth started to complain, I am hungry! So a quick stop at a Subway for some brekkie. We stopped again at 12.30 to give Beth her medicine and swap again. 1.30 we left Florida for Alabama – Forest Gump land. Beth is complaining she is hungry.  Going pass a huge fireworks place, with the biggest NO SMOKING sign I have ever seen, wonder why? As we drive on Beth keeps on, theres an IHOP , McDonald’s at all the signs along the road, I am still full from breakfast, she must have hollow legs. We go over a bridge that is at the top of the Gulf of Mexico, can’t see any oil. Eventually we stop at a Hooters, believe it or not it is Beths request she likes the chicken, Stuart doesnt complain lol.

So it is now my turn driving I drive through Alabama into Mississippi

One thing I do notice is that Americans travel, our little trip is nothing compared to the distances they go, probably why they tow their cars when in mobile homes.

So while I am driving the heavens opened, omg rain, I have never driven in such bad weather before, as we cross the Louisiana State line the rest area is advertised, all the 1st rest areas when going into a new state has a tourist area. The lady was very nice, saying where to go in New Orleans and even offered 2 hotels at reasonable rates, now the hotel was $49, thats not per person, that is for the room, it includes continental breakfast and valet parking. So hotel booked, Stuart takes the last leg.

Now I will be honest, a tad worried about what we were going to find, heading into New Orleans, from the horror of Katrina – they say the town has not recovered and lots of homeless people and stories that had been told to use about the town, the corruption and crime. I don’t think I have ever worried before, maybe worried is too harsh a word, cautious. Anyway the Mississippi river. Now they look like they are building another bridge across the river so photos are not too good, but by gum the river is wide and I am nervous as hell going across it on the bridge, as it seems to go on and on and on. The bridge itself is 6 lanes wide.

So now we are in New Orleans, all the roads are concrete which is really nosy to drive on. Not really much signs of Katrina just the huge amount of new homes.

then in amongst all the new buildings

It makes you realise just what happen here. Though a lot of Controversy, as apparently a lot of homes were built on wetlands below sea level, so how allowed that? Also that the people didn’t really think it was going to be that bad, including the governor. Apparently we were told that the governor could have realised all 50 school buses to ship people out of the town away from Katrini but didn’t, and when the tides went down there was all 50 school buses in the parking lot, ruined! How many people could have been saved?

So we come off the interstate and the directions to the hotel is very easy, valley parking brilliant as parking seems a premium here. We are staying in a hotel in the french quarter, a block up from Bourbon Street. We settle in our room, show and change and head out. We want to get out early before Bourbon Street gets going, the reason being is because it is like Amsterdam red light district, or we have been told. Now I have to be honest, I am not a prude, it doesn’t bother me, but having Beth with us it does this time and I am impressed by how we were approached down the street. Often outside the clubs, there are people trying to entice you in, I notice people in front of us was asked to come into clubs, but they didn’t ask us. I also did tell Beth not to look through the doors, as you can often see naked woman. So we walk down a way, then head towards the bay to look at the stream boats and grab a tram. Now the Mississippi River does look dirty but to be honest, it is more like a dock than somewhere spectacular. We get on the tram and do the whole line, jump off and continue to walk around the city. The Architecture of some of the building is amazing and you could spend ages wandering around looking at the different styles of buildings.

So after a while we are getting tired and hungry, and look for something to eat. Now I hate being hassled if I stop to look at a menu I don’t want someone in my face trying to persuade me to eat in their restaurant, I know its their job but for me I am more likely to not go in, well being told I could have alligator Steaks is so off putting and it does take me ages before I find somewhere that I am happy to eat in, I do believe Stuart was getting fed up with me, but sorry I am very particular – lol. We go into the Gumbo Shop, no one hassling us to come in, it looks busy and lively ( a good sign in my eyes, people actually like the place to eat). I thought we would have to wait for a table, but no led straight to the table, drinks well after the route march we have just been on around the town I have a strawberry daiquiri with alcohol, beth has a non alcohol one, lets hope we drink the right drinks

Now one thing I insisted on was we ate local food, so Stuart has Jambalaya, I have the mixed creole and Beth, has a specially prepared pasta dish with shrimp. It was gorgeous.

Well after this food and a bottle of wine, in with all the driving and walking we have done we are beat and head back to the hotel. Now we cannot pass a shop with out going in and got loads of goodies. As we continue back to the hotel, it is apparent of the number of young people out partying, one thing about the bars here is that after 10pm, you have to buy 2 drinks min to get into bars, so a lot of the time people use the streets to be sick on and to urinate, and it is beginning to smell that way. But the amount  of people drinking is amazing the street is full, so no wonder it is called the good time town.  I am glad I have come and experienced the town, but would def not recommend it for people with children.