It started with flying into hurricane weather and ended up with getting into a car and driving the eight hours to Austin, Texas and in between well…what happens in New Orleans, right?
After a quick few days in New York City, we flew down to the deep South (a part of the country I’d never been to) to meet a group of our friends, making a precarious landing just as a storm set in that delayed all of those friends’ flights. It ended up being a bit of foreshadowing for how the rest of the weekend would go, with intermittent storms breaking up the sticky hot heat.
It was dark and humid when the taxi pulled up in front of our Airbnb just north of the French Quarter. We came to find out that our cottage was actually the former home of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, although we wouldn’t find that out until we’d already been there two days (the things you learn when you take a walking voodoo tour!).
There was food….so much food. Oysters as big as my fist, delicious Cajun sausage, Creole/ramen fusion, gumbo and crawfish and also, rum. Ohhh the rum. A delicious Louisiana rum. It was my downfall. That and the heat, which, hello, England, not used to anymore. It got the best of me, eventually, but not before I’d put forth my best New Orleans party efforts.
The architecture and the streets of New Orleans blew me away. It was a steamy dreamscape, all iron railways and hanging plants and dilapidated beauty everywhere.
A highlight of the weekend was sipping cocktails with Jon and Evie at a place called Cane & Table, a falling down, shabby chic cocktail bar reminiscent of Old Havana (she says, having never been to Cuba). The thrumming ceiling fans barely broke through the sticky heat, but the cocktails were great and the company was second to none.
On Sunday we spent the afternoon in the achingly cool and quirky Le Richelieu Hotel’s pool, playing games and escaping the heat. This is the part where I got too much sun, drank too many cocktails and feel asleep quite early. But them’s the breaks. Worth it.
There was just one thing that disappointed me during our stay and that was that when we tried to go to the Pharmacy Museum it happened to be closed! We went after checking out Voodoo Authentica, which I also definitely recommend popping into, but I was sad about that – the Pharmacy Museum is housed in the site of the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist, and has exhibitions on bloodletting and leeches and the period of town when voodoo practicioners thrived and modern medicine was just finding its legs.
It was a fantastic little visit, a whirlwind 3 days, and all of it only served to whet my appetite for the city. I hope to go back to New Orleans at some point, definitely leaving more time to explore next time. And maybe less rum. But just maybe.
After Louisiana it was on to Austin via a very long drive, so stay tuned….USA road trip 2016 to be continued!