Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Orleans, the Big Easy

Okay, Jeremy has been complaining that the titles of my blogs are not interesting enough. However, what can one say about New Orleans that possibly lives up to how cool it is? Perhaps tomorrow will inspire me with a more interesting title.

So let's get started with today!

Paul and I packed up in Lake Charles and got ready to hit the road. Little did we realize that we had picked up a hitch hiker!

Our little green friend was happy to ride along on my top bag. Then on the way to breakfast he decided to hitch a ride on Paul's helmet! I'm sorry to say that he decided to leave us by the time we got on the freeway, but we will remember him fondly.

After surprisingly tasty lunch at the "Vegas Magic" Casino, we were on the road through the bayous of Louisiana.

There would have been more pictures of the bayou, but it started raining once we got on the road. Rain... don't do it!

It did remind me of a great road trip I once made with Eric. We drove from Orlando, FL to North Carolina to visit his dad. Even though the road was perfectly straight, and didn't have an on-ramp for fifty miles, every bridge had the same sign, "Bridge Ices before road". After seeing the same sign several dozen times, once gets the impression that the bridge does ice before the road does! Still, it was one of the best road trips I've ever been on, and today reminded me of it fondly.

Today, we did make it to Baton Rouge in time to send our motorcycles in for a spa day. Okay, it wasn't really a spa day as much as my 6,000 and Paul's 24,000 mile service. Then we rented a car and headed down to New Orleans.

Our hotel, the AmeriHost, is definitely at ground zero of Hurricane Katrina. Not only is the hotel recently renovated, but it's interesting to see all the businesses in the area that are rebuilding. It worked out well for us, since our room is really nice and a bit cheaper than a lot of other places we've been to in the last week.

Now that we're checked in, its time to walk over to the French Quarter!

Not to sound completely lame, but I kept looking for the entrance to "The Pirates of the Carribean" ride! I had this bizarre feeling of deja vu as we walked through these ancient streets, listening to the sound of music, and smelling jambalaya in the air.

It really is a cool place, with an amazing balance between history, tourist trap, and adult wonderland.

And all those places that can't claim they invented the hurricane, can create their own alcoholic concoctions. Here is a sign promoting the "Hand grenade", purporting it to be the strongest drink in New Orleans. Having tried the Hurricane at Pat O'Briens, I find this claim hard to believe!

Of course, no trip to Bourbon Street would be complete without an impromptu parade, and today was no exception.

Yest, that is a ten foot tall "Leaf man".

But after an afternoon of wandering through NOLA's French Quarter, it was time to try New Orleans famous cuisine. And from wandering around Bourbon street, we inadvertently found our way to Pat O'Brien's, where they created NOLA's signature drink, the Hurricane!

Pat O'Brien's does not disappoint. The Hurricane was almost, but not quite, as strong at Margaret Hoogerbeets version, and (dare I say?) even tastier! One drink and I was glad I wasn't driving!

But not only was the Hurricane pretty amazing, but the Jambalaya was pretty incredible too! Paul loved he "Crawfish Cakes", and we both loved the desserts. We may have to go back for mint julips before we leave town.

So there you have it, day one in New Orleans! Since we're taking two rest days here, I'm looking forward to more interesting adventures.


Edwin said...

"Even tastier" ??!?!?


Roz said...

Thank you, Sir Reeves. Somehow knowing that you are down in the Big Easy living life large and carefree is an inspiration to us all. As for Jeremy's complaints about you not having exciting enough titles -- try this one for tomorrow: A Day In Pink Electric Lady Land.

BC said...

Pshaw! Everyone knows you're supposed to eat at the Blue Bayou!

Tim E. said...

Hey, nice picture of Paul, looks like you found the entrance to "The Pirates of the Carribean" ride.

Timo said...

Ironic that of all entries to date (and let's not forget New Zealand), this one didn't mention food until almost the very end.

Peter Kevin Reeves said...

I know it's hard to believe, but Pat O'Briens actually makes a slightly better hurricane than Margaret. But don't fret... when I return, you can practice all you want and I'll be happy to test!