American Roadtrip, Part 10: New Orleans The Grand Finale

The tenth and final part to the American Roadtrip is here!

After two weeks we finally made our New Orleans destination and once we hit the city limits we thought we would be letting out a massive sigh of relief… instead it started with frustration over New Orleans’ ridiculous one way system. Well it seemed fitting, start the journey terrified in a car in a big city, and end the journey (a little less) terrified in a big city.

Anyway after much deliberation over the NOLA one way system we finally parked up at the Pelham Hotel. (A great location if you plan on visiting New Orleans anytime soon by the way.) It was situated on Common Street, just off Canal Street, however research the drive first unless you want to be driving around in circles for an hour.

Bourbon Street NOLA

Once we got settled we decided to head to the French Quarter. In case you don’t know the French Quarter is home to a big flea market and a great food hall.  Now while a flea market sounds good and you would expect to be able to pick some great Nawlins memorabilia up, these days it just seems to have more cheap, imported tat than actual original New Orleans ‘stuff’. Having said that though we did come across one local artist with an impeccable talent and we would have loved to purchase one of his original works of art, but the journey home through three airports would not have made it feasible.

New Orleans upcycle

If you find yourself disappointed by the flea market, as you come out of it and turn towards the Frenchmen Street area you will come across a variety of antique, vintage and upcycled furniture stores. These will have you particularly annoyed that you don’t have more money and more storage in your suitcase. I came home with so many little business cards in the vain hope I could order a great piece of upcycled furniture once I was back home.

Speaking of Frenchmen Street, a lot of locals told us to visit before it became ‘the new Bourbon Street’. Apparently Frenchmen Street is the true essence of New Orleans and is not home to all the commercial crap that is currently situated on Bourbon….well not yet anyway.  We visited a great little place called Bamboulas which had a fantastic atmosphere in the day, and an even greater one at night. Never did I think I would watch a World Cup match whilst listening to slide blues music…

Frenchman Street New Orleans

The next day we  checked out the WW2 Museum and visited Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Both were good however I would highly recommend visiting the butterflies when there isn’t an abundance of summer camp kids around. Unless you would like to hear, “Please do not touch the butterflies!” approximately 100 times over.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

To conclude, New Orleans was amazing the first time I visited and was even more amazing the second time. The culture, art and music is refreshing and will have you grinning from ear to ear as you walk the streets. Of course the only problem is, while you’re grinning you will also be sweating profusely… Sorry folks, that’s just the way it is.

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