Day 63 - The Day After The Night BeforeNovember 9, 2016 in the United States
So it wasn't a dream! Why can't life be as predictable as lazy story writing.
We had breakfast which was luxuriously rich waffles and bananas soaking in syrup. The B&B we were staying in was incredibly welcoming and we were free to pop into the dining room and take any snacks we fancied. The owners were both generous and warm and it didn't feel appropriate to bring up politics over breakfast. Although Louisiana is traditionally Republican, the cities and New Orleans in particular are primarily Democrats. We just mentioned we stayed up late watching the election and as the response was fairly muted we left it at that. We were feeling perky after all that sugar and caffeine for breakfast and we were now ready to hit New Orleans.
We took a taxi to the Riverwalk and the driver was so friendly and funny Alice and I were laughing all the way in. A big tip for him! We started the day with a bit of shopping, but as per usual turned out to be mainly window shopping. We walked a short distance and found ourselves in the French Quarter. The architecture is striking and is a mix of Hispanic, French and Caribbean influences from a variety of periods. Like so many other areas we have visited, the trees and other foliage add another layer of detail. Whether it has been the Spanish Moss in Savannah, the huge Redwoods of the West Coast, the bare and haunting trees of Yosemite or the multitude of colours of the New England fall, the variety in tree types has been of particular note. In New Orleans, the surrounding swampy marshes and tropical trees (not sure what they are called) ensure that nature has stamped it's identity on this area just as much as the various cultures have.
We walked down the main 'party' drag, Bourbon Street, and it reminded Alice and I of those Mediterranean resorts for Brits and other Europeans looking for a fun time. People are trying to get you to go into their bar with happy hours and other alcoholic offers. We hadn't even had lunch! So it was time to get some food. We ate at Oceana which is a seafood restaurant in the mould of Bubba Gump Shrimp. Not sure which came first, but they both provide shrimp and fish in various brand friendly formulas. It was very nice and just as important, healthy.
My birthday was the next day and as we were driving the day after that, we thought it wise to celebrate the night before so we had a whole day to recover. This turned out to be a wise decision! We popped to the B&B and relaxed for a bit and then headed out for an evening in New Orleans. We started at a restaurant that was recommended to us by the B&B owner, Mr Bs (the name of the restaurant by the way). We were advised to go with the barbecue shrimp that would change our world. I had to go with it. To say that it changed my world would be an exaggeration, however, it was close to changing my world. The sauce was buttery smooth with the right heat and not too rich. There was also ample bread to mop up this wonderful sauce. Alice had fish, rice and beans that she really enjoyed. Sitting next to us were two guys who it turned out were surgeons and they were friendly and chatty. We started talking about our travels and then politics came up. They were surprised that we had heard about the finer details of their election which only added to their admitted embarrassment. As the conversation moved to UK politics, there was enough embarassment to go around. One of them also noticed that our waitress had accidentally delayed Alice's and my dinner which we weren't fussed about. However he mentioned to the waitress that we should get a free dessert for that. And we did! Alice and I didn't expect anything from the waitress and it was nice of the guy to even mention it. Dinner was a fantastic suggestion and experience.
Next came the drinking. We started at Pat O'Brien's which is a bar famous for creating a cocktail called Hurricane. It has lots of different types of alcohol, it is very sweet and everybody in the bar seemed to be drinking it. We were in the garden area and glasses of red liquid were on every table. The generosity of people continued as a table near us had ordered an extra one by mistake and gave it to Alice and I. We ended up sinking five of these before leaving. Walking down Bourbon Street at night was a totally different experience to the day. It was busy, bright and in the spirit of the moment Alice and I got daiquiri's to walk down the street with. We then decided it was time for a dance and we passed plenty of bars and went to the one with the music we liked with enough people inside. We stayed here all night. A day and night to remember (alcohol permitting!).
Song of the Day:
R.E.M. - It's the End of the World as We Know It - And I Feel FineRead more