Snow Place like home

Posted by on 8, Mar 2022 in 2022 - USA, Tilly the Tandem, USA

Snow Place like home
NOLA wedding parade

We arrived at Boston and found Cousin Annie double parked outside the station, beer in hand and a grin the size of the Titanic on her face! (OK I may be exaggerating about the beer). When she met my dad many years ago at the same station, she double parked and then asked dad, who’d just got off a plane from the UK, “Hey Bob, do you want to got to my house to clean up or go to a beer festival? Dad chose the beer festival! Anyway, We headed to her and Philips home to light the fire and chill out and drink Philips patented Vodka and Tonics.

That night the snow arrived. None of this 2 flakes and everything closes malarkey, 8 inches dumped in a few hours and the roads were cleared almost as fast as it fell.

It was beautiful so we ventured out to Camp Colin, Annie’s house on the lake named after her dad. We spent the weekend there drinking, eating and doing veritable impressions of polar explorers for a walk each day and then headed back to Boston to fly down to NOLA. – New Orleans.

Sunshine and a balmy 22C greeted us at NOLA and our taxi delivered the usual butt clenching experience of no hands on the wheel whilst finding your destination on the phone at 70mpb whilst swerving between lanes that we’ve come to expect from taxis here. Still, we arrived alive and frankly we consider that a result.

Our flight went almost like clockwork, with our app telling us to go to gate 36 only to find that went to Aruba and gate 15 was what we needed. A quick dash from one side if the airport to the other and we immediately boarded the plane. There were no fights on the plane about masks, though one of the flight attendants said they had had loads of idiots who wouldn’t wear masks and she was fed up with babysitting these people. Remember reader, not wearing a mask makes you a selfish thoughtless idiot, not some freedom fighter. You want to fight for freedom – go to Ukraine, not moan about masks.

Our accommodation was a traditional NOLA house, very nice too but Tilly still hadn’t arrived. I checked UPS and found she was out for delivery today so we sat to await her arrival and the grand reunion.

By 21:30 there was no sign of Tilly and I’d seen a UPS van outside and checked with the driver she hadn’t got her so we went to bed, to be woken up at 22:15 by Tilly arrival and helped the guy unload her in our pyjamas! Yippee!

The next day Tilly got reassembled with only one of our flag poles bent. The box through looked like it had taken some serious abuse but had done the job of protecting Tilly. A quick (well slow) cycle around the area to test Tilly was OK and then a short exploratory cycle.

We’d picked a really nice area, New Orleans is nothing like other US cities that we’ve visited. There are numerous gorgeous plantation houses and small semi detached old houses, one of which was our Airbnb. Our location was about 8km from the French Quarter and a few hundred meters from Magazine Street, a really lovely collection of old shops and cafes and not touristy that wouldn’t be out of place anywhere in Europe. The Boulangerie had the best French Baguettes we’ve had outside France!

With the weather warm and sunny we ventured in to New Orleans on Tilly along Magazine Street. It was a gorgouse cycle and the drivers were very good and patient behind us. Mind you, the automatic gearbox makes it hard for them to nip past us as they seem to accelerate so slowly.

The French Quarter is fabulous, but in true American style you can drive around the narrow streets and its a slow moving covoy of gynormous people poured into gynormous pickup trucks and cars with horse drawn carriage tours, pedestrians and quite a few cyclists thrown in.

There’s no way the centre would allow cars in Europe and instead of the truly dreadful state of the roads – they are the worst roads we’ve ever cycled – if only the cobbles would be put back, it would be so much nicer.

Having said that it’s a fabulous place, even with the traffic. The buildings with their ironwork balconies are everywhere and it’s full of people and music. There are more buskers than you cans shake a stick at and every bar seems to have a band.

At night it moves up a gear and the bars have ear deafening music blasting from them and there are wedding parties marching round town with Police escorts and a jaz band, its amazing and we loved it.

It seems to be one of the only places in the US where you don’t have to pop your booze into a paper bag to drink and everyone under 40 carries a cocktail, there are loads of groups of young people wandering around having a party. They seemed to be just getting started when we headed home to our hotel around 21:00, lightweights that we are!

We liked New Orleans so much we decided to have another couple of nights there and so moved to the Wyndham Resort Plaza Avenue Super dooper Extaravaganzs hotel.™. Which meant it had a pool and a complimentary 90 minute talk about timeshares and would you like to buy some tour tickets, all of which we declined to the comment of “you two are a Tough Crowd” from the disappointed concierge.

The hotel itself reminded us of hotels in Eastern Europe, which is odd becuase we’ve not syayed in any but we both made this observation. Weird! But it was perfectly adequate, clean and our room was quiet, though judging by some of the rooms we passed not everyone would have had a quiet night’s rest. Oh and the bed was so big you needed sherpas to find your pillow.

Our extra days in NOLA we spent on foot exploring and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but our ears were pretty relived that we were moving on the next day.

One Comment

  1. Did wonder how you were going to cycle in Boston weather. NOLA looks and sounds like a great place to start.

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