Road Trip Part 1: New Orleans

So I went on a road trip, guys. This year has been super busy and stressful and I realized a break was needed. All work and no play and all that jazz so my friends and I decided we would go on a road trip first week of May. Cool shit.

The week before our trip, I had an important 4 day trip to DC. The week after the road trip (which is this weekend) I have a long ass work trip to Cali. Plus I just got a new apartment. My bank account was definitely not gbagam. I called my friends. “Guys. Looks like I have to cancel this trip o” and I listed off all the things I needed to do with the small money I had.

My swole cousin waited till I listed everything then asked me, like Mbaku, “Are you done?” Yes, I said. I was done. “My friend, enter motor lets go.” I entered motor. I’m a humble guy and the fellow has muzzle. I figured my bank account will not beat me if I went, but this fellow might if I cancelled. It was basically kidnap. The rest of the gang got in too, so altogether it was my beefy cousin Davidson, my cousin Esther, my friend Hazel and myself. We drove off to our first stop, New Orleans Louisiana aka NOLA.

(Me definitely not driving under duress or anything)

I had never been to New Orleans before now. My image of the city was a mixed one: the chaotic flood town of Hurricane Katrina, the hard knock gang shit capital from Lil Wayne’s rap, the party city image of Mardi Gras, or the romantic French influenced image painted by films and crooned about by Leon Bridges. Turns out, they were all correct. NOLA is one incredibly complicated, beautiful and storied city.

We got there round 1am. Our Airbnb was right at the heart of the famed French Quarters, which, like the city itself, was quite the mixed bag. There was a blend of sketchiness and picturesque quaintness. People were packed in the streets, there were some Latino and black tattooed gangsta types sitting in SUVs parked in narrow streets, there were drunk white people milling around cheering loudly for anything in sight including us trying to parallel park. We even saw an old black lady cross the street in a white bath robe. At 1am. It was like walking into a documentary. We felt like we were on a Safari in a different country. Vibes. Our hotel was housed in this old, gigantic Art Deco style building. The entrance was a huge creaking door that felt and looked like the gates to the Abbey in Sound of Music, except for the very modern keypad lock that required punching in a passcode to unlock. It was also my first Airbnb, ever.

Our suite was incredible. High ceilings, chandeliers, king size beds, gold platings, even a large cross and chalice on a mantle, I suppose partly to reflect the Catholic history of the area and also just in case you wanted to self administer the communion or something. Tired after the long drive, we showered and knocked out.

The next morning, we took a few pictures in the suite and took off for the day. Activities: walked around the French Quarters, admired the Creole, Greek renaissance and colonial architecture, museums, attended the JazzFest and then headed down to Toulouse Street Wharf where we went on a cruise around the Mississippi River on a steamboat called the Natchez.

After the cruise we visited a few art galleries, a Voodoo shop (which I always knew as Vodun before I came to America) and some souvenir shops to pick some Nola gear. Then we had a great Cajun lunch of jambalaya, andouille sausage, chicken and sweet tea. In the evening, we checked out of our Airbnb and hit the road again. NOLA was a great vibe and I definitely want to go back, but for now, it was onto our next stop, Dallas TX.

Davidson took over the wheels while I settled in at the back for a sweet nap.

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