Updated: Feb 26
I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving in the most wonderful way with my new LA family. Danielle, Ryan and Kiarra took me to Ryan's sisters house and I spent it with all their family. The food was incredible. Turkey, honey ham, mac n cheese, two different types of stuffing, mash potato and all of it was delicious. And of course we had home made pumpkin pie for pudding which was amazing (although American's definitely don't do cream as well as we do so I settled for squirt cream from a can).
Very quickly my 5 days with the Lyon family was up. We had visited the Warner Brother studios, had cocktails and a meal whilst watching a film in the cinema (pretty cool), went to Laguna Beach, drank a lot of mimosas and ate a LOT of food - my first double dipped gravy sandwich which surprisingly was not soggy and was the perfect texture and of course delicious. They introduced me to so much good LA food and Danielle made the first salad I have ever properly liked. But it was soon time for me to move on. And where I went next is what this entire post will be about - New Orleans.
I arrived in New Orleans pretty late so I went straight to my hostel (Auberge NOLA hostel) and straight to bed. The next day was my first day of exploring and the day I fell in love with NOLA. I went straight to Bourbon Street and into the French Quarter. The live music I found here was incredible. Live jazz everywhere you went. Kids making music with sticks and plastic buckets. Saxophonists round every corner. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be and more. Of course I ate Beignets at Cafe du Monde and admired the amazing European architecture that donned every street. The atmosphere everywhere was great and Bourbon street was like a smaller Vegas strip which was alive all day and night. My hostel put on events for its guests every night so Saturday night was my first experience. We had a great night out and I met some great people staying at my hostel. The next day I explored the beautiful garden district and visited the Lafayette cemetery with some of the biggest gravestones I've ever seen. That night was of course another night out. This night was what I had been waiting for as we went to see an amazing Jazz Band called Hot 8. They were in the back of a dingy pub type bar and it was so authentic and fun. We ended up in a very strange bar after that in the student area that had about 3 local men and 2 dogs plus us ( all the students had gone home for christmas) it was bizarre but cheap. from there we went to Bourbon street and danced the night away. I only managed to get an hours sleep before I had to be up to visit the plantations the next day. I visited the Laura and Oak Alley plantations and it was a very worthwhile trip. My only regret is that on the tours I didn't have time to visit the slavery museum which would have given me more information about the lives of the slaves instead of the plantation owners. So when go back I will visit the Whitney plantation which focus' primarily on the lives of the slaves which is what I am most interested in. My final morning in NOLA meant I had time to go on a swamp tour. Despite the time of year, the sun was out and so I was still lucky enough to see Alligators even though they are meant to be in hibernation. We also saw raccoons, hogs and even water snakes and the swamp (despite the images you get) was beautiful. Deep south Louisiana stole my heart and is my favourite place in America from the places I've been. From there I had a day in DC and a day in Philadelphia before the long awaited reunion with the girls in New York City.