- Pay attention to the road. Arkansas is beautiful. So much so that it makes this hard. On curvy up-and-down roads. Whoops.
- Stop if you want. We took a pit-stop in Louisisana’s state capitol, Baton Rouge, for lunch.
- Pack your own noms. Duh.
- Keep quotes from your brother. My favorite? “I’m actually disappointed we didn’t get banjo when we crossed the state line (of Arkansas).”
- Make a roadtrip playlist. At least half as long as the estimated drive time. One hour repeated ten times gets old FAST.
- Go with your younger brother. If you don't have one I am sincerely sorry.
- Drive through the night if you’re tired and it’s raining. For pete’s sake find the nearest dive motel. All you need is a bed for a few hours.
- Drive straight through. What’s the point of a roadtrip if you don’t stop along the roads you’re tripping?
We stayed at India House Hostel. Just off canal street, it was really convenient taking the trolley into the French quarter and such. Would definitely recommend. Book way in advance if you’re going for Mardi Gras or something.
Eat like a Cajun. Seriously. PoBoys, gumbo, sausage and rice, alligator, hot sauce, beignets. Go crazy.
We of course spent considerable time in the French Quarter. St. Louis Cathedral has a cool old-school southern vibe. The French Market has lots of trinkets if you’re into that. I got a cheap voodoo doll thing because they’re freaky looking. Bourbon Street is a shit show, but it’s a fun shit show. Royal Street has lots of cool art galleries to peruse. There are lots of places where you can sample a million and one hot sauce flavors. Be careful though. I’m convinced some are meant to put you into cardiac arrest. Jazz and street performers are everywhere, and I’m so thankful for the atmosphere they create. Personal advice, if an act/show makes you stop to enjoy it, you’d BEST be leaving some kind of tip. Walk along the river. Soak in the atmosphere. Raunchiness and charm roll together side-by-side here.
Ride the St. Charles Trolley through the garden district. It's the oldest operating streetcar in the world, and has been named a historic landmark by the National Park Service. The houses in the garden district are exactly what you think of when you think of big Gone With the Wind style southern-ness.
Tired of the city? Head to Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve to check out some nature. A walk through their trails is free, and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. We saw a crocodile, deer, and pile of otters. Totes presh.
We walked by when they weren’t open, but be more prepared and check out the cemeteries. It may sound creepy, but they’re really grand and historic places. Besides, death is one of the only parts of life we all have in common.
On our way back we stopped in Memphis for the evening. I NEED TO GO BACK FOR MORE THAN AN EVENING. Get some BBQ with live music, preferably of the rock and soul/blues variety. We did just that at B.B. King’s on Beale Street and had the great pleasure of listening to Memphis Jones. This guy loves his music and his city, and makes you love it too.