NEW ORLEANS / WW2 MUSEUM / BOURBON ST

Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
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Trip End Jun 28, 2013


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Where I stayed
Baymont Inn and Suites, Marrero

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Woke up after a good sleep-in but we had unfortunately missed the hotel breakfast which finished at 9.00am. We headed down the road, once again in search of some nutritional goodness and again ended up eating shite. This time some fried sandwich thing.

The weather decided not to play ball today, well at least for a couple of hours. We had a huge deluge of rain and whilst it wasn't Hurricane Katrina, we did have to look out for large puddles.

The boys got ourselves organised and grabbed a cab into the city to have a look at the National World War Two Museum. It was pretty impressive and even a little bit interesting.

The US were a very reluctant participant in the war at first and in fact didn't really get involved until Japan attacked the US Naval fleet at Pearl Harbour. As we walked through the museum we saw how the war started, how the US eventually got involved, how the war progressed, the formulation and execution of the D-day plan in Normandy and the use of the atomic bombs against Japan. There were also a lot of great exhibits from the World War 2 era, namely tanks, planes, military vehicles, weapons, uniforms, etc.

We were also able to participate in a simulation of 'the final voyage' for the USS Tang, a WW2 submarine, which was pretty cool. The simulator had all the bells, whistles and sirens and was a replica of the sub.

The USS Tang sank 33 ships during WW2 and was sunk during the last engagement by a circular run of her final torpedo. She sank in 55m of water but several of the crew managed to reach the surface, and some survived to be captured by the Japanese. The survivors were the first American submariners to escape a sunken submarine using a Momsen lung, an underwater breathing device.

After 3 hours of increasing our brain size with additional knowledge which had been previously lacking, we decided it was high time to kill a few brain cells - off to the bars we go !

We headed down to the river (Mississippi) as there was a festival going on for the next few days. There were multiple stages set up with a variety of different acts covering most music genres. Lots of arty shite and street performers also.

As we are responsible drinkers, we decided to have a light meal to start our night and when in the south, you do what the southerners do. So, we popped into this cool looking place that had 'Gumbo' on the menu. We were positive they had it on the menu as the place was called 'The Famous Gumbo Pot' . Same reason why Burger King has burgers on their menu I guess. Simple yet effective marketing. Anyway, back to the gumbo. Gumbo is like a stew with lovely rich spicy flavours served with rice and crackers. Ours had shrimp, chicken and sausage in it and it was GOLD ! We decided to stay clear of the beers tonight and went straight to drinking 'Hurricanes', New Orleans' signature cocktail.

We moved to our next bar, and another Hurricane. We'd previously been told that 2 of them will put you on your arse. Bollocks, we nailed our second and preceded to have 5 more as the night progressed.

We were recommended a different area to check out, by our waitress, called Frenchmen's Street. It has a number of bars and is less frequented by tourists and more popular with the locals. We saw a fantastic folk band at The Blue Nile Bar whose lead singer had a voice resembling Ben Harper.

From there, we moved further up the street and upon hearing what appeared to be a brass band in the distance, we made our way to the noise. When we got to the street corner in question, we were blown away by about 12 black dudes playing every brass instrument you can think of. When I say 'blown away', I mean amazed, not shot. They were unbelievable. We stood watching them and dancing in the street for about 15 minutes. Lots of fun.

We headed back around to Bourbon St and ended up in a place called 'Spirits on Bourbon'. Inside they had 2 Grand Piano's back to back and 2 jokers duelling on the pianos and singing. They were brilliant. So much so, that we spent the next 3 hours there. They were playing just about anything you requested, like Sweet Child O Mine (Guns n Roses), Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard), and Basket Case (Green Day) - hardly your classic piano ditties but they nailed them all the same.

We made our way in the direction of a cab and on the way, popped into a rock bar to listen to a few more songs before pouring ourselves into a cab destined for the hotel.

Another great night had in The Big Easy.

Over and out.
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