Leaving Virginia on Thursday morning, we were a little sad to say goodbye to the friends we had made there but excited to move on, particularly to the warmth of the South. Eight hours of intense travel saw us leave the state of Virginia, cross right across Tennessee, cut the corner of Georgia, traverse the whole of Alabama and arrive in Mississippi in the evening. We found a decent budget hotel which exceeded expectations and slept well, although not for as long as desired due to the time zone change in Alabama meaning the kids woke an hour earlier.
After a surprisingly good breakfast included in the price we set off again for New Orleans and at this point our phones started alarming with warnings of extreme weather and flash flooding. The rain came and went but when it came it really seriously came, heavier than I think either of us have seen before. Cautiously we pressed on observing that no one around us seemed phased by the weather other than, thankfully, leaving a little longer stopping distances so for a change.
As we arrived in New Orleans the weather served to add to the apocalyptic appearance of the city outskirts. Greenery infringes everywhere and people look like they are loosing the battle, or have accepted their place and embraced the look perhaps? That changes as you get into the city centre but not a lot. It adds a fragile beauty to the man made structures which appealed to us outdoorsy types and an intriguing appeal to explore. I felt like I was walking amongst the pages of novels, although the pouring rain helped keep me in reality. We got soaked!
Lunch was at a funky restaurant in the French Quarter sampling as much local Creole cuisine as possible including Jambalaya and Gumbo along with fried alligator, crawfish and catfish. Stuffed full we wandered around the dripping wet streets, Patrick danced in giant puddles determined to get as wet as possible, and we dashed over well used tram tracks to see the great Mississippi River with it’s paddle boats heading off playing jolly tunes with a steam organ.
We had hoped to stay in New Orleans so that we could experience some Jazz and soak up the evening atmosphere but it turns out you need to book! Pretty much all year round too. There isn’t a specific event on this weekend but literally everywhere was full so we headed back to the suburbs and found a Holiday Inn with a pool for the kids, which they loved. Today we are heading to a Plantation to learn about the history of the area and it’s slave foundations. Tomorrow we have a swamp wildlife adventure planned before moving on for the 25 hours of West bound travel.
PS. for more videos and photos you can follow me on Facebook