Day 6: Pascagoula, Mississippi-New Orleans, Louisiana.

August 28, 2009
Pascagoula, Mississippi-New Orleans, Louisiana.
Miles: 117.8

We slept in really hard and woke up very refreshed. Jeff got off work at 11 and took us to the coolest restaurant I have ever seen. It was called The Shed and it is world famous for BBQ in the south. Very southern place. The building itself was actually constructed of materials that looked like they came off of real sheds. Outside had a stage that probably held bluegrass, country, and folk bands nightly. There was tons of outdoor seating and crazy stuff all over lie giant horses, alligators with beer in their mouth and wind chimes made of pork rib bones. We all ordered pulled pork sandwiches and it was the best BBQ sandwich we ever ate. Seriously Nate and I agree that one of our favorite parts of this trip so far has been the food. It’s all delicious!

We drove only a couple hours to New Orleans and the first thing we noticed was that the devastation of Hurricane Katrina is still blatantly visible. On the outskirts of town there are numerous buildings that were wrecked and never repaired and old boarded up houses. Very sad.

We called our couch surfer Becca (who was awesome by the way) and told her that we wanted to go explore the Bayou for a while before going into the city. We drove straight down to the gulf coast delta area and pulled off on some tiny roads. Down there it seriously looked amazing. We saw houses up on stilts to avoid the flood waters and houses right of little rivers next to swamps. There seemed to be lots of construction and progress being made. On the way back to the city we checked out a very tiny town next to the mighty Mississippi. There were lots of kids running around who got off school buses who waved at us. Walked down to the river and explored a bit while getting 17 more mosquito bites. We drove straight to Becca’s house which was really cool place outside downtown. She offered to show us around and meet us downtown later. Nate and I drove down to the French Quarter of New Orleans and admired all the awesome architecture. The streets were very busy and crowded with tourists and locals all having a good time.

One of Nate and I’s favorite things to do has been asking random strangers where good places to eat are for reasonable prices. That way we stay away form the touristy hot spots and get some local flavor and culture to check out. Some guy told us to go to Coops. I had spicy alfredo noodles with shrimp, crawfish, clams, and spicy ham. Nate had jambalaya with similar seafood and rice in it. The spices and flavor was so intense I wanted to never forget how good it tasted. Oooomhp man it was good.

Becca called me and asked us where we were and I said coops. She thought I said poops. (Hahah) We met at a huge cathedral where she and her friends were having a critical mass meeting. It’s where local people ride bikes throughout a city together in a big group. Becca passed to show us around on foot. Watched a street performer who was very entertaining and put on an impressive magic show.

There is no open container laws in New Orleans so we just walked round the whole town with beer in or hands. We went and sat by the Mississippi river and Becca told us about Katrina and what it was like to grow up in the south. She was a very cool girl and we wished we could hang out in this place longer. While we were sitting there I found a pair of sunglasses for nate to use. They had green algae all over them but Nate will clean them off and they’ll be just fine.

From the river, we went walking through town until we found probably the most glorious thing we have ever seen. A restaurant called the R Bar was giving away free huge plates of shrimp on the street corner. We got our fill along with sauce and beer and sat in the street and ate and ate until we were stuffed full. Stuff like this just doesn’t happen in Portland. People in New Orleans love to have a good time. Mostly, they love to drink in the streets though. Mardi Gras must be absolutely insane down here. We were just hanging out and a guy we were hanging with was talking about random thoughts and apparently that really rubbed some bum the wrong way. He just started yelling at people we were visiting with. It is what it is, I guess. Then, we went to a bar called Mimi’s afterward where we watched some live music. Some old guy came in and Becca started laughing because, apparently, this guy shows up all the time and starts dancing to the music. Which is totally awesome but he’s old and he danced really funny so you couldn’t help but to laugh. After a bit of that, we tuckered out and headed home.

Nate and his random thoughts:
We didn’t do some of the things people, I guess, do when they are in New Orleans. We wanted to do things like go to Café du Monde, La Divina and do other things like show our boobs for beads and have a baby with a local, but we weren’t able to do it all. La Divina was closed and Café du Monde was absolutely packed with a line out the door. We didn’t get any beads because, apparently, we don’t have boobs and it’s not Mardi Gras. As for having a baby with a local, we had a good long talk and decided we aren’t ready to be parents……. *sigh*

Roadkill Armadillo Count “Deadadillo”- 7

Love- Nate and Luke