I have a notebook where I have taken notes of what we did almost every day of our trip. I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything, and I figured it would be helpful if I wanted to make a scrapbook when we’re done. So I’ve made a new blog category, “road trip diary”, where I’ll be writing about our trip in the order it happened, and include some of the pictures we took along the way. I think an online diary of our trip is something I will love looking back on years from now. And maybe you’ll enjoy it too.
On Monday, June 30th, we first drove from Athens to Montgomery, AL, with a short stop in Auburn to see the Jordan-Hare stadium. In Montgomery we sightseed for over an hour, seeing Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King was a pastor and where the famous bus riot took place. We also stopped by the First White House of the Confederacy, which was a great little (free) museum that we both really enjoyed. The entire neighborhood is full of history and gorgeous buildings, and definitely worth seeing.
Afterwards we looked up a local place to eat and ended up at Mrs. B’s Home Cooking. I have to admit that both the neighborhood and house-converted-to-restaurant looked pretty sketchy, but the food was amazing (homemade southern soul food) and the servings much too large to finish. When we were done we continued our drive to New Orleans for the night. This was definitely a place we’d both really been looking forward to seeing, and it didn’t disappoint!
Our hotel on St. Peter street was only two blocks away from Bourbon street – probably the most famous street in New Orleans. On our way down there we noticed that it was still completely quiet even a block away, so we figured it must be dead since it was only a Monday night. Turns out that sounds just don’t carry well through the tall stone buildings (all stuck together), because Bourbon street was anything but empty. There are more bars than you can count, and every single one has their doors open with music streaming into the street, while employees try to entice you to stop by with cheesy lines like “couples get in free!” (along with everyone else). It was one of the most colorful streets I have ever seen, both in the literal sense and with regard to all the people drinking in public. A bartender told us that New Orleans is one of three places where you can legally drink in public (which is why all the bars had signs saying “drinks to go”), the other two being Key West and part of the Las Vegas strip – so we have now been to all three!
Our first stop was Pat O’s to try out their specialty drink, the Hurricane. It was delicious, but dangerously strong with 4 cl of rum in each cup. They came up with the drink back when there was a shortage of whiskey because of the war, and they were forced to buy 50 boxes of rum in order to get just one box of whiskey and scotch. In other words, they had more rum than they knew what to do with and needed to come up with a strong drink to get rid of it all.
We decided to walk the street while finishing our drink, and I was almost overwhelmed by all the different impressions. Even on a Monday night many of the bars had live music and a lot of what we heard was really good. Other places advertised for karaoke, DJ’s, or even strippers… We ended up at Famous Door on our second walk of the street, which had a great band that played old classics we both knew and sang along with. I think I could have kept walking all night, though; there was more than enough entertainment. When the bar closed for the night we moved on up the street to “The World Famous” Cats Meow; a karaoke bar that stayed open until 6 am every night. We didn’t have the guts to go on stage since most of the singers were impressively good – especially the guy working there who sang every other song to keep the guests entertained.
It was a great day, and I think we finally passed out some time around 3 am.