Chris and I are visiting all 50 states. Our latest trip was to New Orleans, Louisiana for a few days with an hour and a half drive to Gulf Port, Mississippi for a couple days. Here’s the scoop . . .
We alternate who picks the next state and this was my pick. We’re not the “party type” per se, so when I told people we were heading to New Orleans I kept getting the “Oh, really? Have you ever been? Well . . . it should be . . . uh . . . interesting,” and I received advice from a couple people to not stray too far off the beaten path after dark. Eek.
I figured if we were going to be in Louisiana, we might as well tag on a side trip to Mississippi since we were so close/we haven’t been to a beach in awhile/I couldn’t think of a big reason we’d vacation solely to Mississippi in the future so we might as well go when we’re only 1.5 hours away.
The general gist of New Orleans — it kind of smells like pee. Well, not kind of, it basically does smell like pee. It has a lot of history, a lot of people on the streets performing music, a lot of homeless people sleeping on the streets (often with signs saying there were tarot card readers or psychics — if you’ve read my book then you know my intrigue with psychics), and a lot of creole inspired food. I describe the trip as a place that I’m happy to have visited because going to all 50 states is all about experiencing different places — not about trying to have the same vacation and experience over and over, but it’s also a place I can’t imagine living. I think it’s because we stayed in the French Quarter on a street that ran into Bourbon St. Two of the three nights in New Orleans we went to bed with the sounds of “Back that Azz Up” by Juvenile playing from Bourbon St (the first night they played the song on repeat 12x). It added some nice entertainment to the trip and gave me a little throwback feeling to my college days.
The general gist of Gulf Port, Mississippi — it was nice but the Gulf isn’t necessarily the water you want to swim in. I don’t swim in the ocean anyway when we’re on beach vacations (you know, sharks and stuff), but this water was one that Chris was even like, “nah.” It was a nice area though, not crowded, and we did not hear “Back that Azz Up” 12x over, matter of fact, I don’t think the good people of Gulf Port, Mississippi (“Miss-ippi” as they say) even knew the likes of Juvenile.
Another fun fact about this trip was that it was our first time using Airbnb. Both places we stayed in were awesome and I’d recommend Airbnb/we’ll probably give that another go on our next trip.
Here are some of the highlights in photos and some of the things we did in each state.
Our Airbnb in New Orleans was in the French Quarter. We stayed on the second level of this building and were only the 2nd guests to stay. It was so clean (thank God!) and trendy.
Here we are on Bourbon St.
One of the highlights of New Orleans was the WWII Museum. I haven’t traditionally been one for spending a half day learning about history, but this museum was great. Chris loved it! We highly recommend buying the tickets that include the 50 minute “Beyond All Boundaries” movie. We also recommend picking a show time that will be right when you arrive/prior to touring the museum because it really helps give you an overview of the war and makes the museum itself much more interesting.
We spent one day while in New Orleans doing a six hour tour of two plantations. The first two photos below show the homes the wealthy white families lived in, and the second two photos show the small shacks the enslaved individuals/families lived in — sometimes up to 24 people would live in those small shacks. The tours were very well done and I would recommend them to anyone interested in learning more about history. It’s one thing to learn about these things in a book and in movies, but it’s a very eye opening experience to have an opportunity to learn more in person.
You’re not really experiencing New Orleans if you don’t eat some beignets. If you know me in real life and know how to pronounce the first part of my last names (Ignet), then you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that I insisted that we pronounce them “Be Ignets” instead of “beignets” while there. Chris played along. Café du Monde is the most popular place for beignets (aka “Be Ignets”) but I personally liked the ones at Café Beignet better.
We walked the Mississippi River a couple evenings and caught the picture perfect rainbow!
Speaking of Mississippi, after three days in New Orleans we headed off to Gulf Port, Mississippi for our next Airbnb. Here’s where we stayed . . . If you’re thinking it looks kind of big for just the two of us, eh, I have no apologies. I guess for the 20 minutes I was booking this I was pretending we were a family of six heading to a beach house for a week. It was actually just a two bedroom, so not quite as big as you’d think/it looks from the outside (though it did have an elevator for your luggage). We were the house on the left.
We spent most of our time in Gulf Port reading books on the deck of the Airbnb, taking a long walk, going out on the Pier, and going out to eat.
We did some other things in there too — visited an aquarium, hit up the casino a couple times, did a couple hour nature walk at a preserve, had the best iced coffee from a market in New Orleans, Chris gave jambalaya a whirl, etc. If you’re heading to either place soon, hit me up and I’ll give you all the gory restaurant recommendations.
Time to go put our pins on the map!
Next up: We don’t know. It’ll be Chris’ pick . . . I’ve already heard mentions of another National park that would take us back out “to the left” as I describe it on the map. Stay tuned.