If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you know that we’ve been traveling the country in our new RV the past couple of weeks. Our latest stop is in New Orleans, where we’ve been since Thursday afternoon. That gave us enough time to hang out in the French Quarter for two nights.
Our first night we went to a restaurant named Desire. It was a seafood house right on Bourbon Street where I started with a dozen oysters and finished with a bowl of seafood gumbo. I don’t know how they do it, but the gumbo down here is so freaking good. I also ate a few bites of bread pudding for dessert, which was also excellent.
From there we walked up and down Bourbon Street just touring the area before stopping into a bar where they were playing some live music. It was a band of 3 guys playing 2 acoustic guitars and 1 electric guitar. They were singing some great classic rock hits that are right up my alley so we decided to stay. Since we were staying, I ordered a beer and quickly realized it was happy hour which means 3 for 1. Since I go months at a time without drinking at all, 3 beers is a lot for me. However, since they were in front of me and I was really enjoying the music, next thing I knew, they were all gone.
After we left that bar we ended up at Howl At The Moon. I’ve never heard of them before, but they are a chain with locations all over the country. They also had 3:1 at Howl At The Moon, so I quickly turned from slightly tipsy to very drunk. It was a lot of fun though and the guys there put on a great show.
We had so much fun down there Thursday night that we decided to head down there again tonight. We started at a place called The Gumbo Shop where I had, well, gumbo. Since the place came highly recommended it was no surprise that it was excellent. We walked around after that for a while before stopping into an oyster bar for some oysters. They had a pretty unique menu item there too: oysters with caviar. I had to give that a try and I must say it was quite good. The guy at the oyster bar also recommended a place for dessert where we got an order of bread pudding. I have to say, it was AMAZING.
We came back fairly early tonight since we have to get up and head to Houston tomorrow. Since I don’t like to drive tired, I skipped the alcohol too.
Since everyone is so friendly down here, it’s hard not to strike up a conversation. Out of courtesy I asked everyone I could about Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. I have a couple of interesting stories to tell about both of these.
First, I met a guy (a cab driver) who was stranded on his roof for 7 days waiting for help after the storm. I can’t say much more than it was riveting to hear a story of this magnitude right from his lips. He was born and raised in New Orleans and obviously still lives here today.
Then, we talked to several people at the oyster bar tonight who were directly effected by the oil spill. First, they didn’t even have oysters to sell for months. This obviously had a profound negative effect on their business. One of the guys we were talking to told me he lost about $9,000 in income over that time in reduced tips. The interesting part though was when he told me that the fund that was setup is actually working – almost too well. They gave him $21,000 a couple months ago as an advance on his overall settlement. He only asked for the $9,000 he lost, but they gave him $21,000. Now they called him in to receive the rest of his settlement next week. Others in the same bar have received $50,000 – $80,000 payments from this fund. This was on top of the original money they got. He basically told me that the fund has so much money they don’t know how to get rid of it. He equated it to Brewster’s Millions.
I’ve been enjoying New Orleans so much that I really don’t want to go, but we have reservations at a campground in Houston tomorrow. We’ll be pulling out of here between 11am and noon and hope to be in Houston before dark. I’ll be heading out of Houston on Monday for Costa Rica for a few days. When I get back we’ll head back to Las Vegas and park the RV for a while until the weather starts warming up a little bit.