Date: 1st Dec – 4th Dec
Weather: Hot. We were in T shirts sometimes even a vest most days. Its mainly cloudy but was warm. Night time was warm too.
New Orleans In General
When we read the reviews online our opinions were torn. We wanted to experience the nightlife and jazz however heard how bad the crime rate was here. We got the courage to finally go, As soon as we arrived on Canal street which is the main street in New Orleans, you could see the mixed raced tourists. Bourbon street etc you have families wondering down there too. To be honest first day I felt abit on my guard do reviews however after that I would happily wander up and down Bourbon street with no hassels at all. This place has so much character and worth the visit. Sure theres the odd dodgy looking groups on certain corners, but then your surrounded by tourists so it really aint that bad. Personally I felt alot more on my guard in Atlanta. Theres so much history here and things to do that I would bring my friends and family here. The main shitty thing thow was that all ATMS seem to charge you 3 dollars per transaction, however we did find a convenience store on Royal street where transactions were 99 cents J
Riding On A Riverboat Down The Mississippi River
So whilst in New Orleans, a trip down the famous river on an old school style riverboat was a must!
Our boat was named the Natchez. It was exactly what I was looking for. It was powered by just one wheel and to top it off they had a Jazz band on board playing.
Whilst waiting to board the boat I heard the loud whistle they do..however then the whistle started to sound like it was playing tunes. I was like “how is the boat playing a tune?” then noticed that a women on top of the boat was playing an organ instrument that was somehow linked to a steam machine, giving the sound an authentic steamboat whistle sound. So weird but was so cool. She busted out a number of tunes on her organ river boat instrument until it was time to board.
We boarded and wandered around the boat. There were 3 decks. There were 2 main bars where the jazz band were playing. There was also an engine room that was on the lower deck. It was so hot in here but interesting to see the machinery that was powering that huge wheel at the back.
We cruised down the Mississippi river going past cargo ships and the town that Hurricane Katrina hit. It was weird seeing boarded up houses. Our tour guide told us all about the river and surroundings as we cruised.
We were so lucky as it was a sunny day and hot. We had a few beers. Cruising down the river relaxing with a pint on a riverboat was quite surreal.
The trip lasted 2 hours and was well worth it.
Cost: $27.50 each booked at the dock.
Hand Grenade and Hurricane Cocktails
Walking down Bourbon street and you will see many signs advertising one of 2 cocktails. The hand grenade is part of a tropical bar chain on the street. There are about 4 different bars with the same theme. The hand grenade comes in large and small. We tried a small to see what it was like. It was green and came served with a plastic hand grenade. The first sip you can taste vodka or something really strong…however after a few sips you are hooked. This is my favourite cocktail ever. It has a refreshing lime taste to it and once you finish one your kinda on your way to a messy night. I rekon 3 – 4 I could handle and n i would be mashed. None of the bar staff are allowed to tell you the key ingredient (most likely because they are not told) but it is one hell of a nice drink.
The other cocktail we saw was the “Hurricane”. When you search on google what to try in New Orleans, this cocktail comes up alot. We searched around and lots of places do it on Bourbon street however the prices differ alot. Once place wanted $14 for a large. . . we found a bar called “Pat O Briens” this did the cocktails for $8 and they were large! This drink is red cherry flavour. Again you can taste the alcohol and just like the Hand grenade.. i rekon a few of these and you would be on your way. . however it isn’t as nice tasting as the hand grenade. It took us longer to drink..however still worth the try.
Riding on a cable cart
Apparantly on the “must do’s” for New Orleans. You see them on Canal street. I took a cable cart from Canal street.. it literally came straight away. I got on and it was all wooden and old looking. .I did get confused as to how you pay for a ticket as you go on .. greeted by driver and then you kinda have to insert your cash into the machine behind the driver. It costs $1.25 one way. You insert your cash into the machine but you don’t get a ticket it simply thanks you on the screen. It took me to Mid Town where you get to see all the old school New Orleans style houses.. by that I mean like the ones you see in movies with the white porches and made of wood. It stops at these gardens. I got out.. not really knowing what to do from there so decided to simply go back. The same cart stops and then the driver gets out and goes to the opposite end where theres another steering wheel thing. She also pushed all the seats in opposite direction so that they were all facing the same way. I got on again and paid the same then headed back to Canal street. The trip lasts up to an hour as it stops off along the way, but worth the trip.
Bec wanted a Voodoo reading. We found 2 shops that did these. Its best you check the websites first as you can then see what times people are reading and who they are and the cost etc. We opted to see Irene at the Voodoo shop on Bourbon street. The shop itself states you cannot take any pics or videos inside. Basically there are dolls and ointments etc inside. Bec had a reading. It lasted 10 minutes and was a parm and card reading. When Bec came out I judged her reaction to see whether or not she was impressed. After hearing what Irene told Bec I wasn’t convinced. She basically told Bec things she wanted to hear. Made her feel positive etc however there was nothing amazing that she said. To be fair there are other readers but there more expensive. We didn’t wana pay too much as we didn’t know what to expect.
We stayed on Royal street which is the street right next to Bourbon street. Bourbon street is kinda like a huge version of Beale Street in Memphis. Lots of bars and bands down one road however they also have a strip joint for every 4 bars you go down. . . this was where the seedy part was. Girls would stand outside there in their underwear and guys would be trying to lure passers by in (even me n Bec). The bars are cool. They offer 3 for one drinks. The average cost of a drink is $6 for a beer. There are live jazz bands all down the strip. To be honest there wasn’t a really great live band bar. . they were all the same really.
These were some of our favourite bars on the strip.
The Beach bar
This place you access too from Bourbon. Reason why it was cool was cuz it had a fountain that fire was coming out of whilst water been sprayed onto it. When asked how it was done the women told us it was simply a gas pump…however when we sat at a table the owner (i think ) asked if we wanted a drink n we had one then when she gave us our change she just stood there which we thought was rude.. i mean we know they wasn’t tips but seriously standing there until you give them it? We had 3 bottles of Budweisers for 6 dollars.
The Blacksmith bar
I had to visit this place as its rumoured as the oldest bar in USA. Its at the end of the strip away from all the loud bars. It looked like an old medieval / western bar. You walk inside and its so dark and instead of lights they have candles everywhere. Its so cool in here. You cant see where your going half the time however that adds to the coolness. The toilet has no door on it (in the mens however Bec said womens do ). Drinks are around $5 in here for a wine or a beer. Bec liked it as it was the cheapest for her dry white wine. We went here most nights as its a chilled vibe here.
This is a chain of around 4 bars around Bourbon street. The one nearest the top of the strip is the best. You walk in and theres hand grenades advertised everywhere. Theres lots of famous people who go into them. The lady told us she served Nicholas Cage and Bruce Willis. The decorations are the best in here however the ultimate is when you go to the toilet.. for starters you walk threw a corridor which is a like a jungle with flashing lights and jungle sound effects. In the cubicles of the mens they have a machine hooked up where you piss into it. You put in a quarter and it measures how much you can piss – and added touch which i think is great!
We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel on Royal Street. Prices were expensive via booking.com so we tried Hotwire.com which we found this 3 star beauty. It was in a great location right next to Bourbon Street. The hotel itself was ok. It had a pool, wifi etc and the rooms were big. Staff were friendly too.
Cost £24 per person per night from Sunday – Thursday.