Those who know me, know that I'm not a very big fan of waking up before the sun fully comes up. But I made an exception the morning of the twelveth, mostly because it was the day we were going to New Orleans (otherwise, I wouldn't have even bothered) and partly because if I wasn't outside Jo's Java by six a.m. Deloy would have left me behind. So at 6:05 a.m. on a Thursday morning (also one of my cousins birthday), eighteen of us were up and ready for the long ride to New Orleans and besides waking up early that day and early the next three days, I had the best time and I can't wait to go back. Though preferably not in a car with a bunch of boys this time, I could probably do without that part.
Thursday was spent mostly in the car with a few pitstops where we all could get some small snacks and go to the bathroom, we even found out we had a poor dead bird stuck in the grill of the car at one of the pitstops but other than that, the trip wasn't bad. We arrived in New Orleans around six-ish and walked around for awhile until we finally got to Mother's where we had our first meal in New Orleans, that night it was Cajun food. We had our first gumbo (shrimp or chicken, it was a surprise which one you got) which was pretty good and our first Po Boy sandwiches which were awesome. We also got to listen to some stories about the type of weather they got and even some famous people who had ate there (Clint Eastwood, Barack Obama and many more). Mother's is a great place and worth the visit. After Mother's, we went and walked down Bourbon Street until we found the Preservation Hall where we stood in line until nine o'clock and saw a jazz band perform (I've never listened to jazz before but I'll tell you I'd gladly go again) and then we finally went to our hotel. Although me and my group had to switch rooms only once, our professors had worse luck because they had to switch rooms four times, poor guys. And that concludes our first night there.
Our first morning in New Orleans (Friday morning), we started off by going to Cafe Du Monde where we got beignets and coffee (it's worth going to NO just for the beignets). After finishing those, we got to split up and walk around the French Quarter and the French Quarter is pretty cool because there are these artists who hang up their work on the fences and they are really good. There are so many stores on the French Quarter that range from toy stores to clothing shops and the amount of voodoo places I saw just walking around for an hour was insane by the way, there are so many.
But after we all met back up after buying some souvenirs, we all loaded back into the vehicles to go to Dooky Chase's which is this Soul food restaurant owned by Leah Chase who inspired the Princess and the Frog Disney movie which is awesome. We had some gumbo of course and some crawfish and fried chicken, the works. We actually got to see and talk to Leah too and can you believe she's 94 years old and still cooks in the kitchen for the restaurant? That's dedication right there, talk about loving what you do. After Dooky Chase's, we went and walked around three cemeteries which was pretty cool because most of the tombstones looked really old and it was really interesting to see who all was buried there and see how long they had lived. But soon we had to leave because we were taking a ferry across the river to go walk around. After the ferry brought us back, however, we went to The Maison for some Creole food. There we had some more gumbo and even got to make our own Po Boy sandwich. The Maison was probably one of the most laid back places we went to while down in NO. On the walk back to the vehicles to pack up and go back to the hotel, we did have some guy throw beads on us which was kind of sketchy but most of us just walked faster to try to avoid him.
Saturday morning we all piled into the vehicles to go on a swamp walk which was really cool. The first half hour, we didn't really see anything but after we got to the second half of the "trail", things got a little interesting. We ended up seeing three gators. One was really huge even from the distance we were at and one looked like it was a baby and it was only like three feet from us and it was kind of adorable if you could get past the idea that it could most likely take a big chunk out of you, which I could. We saw many little gecko type lizards and even a pretty big snake, well the others saw the snake, I tried to run past it while I waited for Maggie and Tawnie to stop taking pictures of it. After the swamp walk, we went to an Ethiopian restaurant called the Nile Ethiopian Restaurant which was actually pretty good despite having to eat everything with this type of bread that reminded you of a sponge. They serve the food in groups of four so all four orders are on one plate and you can mix and match if you want to. After the Ethiopian, we decided to drive down to the Waveland Beach where we spent around two and half hours just walking down the pier, picking up shells, trying to splash each other with water, and drawing circles in the sand to keep the sea bears away. Then we drove down to Bay St. Louis and stopped at the Purple Banana and even got to split up and walk around where some of us did a little shopping while the others just window shopped and had a look around. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Cat Island Coffeehouse which is this cute little bookstore/coffee place. The coffee was pretty good too so it was worth the stop.
Though sadly, we left dark and early on Sunday morning around six a.m. And to be honest, I think the ride back was quieter and a little more sad than the ride to New Orleans as we all were sad to leave. But we had to leave (though I'm still questioning why and am currently planning another trip down there....) so that we could finish the course and have our dessert party on the 18th. So, please, if you're a Greenville College student, consider taking the course, you won't regret it. And even if you're not a student, visit New Orleans, you'll have one of the best times of your life and it's not as bad as some say it is. After all, only one of us was almost pick-pocketed but one out of eighteen isn't that bad.