One things for sure, New Orleans is a very cool city. Definitely not temperature-wise though, it hit 35 degrees this weekend! Our first night in the city was a bit of a bust, and I’m SO glad we had the whole day today to explore the city too, otherwise I wouldn’t have rated it very highly . Our uber dropped us off in the French Quarter, and our first stop was the famous Bourbon Street. The middle of the road was in construction, so you had to walk along two tiny, dirty sidewalks either side of the construction. The locals down this street were really unfriendly; one man even told us to ‘go back to wherever you came from’ as we walked past! Definitely not a great greeting to the city. We turned a corner and a group of old, seedy men were stood there with strings of beads around their necks, shouting at girls and saying that if they flashed them their boobs, they would get some beads. I’d heard about this New Orleans ‘tradition’ before , but didn’t imagine it being quite so gross in real life! I promptly lifted up my top…. JOKE. Never ever.
Then came the fun of finding somewhere to eat for dinner. I wrongly assumed that this would be easy because Southern food tends to be mostly seafood and rice dishes. It was a bloody nightmare – almost nowhere in the area had gluten free options, and the ones that did didn’t have dairy free options for Ewan! We ended up in a random cafe having a plain, boring salad.
In contrast to last night, today has been amazing and we’ve seen a much better side to the city. We purchased an all day travel pass (very fancily named the ‘Jazzy Pass’) for only $3 which included all trams and buses. We started at the beautiful Louis Armstrong park, and then avoiding Bourbon Street, went back to the French Quarter and wandered the pretty streets, checking out all the praline stores (mainly the ones that advertised free samples..) and soaking up the sun. We did our research last night and found an amazing restaurant called Green Goddess that offers both gluten and dairy free meals. All the seats are outside but the tables have umbrellas so you still get some shade. I went for the grits, eggs, kale and pork dish – my first ever grits experience! I loved it. Ewan’s Indian Pancake filled with a vegan curry was also gluten free and tasted amazing. Would definitely go back!
After lunch we headed along the Riverfront and wandered around the outlet stores for a bit of air con. In New Orleans, you’re allowed to drink in the streets as long as your alcohol is in a ‘to-go’ cup, so we purchased a couple mango and strawberry frozen daiquiris to drink on the way to the tram stop. We took the tram all the way to Audubon Park with the intention to have a walk around, but sadly the tram didn’t have AC, so by the time we arrived we were sweating horrendously and the idea of walking around a park in the 35 degree heat was not appealing. Instead, we sat like an elderly couple on a bench watching a water fountain for about 15 minutes before getting back on the tram to town. Wild.
The rest of the day was spent hopping between air conditioned coffee shops until it was time for dinner. We went to Juans Flying Burrito for a tasty, quick, coeliac friendly meal. Tomorrow is another driving day to Houston, Texas! It’s going to be even hotter than New Orleans, so I’d better invest in a handheld fan!!!