A Travellerspoint blog

I love NOLA

What an incredible city. I spent the day walking the French Quarter. It was an experience I will never forget. As long as I stayed in the populace areas it felt very safe. There are a ton of shops to drop a big dime if that is your thing. Bourbon St was not what I expected, it basically is a whole street of bars with some strip joints and a couple of live sex shows. It would be a prefect place to visit if I was 21 or 22.

New Orleans is an interesting city. You have a brand new house right next to a burnt out husk that looks like it has homeless people squatting in it. I don't know that I could get enough of New Orleans. I am going to plan to spend at least a week here next time I come back.

I can't say enough about the food. Even tourist trap places have great food and service. After eating I took a nice walk "by the dock of the bay" and just enjoyed the view. I have been really lucky the weather has been perfect. Today was in the mid 80's with humidity around 40% and a slight breeze.

As sad as I am to leave I am looking forward to getting on the road again. Graceland is a day away. Memphis should be a fun place to visit. I believe B B King has a blues restaurant there so I may get to see some good blues and visit the house of the king. Zebra skin vinyl couch here I come! Maybe I will have a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich too. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 14:52 Comments (0)

From K to W

Crossed the Mississippi today and now I am in New Orleans! It is wonderful, it is both as scary and as wonderful as I expected. There are definitely some very bad parts of town. If you aren't a drunk idiot it is easy to avoid trouble, that and be out of town before the sun goes down. The french quarter is magical. I once again feel I am cheating myself by only spending a day here. I know that I will have to return to enjoy this city in its fullest. At least when I return I will have an idea of what I want to do.

What wonderful day. Driving into Louisiana is a trip. It seems like half the state is under water. Some of the freeways go over water (and swamp) for miles on end. Maybe it is the time of year but there are so many bugs right now it is amazing. After a while you can tell by the trajectory of the bug whether it is going to glance off the windshield or just make a mark.

The first thing I did when I got over the border was look for food. I had to get gas and just followed the road into a small town. I usually pick my road side food by the number of cars parked around the shack. If it is crowded then I figure the food must be good. In this case I wasn't wrong. I ate at Boudin King (pronounced booden). I had a boudin (of course), it like a sausage but it is filled with rice, spice and pieces of pork, and gumbo. The boudin is great stuff I will definitely be having more of those. This evening, after I got my tattoo, I asked the artist where to eat and he directed me to a small Italian place across the street. It is Zagart ranked (for whatever that is worth). The food was to die for. It has to be some of the best Italian I have had (besides Grandmas of course). I had tilapia with sea sauce (a mixture of shrimp, crawfish, capers and cream butter sauce over breaded tilapia). Incredible. Expect me to talk about nothing but food and architecture here.

So I have traveled 5904 miles so far and I have never been more happy in my life. It is a feeling of freedom that is hard to describe. There is something about the smell of the south. It brings back so many childhood memories of summers spent at my Grandpa's in Maryland. I have truly been blessed with this opportunity. Tomorrow I will be exploring the more of the french quarter and eating some great food, probably some "mud bugs" (crawfish). More to come.

Posted by JustJ 19:47 Comments (0)

NASA is so cool

I don't know about you but I love to be cooped up in a tram with 20 or 30 middle school kids hopped up on sugar for an hour and a half. More fun than any man deserves. The Johnson Space Center was really great. The tour and standing exhibit was all I thought it would be. Being a sci-fi nerd it was just what I needed. The center IS set up to pander to children and there are a number of exhibits that charge an additional fee over and above the $5 to get in and the $23 to get in the door.

Today is the first day on the road that I have had to deal with the rain. Of course it is south so the rain this time of year is warm, albeit heavy. Houston was beautiful shrouded in clouds. It has an interesting skyline, flat for miles (and Houston is big) and then a mass of skyscrapers right in the middle. I really like this city. While driving around I have been looking for some of the more historic buildings in the city. The only ones I have been able to spot are the churches, the city seems to have built over everything else.

Tomorrow I head off for New Orleans. To be honest this is the city that worries me the most. I have heard so much about the crime rate and the desperation of the populace I have some real trepidation about staying there. I just can't miss the chance though. It is such an historic city with (reputedly) a great deal of beauty and style. I will just have to "brave the peril" and see the city. I will only really be there for a day and a half so I am sure I can stay out of trouble. Hopefully I can get a nice tattoo also. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 19:11 Comments (0)

The cost of stupidity

Sometime I am such a dummy. I bought tickets to the Astros game but didn't pay attention and bought them for last night instead of today! I didn't pay attention to the schedule and showed up to the stadium about an hour and half early thinking myself slick. What I didn't know is that it was Craig Biggio bobble head doll day, the lines were around the block to get in. I waited in line only to discover that my ticket was for yesterday. I had to leave the park and get new tickets (another $50 OUCH! then get back in line). It was worth it though. I am 3 and 0 for the home team, the Astros won in 12 innings. It was a great game and the seat were still good. I got to see George and Barbara Bush, they were sitting about 15 rows in front of me, pretty cool.

I ate the biggest chili dog I have ever seen, if you don't hear from me again it is because I died from a cholesterol OD. Besides that the food was blah, the same kind of fare you can get anywhere.

Driving in Houston is something else. It is my kind of driving. You have to drive fast and aggressive or you wont get where you are going. The freeways are really complicated, thank god for my TomTom otherwise I would probably still be driving around downtown. For the people that live in this city you will understand this, the 290-610 interchange must be an incredible bear during rush hour. Have I mentioned I love the south, the people are so friendly, even though I am wearing my Giants jersey. They still smile and talk to me, it is great. Tomorrow I am off to take a tour of NASA! I cant wait. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 16:51 Comments (0)

Is heaven really full of fried chicken?

So a few words about the journey down to San Antonio before I discuss my impressions of SA. I love the weather in the south. The way the air smells, the heavy feel of the clouds, there is nothing like it. Everything is so green and lush it just feels right. Speaking of the south you know you are getting into it when you start seeing "Waffle House". I haven't had the pleasure...yet. I am saving for when I get to Georgia. My friend Josh would truly be in heaven. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting some kind of fried chicken joint. They are everywhere! It's not just KFC, but stuff like Lisa's, and just plain "Fried Chicken".

Armadillos must be some of stupidest animals around. I stopped counting the number of dead armadillos about 20 minutes after I crossed the Texas border. They are everywhere. There are more of them on the side of the road then you see possums and raccoons put together in Northern California.

Austin, what a great place. Big, flat and really bad traffic. I can't recommend to anyone. Keep in mind I only drove through.

I read on-line that I would be disappointed by the Alamo. The way it was described I thought it was this dinky little shack in the middle of city, dwarfed by all the buildings surrounding it. Well I don't know who that peabrain was but he couldn't have been more wrong. The Alamo has a beautiful park inside the walls. The curators are helpful and informative. The monument itself is emotionally moving. The sacrifice these men made really had an effect on me (I have to say not as powerful and the Vietnam Memorial, but close). I really recommend a visit to everyone.

The city of San Antonio is clean, nice and well ordered. For those of us who have grown up in a tourist town it can be a little over the top, it reminded me of Capitola or Cannery Row in its presentation. That aside it was wonderful. The riverwalk in really amazing. It spans all over the city. It is idyllic with places to sit and reflect, a lot of nice restaurants to eat at. There are waterfalls and runs and spouts, I could have spent an entire day just walking around there. I know that at some later date I will return to enjoy this city again. I will be off to Houston tomorrow and an Astro's game. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 18:26 Comments (0)

(Entries 21 - 25 of 45) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 »