Sunday, February 25, 2018

Experiencing New Orleans on a Budget


It was a journey….. A journey across four states in 5 days. I’ve called it the Grand Road trip for it was precisely that. Day 1 my roommate and I spent the night in Georgia. Day 2 was Alabama (which is my last post), Day 3 was Mississipi and then we arrived in New Orleans later that afternoon. I’ve already posted about the Little River Canyon in Alabama and will eventually post a tidbit on Biloxi Mississipi, but I feel compelled to share our journey in New Orleans next.

We were very conscious when it came to our spending on the trip. First off, we split the cost of gas and rooms so in all (after souvenirs) it came to about $300 for a 5 day excursion. Tip number one would be to check out Air bnb. Our nightly stays, came to about $50 and then we split that in half even further reducing our price. We were quite pleased with our hosts and their overall friendliness. You can look over reviews from past visitors before making the final decision of your host home.


The other bit of advice would be use public trasit. We used an app that allowed us to to track where we needed to get off at and when we need to change trollies or buses to reach our final destiation. I would recommend getting a Jazzy pass if you plan on stay 2 or more days. It eliminates the need for carrying extra change and will save you some cash. Finding parking is a pain, so I highly recommend taking this route.


What I really loved about New Orleans was the architecture, the food, and the Jazz. Here is a snap shot from us entering the French Quarter.


There were plenty of carriage rides offered. In my personal opinion, one of the most fun parts, was taking a bus tour. We got to hear about the culture and history. We passed Sandra Bullock’s home and Robert Mannings home which was pretty thrilling. We heard about the houses that had their own horror stories. We listened to Jazz music on the bus. We then went and got New Orleans famous Beignets.

Beignet recipe: 


Here is a view from our entrance into the Jackson Square.


I really enjoyed getting to see a show taking place near the street.


In addition to the various sites, we got to learn first hand the story behind the canals that failed in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina.

I highly recommend visiting the Presbytere museum in Jackson Square. It explains and gives live footage of what was experienced during hurricane Katrina. Admission is $6 and worth every penny. When we went, the upstairs was dedicated to Marti Gras. 



We got to take a tour of a local cemetery and believe it or not cemeteries are a major attraction in New Orleans.



An additional attraction we came across was the Lou Armstrong park. It was dedicated to Lou Armstrong who was one of the most influential of men in the Jazz movement. 



I hope you enjoyed this tour of New Orleans! It so happened that they were celebrating their 300th anniversary while we were there. Next month, I will write up an entry on the food in New Orleans which I must say was one of my favorite parts.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Little River Canyon National Preserve in Alabama


One of my dreams and ambitions is to visit all 50 states and so this year, I’ve started chipping away at making my way across the United States. I’ve visited Illionois, Alabama, Mississipi, and Louisiana this year and in summer I’ll be going to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delware. And so, to begin the new quest, Christmas week, my roommate and I began our “Grand Road Trip” to the southern states. We traveled from North Carolina all the way to Louisana with Alabama and Mississippi as our main stops. The total time to travel from North Carolina to Louisana without stops is 13 hours.

One of our main stops was Little River Canyon National Preserve which is located on the top of Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama. We took the scenic drive which has 9 different stops along the way. The first entry point is at the 45-foot waterfall. We were blessed to get to go at a time when the water flow was strong. Nature never ceases to amaze me as I witness the creativity and artistry of our great God.


Part of the joys of a road trip is being able to stop at the drop of a hat. Being able to pause to take it all the sights and sounds is part of the experience. We found this very prounced rock appropriately called “Mushroom Rock.” There were rocks on each side with a road between them. The mark of humanity was on the rocks as people had left their signatures and symbols.



Eberhart Point is the last overlook on the scenic drive and what a way to conclude such a journey. What depth this canyon has and how insufficient the picture is to capture the picturesque nature of this place. According to online records, the “Grand Canyon of the East” is 12 miles long and as much as 600 feet deep. the park protects a grand total of 14,000 acres.



This is a whitewater river at the park that ranges from a classs III to a Class V.



A far off view of the Little River Falls.


Before going, check out their visitor center and their gift shop. They have the parks history and more details.