Driving all night from Washington DC with the only stop in Mount Jackson, Virginia for dinner at Denny's, we arrived in Memphis in the early morning. We made a brief stop to check out Graceland, home to Elvis Pressley. After finding out the only way to check it out was to go on a guided tour, we decided to just leave. We explored Beale Street for the rest of the morning before having lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. From Memphis, we drove into Mississippi stopping only in Jackson to fill up on gas. We were only in Jackson for about 15 minutes pumping gas but in that time at the gas station, I could feel a racial divide in the air. Just from what I know about their recent history, relations between blacks and whites in Mississippi were suspicious at best. There was nothing overt and obvious but it was just a strange feeling that came through me. Driving into Louisiana, I could definitely see the change in the terrain as the land became much flatter and swampier. We crossed Lake Pontchartrain and headed into the suburbs of New Orleans. For the next few days, we would be staying
with Van's friend Jessica at her home in Metairie. Coming to New Orleans was the whole purpose for this trip. Van was going to be a bridesmaid in Jessica's wedding and needed to get fitted for the dress as well as attend an engagement party.
New Orleans highlights
- The French Quarter- beautiful architecture complete with wrought and cast iron balconies. Shopping here was fun especially the Voodoo themed shops and outdoor markets.
- Bourbon Street- Not as crowded as it gets during Mardi Gras but still pretty chaotic. We walked around bar hopping and drinking Hurricanes.
- Cafe Du Monde- It is world famous for some reason. We had some beignets which are just glorified donut. The powdered sugar was everywhere!!. Much of the staff were Vietnamese.
- The food- My first experience with Cajun food. Loved the Jambalaya, the huge buckets of crawdads, and Po'boys (New Orleans style sub sandwiches).
- Lafayette Cemetery- One of the above ground cemeteries New Orleans is famous for. Some of the tombs were opened and I was very tempted to get inside for a creepy photo op. It would have been awesome to have taken a night
One of New Orleans' famous above ground cemeteries
tour of the cemetery.
- Belfort Mansion- On St. Charles Avenue. It was the home to my favorite Real World season. Just 3 years removed from filming, it is now vacant and in desperate need of repairs.
New Orleans observations
- the Fleur de Lis is everywhere. It was only later that I found out it is the symbol of the city.
- Drive thru Dacquiri shops
- The black people here are really dark compared to those in California
- Nutrias, otter-like animals swimming in the canals and ditches.
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