US Road Trip Epilog: 19th July 2005

It was muggy July around supper time
When I pulled into New Orleans
I got dropped off at South Rampart Street
I was hungry for a plate of greens

I've had that Grant Lee Buffalo song bouncing around between my ears for the last few days. Appropriately enough, it's a muggy July day today and we're heading for a motel on Rampart Street.

180 miles or so, east on Highway 190 before heading southeast on Interstate 10 into New Orleans. I made the mistake last time of driving into the city on Highway 61 and I won't be making that mistake again in a hurry.

Riviera at 90,000 miles
Riviera at 90,000 miles, purring like a kitten after some new oil yesterday.

With the navigator continuing his recent run of good form, we find the Best Western French Quarter Landmark Hotel (couldn't they make the name any longer?) with no problems. I was surprised to be able to book this place for $60 each - plus, of course, hefty taxes and extortionate parking fees - on the internet last night, given that it's so close to the centre of town. Parking, however, is not as easy as usual as many of the spaces have pillars in the way that prevent a car with the heft of the Riviera from fitting-in. As we're fairly early we can find a parking place without any pillars. I don't envy the cars trying to slot in either side, though.

We can't check in as we're too early. Time to head off to Bourbon Street and sink some beers then. After some wandering Alex goes off to get his hair cut and I find some live music in the Krazy Korner bar. They're an odd-looking band - definitely never destined for the cover of Smash Hits - but the music is good and I'm especially taken by their harmonising on The Band's The Weight. Plus it's Happy Hour, meaning three bottles of beer for $6. I did, honestly, try to buy just one bottle but the bar staff weren't having any of it. Welcome to the The Big Easy.

The Mississippi River in New Orleans
A Mississippi Queen down from Mississippi down in New Orleans.

Later in the afternoon / evening it's time to find something to eat, and I know just the place. Olivier's is probably a bit too up-market for the likes of us but it is a bit different compared to the bar and grill places of most of the road trip. Makes a change to have rabbit rather than steak, as well, and a bill of $54 for two won't exactly break the bank.

A revisit to The Blues Club on Bourbon Street
A revisit to The Blues Club on Bourbon Street. It's the same band as last time I was here, and they're just as good as before.

The rest of the evening is pretty much as expected - visits to Lounge Lizards (still, I'm glad to say, with the same sassy back-talking barmaid) and The Blues Club, along with any other club where the bands sounds like they may well be worth a listen. Occasionally we go to somewhere a bit quieter for a bit of a rest. Sometime later - ok, a lot later - we make our way back to the motel. Somehow.

US Road Trip Epilog: 20th July 2005 >