Two years ago my partner and I enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to New Orleans, a place which had long been on my bucket list. If there was one thing which I couldn’t wait to see in NOLA, it was live music. I can remember music journalist Charles Wooten covering mardi gras a number of years ago and he kept on discussing these artists which would just pop up in the streets, playing high quality blues and jazz.
Before we got to NOLA however, we had a few bumps in the road, but eventually we made it.
We flew up to Houston from Mexico City, having got a great deal on the flight. It was far cheaper than flying straight to NOLA, and so we rented a car, and decided to drive the 8hours down to the city. Looking to avoid a full on 8 hour drive, we decided to stop 4 hours into the journey, to stay the night. We picked a place on the map which looked to be a pretty built up area, called Lafayette. As we pulled into the town however, at 8pm on a Saturday night, the place was completely lifeless, and there weren’t even many lights on. Undeterred, we found a hotel and got settled in.
Laptop and Going Backwards
Deciding to do some work before bed, I quickly discovered that my laptop was missing. I called the rental company to discover that some kind soul had handed it in, back in Houston airport. I couldn’t collect the laptop that night, and so at 7am the next morning, we embarked on the 4 hour journey back. In trying to avoid a full-on 8 hour drive, I now had a 12 hour drive on my hands, 4 hours back, and 8 hours to NOLA.
Jaded and Renewed
As you can imagine, by the time we got to the 7th,8h and 9th hours, I was pretty jaded, tired of driving, annoyed at the mistake and anxious to arrive. We continued along the highway, a rather boring trip, that was until the raised road arrived. Just as the sun was setting, the road moves from highway to the swamp. This was a stunning transition, and it felt like you were gliding across the top of the famous Louisiana swampland.
Arrival, And Treasure
We eventually cruised into New Orleans at around 8pm, tired, frustrated and not smelling too good. Nonetheless we showered and got out to the French Quarter, excited to discover what Charles had described to me years before. It may not have been mardi gras but there was music throughout the city, from small street bands to rock bands in bars. It was the blues I had come here for however, and that was just what I found in a hotel close to ours, where a man named Steamboat Willie was playing one of the coolest sets I’ve ever witnessed. We danced the night away and eventually managed to get some sleep, before truly discovering the city the following day.
A magical place, and one which we eventually got to.