Day 20 – New Orleans

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On Monday it was off to New Orleans!
I can’t remember how the bus ride was but I most likely just slept most of the way.
It’s great to have a little nap on the bus because I’m all prepared for our nights out!

imageWe arrived in New Orleans around 4pm and picked up a local tour guide that Contiki had organised to drive around with us and speak about the area.
Apparently if you’re not a registered tour guide of New Orleans you can’t ‘legally’ give tours – which is why our Contiki Guide wasn’t allowed to do it.imageWe learnt that New Orleans is a major United States port with the city being named after the Duke of Orleans. As it was established by French colonists and strongly influenced by their European culture it’s well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage.
While on the tour, we got to see the ‘French Quarter’ of New Orleans where all the streets are named in French and they have all the markets..
We also saw Bourbon street which has all the nightlife in New Orleans.

imageThe New Orleans area has many celebrations along with the well-known Mardi Gras festival that I’m sure you’ve all heard of.
Mardi Gras isn’t just one day of celebrations, it’s a whole season like Christmas is. They have a day called ‘Fat Tuesday’ which is the biggest day for Mardi Gras. The date it falls on moves around so it can be any time between Tuesday Feb. 3rd and March 9th.

If you’re in New Orleans over Mardi Gras, expect to see lots of floats and parades covered in Purple (which stands for justice) Green – for faith, and Gold for power. I didn’t know this but by law, float riders must always have a mask on. On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for everyone else plus it’s fun decorating lots of masks!imageFOOD!
New Orleanian’s are also known for their food. SFS_Beignet-33They have something called beignets (locally pronounced like “ben-yays”), square-shaped fried pastries that are also called”French doughnuts”
I never got to try one when I was there so maybe next time!

Oak_Street_Po-Boy_Festival_2011_Lobster_Po-BoysThey also have Po-boy’s and Italian Muffuletta sandwiches at like every restaurant. Po-boy’s is a traditional sandwich that’s filled with some type of meat and served on a baguette either hot or cold with added extra’s like lettuce and tomatoes etc…dsc_2737Another New Orleans specialty is the Praline. It’s a local a candy made with brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, butter, and pecans. Pralines were one of the more popular recipes adapted from the old French tradition.
Almonds being in short supply, cooks began substituting the nuts of the native Louisiana pecan trees, and that’s how the modern pecan pralines were bornimageSo we basically learnt all that stuff mentioned above (and I Googled some info to jog my memory again)fro-yo-frozen-yogurtWhen we arrived at our hotel after the tour, we all went to our rooms to put our stuff away. My room mate needed the room to make some phone calls (she was going home early the next day) so I let her be and went out for a walk with a couple Brodie & Mark from my Contiki.
We walked down to one of the main streets in New Orleans – Canal Street and got some fro-yo.

When I got back to the hotel, I got myself all ready while lots of other people on the Contiki went out for an optional dinner (when I say optional, it means you have to sign up for it and pay for it if you want to do it but you don’t have to)
I’m a bit of a fussy eater (no seafood or pork stuff for me) so I didn’t go to it.
It was all good though because I had more time to get ready 🙂

Marcus & Lauren (2 others on Contiki) came to my room around 8 ish and us 3 took a cab down to Bourbon Street and got something to eat.
I just had some type of hamburger thingy as everywhere we went to ended up just selling heaps of seafood.

We met up with the others at a bar on Bourbon Street after dinner and when we got there everyone was pretty much on form. Aka, drunk.
I caught up pretty quickly and we ended up going to another bar for more drinks. In New Orleans you’re allowed to walk around and drink alcoholic drinks on the street and from bar to bar so it reminded me very much of Vegas in that sense. If you don’t want to finish off your drink in the current bar you’re at, just ask for a go-cup and you can take it with you.
A few of us ended up meeting some people from New Orleans so we hung out with them all night and got shots of patron and tequila and who knows what else at 3am in the morning.imageEventually in my lovely drunken state I took a cab back to the hotel and as I forgot my room key, my room mate had to let me in 🙈
I got all ready for bed and as soon as I lay down I didn’t feel quite well. It was either from that burger I ate or the litres of alcohol 😒
I then proceeded to spew in the bathroom like 10 times and went to sleep with the hotel bin next to my face. (Sorry Mum I know you’re reading this)

Hahahaha! That was probably the most drunk I’ve gotten on Contiki and I didn’t even think I was that bad.

Also, apologies to the Sleep & Suite Inn in New Orleans for their rubbish bin with no bag in it and my vomit. 🙊🙊

Love & peace xx

More Things I learnt about New Orleans:

  • If you don’t want to go to seedy Bourbon street – Head to Frenchman street instead (it has brass bands and music inside and outside the clubs)
  • Uber isn’t that reliable here
  • Canal Street, once the widest street in the world, was named for a canal that was planned for, but never built
  • The Superdome is the largest enclosed arena in the world.
  • Bars can stay open all night
  • They invented Poker
  • They’re the birthplace of Jazz Music
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