The first night of New Orleans went off with a huge BANG! And it hadn’t even reached midnight on New Year’s Eve just yet…
Driving through Mississippi and Alabama, we reached New Orleans, the last stop of our tour (sob!). It was just so sad that we’d be stepping out of the van and unloading the trailer for the final time and not getting back in, and instead getting in a cab and heading to the airport to fly home.
Anyways, the night before we got told that Usher was doing a FREE concert in Jackson Square at the AllState Sugar Bowl Fan Fest (you can watch the stream here). Not exactly the jazzy, bluesy bluegrass music which usually provides the typical soundtrack to the city of New Orleans, but still…
Now I swear to you, if anyone told me 10-15 years ago that I’d be going to an Usher concert – in New Orleans – I would have just shrugged it off and looked at them in disbelief. It was so much fun and he performed all the tracks that I wanted and expected to hear. Cue the Instagram video uploading spree. (Excuse the blurry photo, by the way! Trying to take pictures on an iPhone in low-key lighting where there’s lots of movement is very tricky!)
After a few hours of fangirling, we then hit The Gumbo Shop, where I sampled some standard New Orleans cuisine in the form of some delicious Shrimp Creole. Then we went to check out a few bars in the French Quarter and tried out a ‘hurricane’ cocktail in pat O’Brien’s just off Bourbon Street – with some very interesting consequences!
The first few hours in New Orleans got off to such an incredible start. It has such a fascinating culture and electrifying atmosphere. Not to mention the delicious food!
New Year’s Eve in New Orleans
The next morning, we embarked on our own little self-guided walking tour as everything seemed to be all booked up. We walked past all the beautiful buildings in the French Quarter, including the St Louis cathedral and even a house that once belonged to Nicolas Cage, but he had had to sell it! We went through the French Market and past all the breathtaking French-style buildings – it was like stepping into a really cool, artsy, independent film.
After that, we met up with the rest of the group and went to Clue Carre, where we were locked in these rooms and we had to escape using the clues from the different objects in the room. We headed for lunch before heading for the steamboat ride.
We then went on the Mississippi steamboat ride, where got to take in some impressive views of the New Orleans city skyline. We saw the damage and devastation that was left by Hurricane Katrina over a decade ago. It’s great to see how far it has come since then. We also got to go inside the engine room of the steamboat.
Later that night, it was on to the New Year’s Eve celebrations where we hit the French Quarter for some fun festivities and a massive street party. After a little bit of bar-hopping, we then rang in the new year in Jackson Square, where we watched a firework display.
After that, I was ridiculously drunk whilst visiting Pat O’Brien’s afterwards. I had very little recollection of anything else that happened that night. Well, what goes on tour…
I am proud to say that I have a newfound love for New Orleans and I’m yearning to go back someday! The same goes for all the other places I visited!
I’d definitely recommend this particular tour and I can’t wait to start booking my next one, so watch this space! Also, shout out to Allen and my trek family for the best Christmas and New Years ever! I couldn’t have wished for a better group and we’ve created memories that’ll last a lifetime.
I hope I’ve given you a bit of travel inspiration! Anyone who’s thinking of doing a Trek America tour, go for it! You’ll have the best time ever I can assure you!