From Nashville it was a non-stop drive to New Orleans, passing through Alabama and Mississippi. It wasn’t long after crossing the Louisiana state line that we knew we were in the deep south, in the north road-kill consists of deer and raccoons, in the south it’s alligators. A mix up with our hotel room provided us with a couple of drinks at the bar, it seemed like the best way to start off our evening before setting out for the French Quarter.
After seeing the obligatory sites- Jackson Square, the Mississippi and Bourbon Street we headed a little further afield. On a recommendation from a friend we went to a dive bar called BJ’s Lounge near the Lower Ninth Ward, we started out on foot walking along the Bywater but soon realized that trekking two miles in 100 degree heat was probably a dumb idea, not to mention the somewhat dubious neighborhood. If Merriam-Webster were to ever include “dive bar” in its dictionary there would be a photo of BJ’s next to it. We walked in and I’m sure I could hear crickets, the bartender gave us a look of as if we’d made the wrong turn, we thought we had- we pulled up a bar stool and ordered a bourbon, then another, and another, we soon lost count. That’s all to be said about BJ’s, it has to be experienced for itself, but besides those hotel cocktails and a late night dinner we barely remember, we didn’t spend time drinking anywhere else.
As expected the following morning we were feeling a little rough, before setting out for our next destination we decided to give ourselves time to recover so we grabbed a coffee and took a stroll through the Garden District, stopping in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1., even by noon there were throngs of tourist buses lining the streets.
We rounded out our trip to Louisiana with a stop at LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge, as a shameless fan of Pitch Perfect I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit a couple of the film locations on campus and channel my inner Bella - Make Good Choices. Next up, Texas.