I can’t believe I am writing this from New Orleans. Ever since about third grade, when I started reading Anne Rice, I have wanted to come here and go to the french quarter. I have always wanted to be here but could never think of a reason to be here, and now, I am here.
This morning we started our day doing the Riverwalk in the morning in San Antonio before anyone else in the city was awake. It was a nice reprieve from the chaos of mid afternoon tourism when the crowds are in full affect. I have defintiely begun to appreciate early morning wake ups to avoid the crowds and actually enjoy what I am there to see.
After the Riverwalk we headed down to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which is a system of four extremely old missions, most being moved to their present day location in 1731. So yes, they are very old. They were pretty fantastic, old crumbling adobe and high reaching bell towers was better than any cup of coffee in the morning.
The oldest and most amazing mission in this system of missions is Mission San Jose, also known as the Queen. It was massive and spectacular, overall quite a wonder to see especially because it is over 200yrs old.
Its system of archways and brick lines doors where amazing as well a being accompanied by extremely ornate decorations on windows and doors.
Covered in centuries old frescos these crumbling facades where incredible to experience in person.
After we left San Antonio we started heading east again towards Louisiana for our next night. However, finding ourselves starving in the middle of nowhere we tried to find a place to eat and discovered a little family owned Cajun cooking restaurant called Vautrots. This little place was excellent! It was a first for me in many ways; it was my first taste of creole Cajun food, I got the E’touffee which is a dish somewhat similar to gumbo. It was also my very first time eating crawfish which was excellent. It made me even more excite for when I actually get to New Orleans and I can eat Cajun food in Louisiana.
And of course we had to make some extra stops like at the world’s largest fire hydrant right outside of the Texas fire museum.
Before we even crossed over into Louisiana we entered into bayou country. This was kind of an amazing switch in environment, we went from dry shrubland to swampy marshlands. We saw all sorts of odd things including wild flamingos and spent a majority of our driving time looking for gators as we drove by the lakes, rivers, and bayous.
There was one scenic stretch of highway nearing Baton Rouge which I must say was probably the coolest stretch of highway I have ever been on in my life. The highway was divided onto separate sides of a river and suspended like a dock or bridge over the water and swamps. It was amazing and it was a bit hard to concentrate on driving when you just want to stare at the amazingly new scenery all around you. This swamp area was the most intriguing, with odd like trees and jagged stumps sticking from the huge bayou it looked a bit like an alien planet.
After the swamps came the city. New Orleans, finally here. We got in pretty late so we decided to do what anyone does at night in New Orleans, go to Bourbon street.
The streets where loud, bustling, and dirty but had the charm of a tourist spot. But not always, I must say I saw my full share of things I definitely would have gone with out. Especially being boob flashed right in the face by some random older woman. Also the woman dancing in front of a brothel door with basically no clothes on… yeah could have done without it but it is definelty part of the experience. You don’t go down Bourbon if you can’t stomache the smell of smoke, the profanity, the drunken people, the smell of vomit, and the faint smell of urine everywhere you go. But it does have its charm as well. The glowing street signs casting the street in bright colors add a mystique to the street that is the haunt of New Orleans. We even found our way to the Musical Legends Park and got to listen to some great music, blues, rock, and cajun alike.
I got tossed a few beads and even got to dance with an alligator. A pretty successful night but tomorrow we get to venture New Orleans in the daylight glow. We are staying a full day here just to explore.