IM SO EXCITED TO SEE MADDIE & JAKE! It’s been a little while since I’ve seen somebody from home & I know with them its guaranteed going to be a fun time!
I waited at the airport for them (at the wrong spot but we eventually found eachother). When I waited I had a lovely little chat with Kirsty, it was great to hear her voice! Maddie had a `bit of a drama with her bag because the airline lost one of them. As soon as they had all our details for them to send her bag to her, we were on our way! Our taxi driver was hilarious!
The street our hostel is on is a French word so Maddie tried to pronounce it in the appropriate accent…
“UH OH GIIIRRRRL, DON’T TRY BE ALL FAAAANCY”
This sassy African driver introduced us to New Orleans well!
Once we got there we sussed out our area we were staying in, grabbed a few maps and went to get food and dranks! We went to a little pub called the Blind Pelican across the road! Our waitress was really friendly and didn’t want to stop chatting with us! I loved everything about her… except for the fact that she asked me if my parents paid for everything. But I guess doing huge backpacking/travelling trips isn’t as much in the American culture as it is the Australian. So to many of them, what I was doing was beyond crazy. We got unexpectedly blind. Maddie was shoving jelly shots in my face – they were not normal jelly shots! It was more like a big plastic container that you have sauce in, with some thing much stronger than what we have! I cant remember the name of the liquor they used… But it was deadly!
We did the smart thing and didn’t stay out to late because tomorrow was our only full day in New Orleans, because the day after we were going to Voodoo Music Festival! We woke up & grabbed some of the hostels free breakfast from the kitchen & got the “street car/trolley”(tram) into town to go to Bourbon St! I was feeling very under the weather.
It was a beautiful day! The weather in New Orleans was lovely, except for the nights that got quite cold!
We paid to do a 3hour Cemetery Tour that went to the oldest Cemetery in New Orleans called St. Louis Cemetery – home to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau’s grave & Nicolas Cage’s huge dramatic future grave.
Our tour guide was an odd ball. I couldn’t understand if his sarcasm constantly related to really hating his job or not. He had a very strange sense of humor & spoke at a million miles an hour! Sosososososofast.
I thought I was the only one who was constantly loosing concentration because of how hung over I felt, but after I admitted to Maddie I’d been constantly zoning out, she admitted to it as well.
Overall we enjoyed the tour, it really was the only touristy thing we did in New Orleans so it felt good to be learning something about where we were. After that we wandered around more of the French Quarter and took a look at Jackson Square, where there were musicians and dancers, hippies and gypsies, buskers and artists! It had a SUCH a great vibe!! We stopped and watched the group of African American jazz improvisers. They are amazing! Making music out of any instrument they had access to. Maddie, Jake and I were mesmerised by them for about ten minutes and then decided to keep strolling around. There were artists set up with easels, paint and brushes fresh to paint the canvas’ in front of them. Their paintings were beautiful, & they had rows of them for sale. They were inspiring the way they dedicated many days of their lives to just sit in nature and appreciate the beauty of new orleans through their paintings.
We also walked past St. Louis cathedral, which was stunning! We walked down St Ann st towards the Mississippi river & walked past Cafe Du Monde. Cafe Du Monde is a world famous cafe that has been open since 1862 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We wanted to grab a coffee from there but line was ridiculously long! We walked down to the waterfront and checked out the Mississippi River. It was a beautiful view from there with one side being the river and the other being able to look out to St Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square and much of the quirky, compactedness of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
We walked towards the Business district/CBD for a meal and an experience at Mothers Restaurant! Mothers opened in 1938 & is known for serving food that tastes like a traditional “Mother”from New Orleans would cook! I walked in and saw the food and said to Jake & Maddie “Guys i honestly don’t think I can eat any of this” BUT I was being way to fast to judge a book by its cover! We sat down & observed the restaurant. It looked like a semi-rundown diner that hadnt been touched in 60 years. On the red brick walls held frames and frames of photos of the famous stars that had eaten at Mothers. The walls were COVERED! There were so many. Seeing how famous the place was put my mind at ease from the first image of the slosh I saw on a plate that looked like something you see on the movies of old rotten school canteen food.
But I shouldnt have judged because the food was AMAZING! We shared the traditional “Seafood Gumbo“, the “Jambalaya“and the fresh calamari. Seafood gumbo is like a hearty strew/soup and Jambalaya is very similar to a Paella! We left with very happy tummies.
That night was Halloween Eve which is when all the main Halloween Antics happen around Bourbon St! We ran back to our hostel.. literally ran.. to grab some warmer clothes for the evening and raced back so we would make it back in time to see the Halloween Parade that runs along Canal St. We got back to the hostel and picked up a crew! There was us three, two other Melbourne guys, a girl from perth, and two American girls. We got a cab because it worked out to be cheaper as a group than paying for the Street car. Thinking we would miss the parade, we got a happy surprise when we got there right before it started! HOORAYYYYYY! The parade was huge and went for about an hour! There were HUGE trucks of spooky characters throwing out candy, cups and beads to everyone in the streets. Not just the children. And dance groups going through performing and interacting with everyone! It was very similar to the parades you see at Disneyland or Movie World but a lot longer. It was really really great! In New Orleans you can also drink in public so as we watched the parade we sipped on Apple ciders. It was a weird feeling with the police walking by with a drink in our hand in the street.
When the parade finished we walked down to Bourbon St. Which was absolutely CRAZY amazing madness. Everyone was so wild. Majority of people were all dress up – no matter what age or gender. We didn’t dress up because we wanted to keep our costumes fresh for the day of Halloween, which was the next day. There were people dressed up, walking around on stilts popping out of streets and spooking people. There were all kinds of street performers everywhere parading around in their extravagant costumes. The effort people went to to dress up was extraordinary! We headed to the first bar O’Flannigans, where me and Maddie fell in love with our waitress Sully, who was a super hot African American lady that loved us in return. She was great! We drunkenly tipped her more than we probably could’ve afforded. It was amazing that you could drink in the street because the bars would give you “to go cups”and we could take our drinks from bar to bar! It ended up being a crazy night and we were all preeeettty intoxicated.
The next morning was Halloween which meant Voodoo Fest day! YAY! I seemed to skip the hangover but Maddie certainly didn’t! Jake & I headed down the street to get party supplies and find him a costume. The costume shop was the most amazing costume shop I’d ever seen! And a dream for a Special Effects Artist like me because their was so much SPFX make up that was super cheap and not like any products I had seen at home! If only I had more money and space, I could’ve gone nuts with buying stuff! We went back and helped Maddie in her hungover state. Two other girls from the hostel were going to the festival also! Camila from perth and Julia from Boston! We had such a fun, drama-free group 🙂
The festival was amazing! Maddie and I fell in love with an American band called Wild Cub! There music reminded me of San Cisco! Thomas Gold was insane! I went on a few peoples shoulders too which was awesome, so did Maddie. We were both rocking out on top of the crowd together! My memory is sorta fuzzy after that! I vaguely remember seeing Outkast but not as much as I’d love to! But I do remember having a lot of fun! The American crowds are quite different to the Australian! I feel like at our festivals people are dancing alll day and all night, whereas the two festivals I have been to in America (Electric Zoo in New York and Voodoo Fest in New Orleans) people don’t really get into it as much until the night time comes and even has had a little more to drink. It’s seems as if Aussies party harder than the Americans do. The next day I woke up in the hostel with not much on, my hair in a mattered birds nest at the back of my head with grass intertwined. I got laurel shwasted it seems. The hangover definitely took effect that day! Every travel day I always say that I will never let myself have a hungover travel day again and never seem to stick to it! That day I was leaving for Vancouver! It was sereal that I was leaving America! After being their for 6 months! But I was so excited to see what Canada has to offer. New Orleans was more wild, crazy and fun that I imagined and there definitely wouldn’t have been anywhere else I would rather have been for Halloween in America!