This morning we left Memphis, and the state of Tennessee to make our way to New Orleans for 3 nights.
Our journey today would be about 6 hours of driving total that would take us on an incredible road trip completely through the state of Mississippi and into Louisiana South.
We stopped 3 times total to let our guests stretch, shop and use the facilities. For the middle stop, in Jackson Mississippi, we went for lunch. I ate with 5 of my Guests and had a Bacon Sandwich with fried green tomatoes in it with avocado and remoulade sauce... served with grits of course - we're in the south!
Before boarding our coach I got a Starbucks, and a little while later we entered the state of Louisiana. Just across the Louisiana border we stopped at the Visitor's Centre as our last stop before our final destination. (sorry about all the Mississippi bugs on the windshield)
It's true, they did have free coffee and free smiles! The people in the south are always so welcoming.
Some of our Guests were tempted to steal the door handle there as they needed to collect a plastic, metal or rubber alligator as part of the Official Chef Dez Scavenger Hunt - remember, they are competing in this scavenger hunt to win a large Big Green Egg (with stand, shelves, and accessories valued at $1900). Luckily, no one did steal it.
As we proceeded to New Orleans, the highway turned into a viaduct above the swamps and part of lake Pontchartrain and is one of the longest viaducts in the world at 28 miles. It cost the state of Louisiana $7 Million for each mile of it.
As we got closer to New Orleans we also passed the huge Metairie Cemetery. See all the above ground tombs? This is because New Orleans is below sea level and they can't dig graves in the ground as they would just fill up with water. We are going to learn more about this tomorrow on our city tour of New Orleans.
And then we inched closer through the New Orleans traffic to reach our hotel - The Sheraton Downtown - which is kitty corner from the French Quarter. How could we tell we were in New Orleans? Look at our welcoming committee!
Here are a few shots of my room and view:
Then we walked up Canal Street, and then down Royal (about 8 blocks total) to get to our fist included meal in New Orleans - at The Court of Two Sisters! When we were there, we got to eat outside under an umbrella of trees and lights - it was a great ambiance and a very delicious meal.
...and some shots of the food:
I have even included the recipe for the turtle soup I had, because it was so good. Yeah, you know, just pick up 1 pound of turtle meat next time you go grocery shopping - it's that easy!
About 1/3 of the group decided to walk down the famous Bourbon Street to get back to the hotel and it was a complete party scene! Sorry no pictures of that just yet, but we are here for 3 nights so I am sure I will get shots at some point and share them with you.
It's been a long day, and we have full bellies, so off to bed and I will post more tomorrow. Goodnight!