Bassybeats Travel Blog

A collection of my thoughts as I travel the world.

Road Tripping the USA – Niagara Falls and the New York Finale

Well it has been what seems months but actually 3 weeks in the US of A. We have managed 8,291km touching all four sides of the country. I would defiantely say there are some must see things in the states and some things I wouldn’t do again. I am glad we avoided as many freeways as possible and tried to keep away from as many tourist traps as possible.

 

This is the run down of the last 3 days of our trip being written by a tired Jimmy in LAX.

 

We got up early to catch the Falls before anyone else was around and hoped to get to jump on the first Lady of the Mist boat ride. The falls are just as amazing during the day light as they were light up by fireworks and lights the night before.

 

The American Falls actually falls onto rocks rather than water and both of the falls leave a thundering boom that you could only dream about what it was like for people first discovering it all those years ago.

 

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We managed to get on the first boat ride of the day and got some great photos and an upclose look at the falls. We did have give up in defeat with the cameras as the water would have killed them, but nice views until then.

 

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With a pretty tight schedule to keep we went to the top of the horseshoe falls grabbed some snaps and hit the road.

 

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We crossed our last state border and grabbed a photo of all the signs except Illinois, cause they are hopeless and have no signs anywhere. The drive through upstate New York was lush and green before grinding to a mess of angry drivers and shitty tolls again.

 

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A friend of mine from my last Tibet trip kindly put both of us at his place in Chelsea which was right in and amongst all the parts of New York City we wanted to see. Day 1 started with a visit to the iconic Empire State Building.

 

An engineering marvel and a deep dig into your wallet, the Americans sure know how to fleece you of money. Luckily the views were incredible.

 

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In our naive judgement of NYC we thought we would ‘just pop down the road’ to the Intrepid Air, Space and Sea Museum. It was 20 mins walking and a bus. But we got there in the New York heat and were blown away everywhere we looked.

 

The whole museum is on the decommissioned Intrepid Aircraft Carrier. Housing fighter jets, submarines, helicopters and a Space Shuttle.

 

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It is advised that you start with the Submarine as the lines never die down. Fortunately it was awesome, unfortunately we got stuck behind a bunch of annoying kids.

 

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Up on the flight deck was the beast I came to see, the Lockheed Martin A-12, the pre-decessor to the SR-71 blackbird. Thing was glorious tucked at the back of the flightdeck it was still the most bad ass plane there. At a top speed of Mach 3 and a standing order that if it encountered missiles, its directive was  to just accelerate, it was the king of the skies.

 

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The flight deck was full of amazing planes and helicopters, too many to detail but included a blue angel, a harrier jump jet and attack helicopters.

 

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The last exhibit of the museum was the NASA space shuttle, the Enterprise. Built as a test vessel for NASA it then got converted a touring peice that sat a top a special 747 and toured the world. This thing was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The only shame was you couldn’t go inside it like a lot of the other big displays.

 

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After standing in the intense New York humidity we caught the bus to Central park where we popped into the big glass Apple store, walked around the park and saw turtles, squirrels, carp and racoons.

 

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It was rather nice getting an escape of greenery from the concrete jungle that is New York and you can see why everyone else comes here, not just for the Pokemon hopefully though.

Once nightfall had come wer could go down to Time Square for another touristy session in New York. I honestly don’t know why people come here, and I think Phil said it is amazing that they can people down there to essentially just look at adverts, pretty clever.

 

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Just in time I remembered that I wanted to see a ‘real’ American comicbook store and boy was it a good time to remember. Right on Times Square could be one of America’s best comicbook stores, Midtown Comics. It was all I every could have wanted, comics as far as you could see. I did grab a couple of t-shirts I was after for a while and a copy of ‘The Killing Joke’.

 

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The night finished off with a beer at Top of the Strand rooftop bar, which over (under?) looked the Empire State Building. Good end to a great day.

 

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Day 2 in NYC started a bit easier not having to book flights and sort our shit out. First point of interest was the Chelsea Highline and Chelsea Markets, where we grabbed some breakfast Crepes and head off for the day. The Chelsea Highline is an old rail line converted raised walkway.

 

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One our way to the Statue of Liberty we made a stop at the 9/11 memorial, they have done a great job. Theres a rescued tree there that has been brought back to life after the attacks and is the only tree from the before the event. The names of everyone that lost their lives are engraved into the memorial with a flower placed in there name on the day that would have been their birthday. Pretty humbling and sad place to visit really.

 

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We got some great views of the statue as well as New York, although we didn’t bother paying extra to go inside as by that point we were a bit sick of getting fleeced of our money, even if we annoyingly paid with jangle.

 

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Really the last stop of the trip was the Brooklyn Bridge. As much as our feet hurt and the whinging increased we walked to just to say we did. It was well worth it and would have been better if our feet weren’t killing us, I swear walking on concrete can kill you. We tried our hardest to find the Captain America statue in Prospect Park. We were in the right place and would have seen it if they didn’t move it a week or two earlier and not tell anyone.

 

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And on the final note of our trip Phil and Brittany showed us of of the most hidden and awesome fried chicken places you could think of. Was some great food and beer to finish off a great trip.

 

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With some crafty ranger rolling were were all packed that night ready for a 5.30am start. The unwanted start of the long leg back to New Zealand had to start.

 

And as I sit here in LAX Airport typing I can’t think of any other way I could have wanted this to go. There was some amazing sights, amazing people incredible roads, dodgy neighborhoods and food to die for / could kill you with diabetes. With 16 states, 8,291km and 3 weeks in done and dusted in America I sure am going to miss this place.

 

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Cheers USA you have been fan-fucking-tastic.

 

Oh, and Paul says goodnight and y’all take care now.

 

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Road Tripping the USA – Willis Tower, the start of Route 66, then off to Niagara Falls

It is getting to the end of the trip and I am going to just combine these two days into one post. Not much happened on the second day so its not worth it. We did find the a Laundromat that legit had black and white tv playing though.

 

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Our second day in Chicago we jumped on a bus and went up the Willis tower, but before we did that we grabbed a photo at the start of Route 66. We kind of did it backwards but we got photos at each end and in the middle in Flagstaff.

 

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Willis Tower ( Sears tower ) is pretty impressive. Very taller and pretty long lines, although it was way worse when we were leaving. It was good views and worth it if you get there at the right time of day.

 

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Most of the rest of the day was really just walking around Downtown and checking stuff out, like Navy Pier and Millennium Park.

 

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And the day finished up with some mean as ribs from Smoque BBQ. Best ribs I probably have ever had.

 

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Now its time for our second to last big drive, Chicago to Niagara Falls. Illinois –> Indiana –> Ohio — > Pennsylvania –> New York State.

 

Really wasn’t that eventful of a day just a few more state crossings ALOT of shithouse tolls roads. It shaved an hour and a half off our trip taking them but you pay pretty badly for it in $$

 

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We did make a stop in Ohio to walk through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Its 6 stories of museum and a lot to take in. You could spend days in there but unfortunately we had only an hour and a half for it. Got a good look around though, there was a big Jimi Hendrix section which was great, including ‘the’ guitar he used at Woodstock.

 

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We once again hit the road and crossed two more state borders before arriving in Niagara Falls. These states love their toll roads and they love making it really confusing to figure out how much jangle you need to pay for it.

 

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Finally arriving in Niagara Falls and Google getting confused where the hotel is we were sorted. The lady at the front desk said that Canada puts in Fireworks at 10pm which was only 30mins away. So we wander down and got some awesome photos and our first look at the falls.

 

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Even at night the falls look so amazing, majestic as all hell. Can’t wait to see them in the daylight.

 

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Total Trip Miles = 506 miles /  814 km

Miles on car = 19,099 miles

Total Trip Miles = 4,714 miles / 7,586 km

Road Tripping the USA – First day in Chicago with minimal damage

The one thing that people have told us in every state since we have landed is “be careful in Chicago”. After the ordeal in Nashville we made sure we booked a nice big secure hotel with on site parking and double entry doors.

I think it is like any other city in the world, where you just do go to certain parts of town after the sun goes down. It’s just the city more than most at the moment.

 

The start of day 1 started slow with us needing lots of sleep due to the night before, but we found ourself paying way too much for parking and going to Food Truck Friday by the Merchandise Mart. This place was right by the river and was a good first impression of the city.

 

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After a well needed belly filling we headed on to Wicker Park for a bit of a stroll, once again it was good to get on our feet and out of that car, as mean as the car is. First thing we saw ( and the first on real wildlife on the trip ) were some squirrels having a bit of a munch which fascinated Paul to no end.

 

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For the next few hours it was just wandering the streets, which really meant me looking at records and Paul looking at thrift stores for mean denim jackets.

 

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We did manage to find the meanest donut shop ever, called Stans Donuts. It was just intense on all senses, they had double chocolate peanut butter donuts.

 

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After devouring donuts and feeling sick, we went to go find me a “Welcome to Illinois” sign for the trip. I have managed to get one in every state so far. But we were defeated never found one after 1.5hours and just got photos of the bridges that trains shouldn’t be using.

 

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After a break at the hotel for a few hours we headed back out for food and music. On the list of things we had was “Lou Malnati’s” and “Buddy Guys Legends”. The pizza was amazing, we got the American smalls and couldn’t even finish them. It’s a pretty cool place where you can walk in, reserve a table, order our food and then get a text when the table is free and the food comes out at the same time, very good service and totally recommend.

 

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We then walked just around the block to Buddy Guys Legends. The venue was sweet but the cover charge seemed a bit steep at $20USD. We paid anyway got some of Buddys Brew and enjoyed some blues for the night. There was one guy who used to play with Howlin’ Wolf for ten years singing which was awesome.

 

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Road Tripping the USA – Country to Blues, Nashville to Chicago

After a bit of an unsavoury night in Nashville we were a bit tired from a lack of good sleep. We both felt a bit unsure when we turned up to the motel ( which is a chain that we had stayed at before ) when there was bulletproof glass at reception. After we got back in from Broadway in the city I was just finishing my blogs for the day and we were going to bed when we clearly heard 4 gunshots across the road. We swiftly called the motel manager, got a refund and changed hotels. Luckily the manager was very good about it and helped us out no problems as he heard it as well.

We were clearly in a bad end of town and I would think twice before booking another “America’s Best Value Inn” again as they seem to be situated in the rough ends of towns even though booking.com reviews appear to be good.

But we had another 500 mile drive ahead of us to get to Chicago, so we hit the road.

 

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The one thing I missed on the trip the day before was the Jack Daniels Distillery tour ( I even had my t-shirt on! ) but it was not to be. The tours stop at 4.30 and it didn’t matter how early we left New Orleans we weren’t going to make it. But you can’t go through bourbon country and not go to a distillery, so we mapped it out so we got to go to the Jim Beam distillery instead.

 

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You get taken around in the Jim Beam bus as the facility is actually pretty big. The bus looked to be a sweet converted school bus.

 

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The tour went through all the parts of the distillery, the grain and fermentation, the distilling ( the moon shining part ), the barreling and the bottling. When it comes out of the double distilling process it comes out as pretty much moonshine, which said was called “white lightning” which I don’t know if that has any reference to Archer or that Burt Reynolds movie.

 

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Warehouse D holds about 4.5M litres of bourbon and its the smaller one. The black buildings are black from the soot created during the process, the CO2 and other bits sinks onto buildings, and certain fungi eat it, and that fungi happens to be black.

 

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I think we also found the most badass truck in America, an old Ford F600 loaded with barrels of bourbon. Looked boss as shit.

 

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We couldn’t really taste much as we were both driving, but we did get a free glass and a great tour around. The Food onsite was awesome and one of the only places where the general lie of “food in America is cheap” holds true.

 

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We had to leave pretty quick and start making tracks to Chicago before it got dark, we still had 5 hours of driving ahead of us. We were confused on when we would actually arrive as Kentucky and Indiana were forward and hour but then it went back and hour when we got to Chicago.

 

It was another state border, another timezone and what felt like forever. We did manage to shave an hour off the trip by dodging some traffic and taking the country roads. It went for ages.

 

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We got into Chicago to more traffic and the worst roads. The whole city seemed to be under construction, with orange cones everywhere and tolls everywhere else. We got some food just down the road from the hotel and called it a night. Paul somehow managed to buy and porkchop in a burger bun at 11.30pm.

 

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Trip total = 508 miles / 817km

Miles on car = 18,438

Total Miles so far = 4,053 miles / 6,522km

Road Tripping the USA – New Orleans to Nashville

This should be a quick post as we really didn’t do a lot on this drive. It was the most boring drive so far with it looking so similar to home that it felt like we were driving to Taupo, but for 8 hours.

 

Just outside of New Orleans there is the worlds longest continuous bridge crossing the Lake Pontchartrain, called the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. At 23.83 miles long it was pretty impressive, my camera fogged so bad from the A/C to outside temperature changes I didn’t get any good pics.

 

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The day really was just a whole lot of state border crossings with some food and gas stops to break it up.

 

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We did stop at the most Jesus town in Alabama for lunch, Livingston, Alabama. We had lunch at the Touch of Home Bakery, where any girls of age ( 18-30 ) were wearing long sleeved to the floor dresses that looked like they were choosen by nuns to wear, everyone else was wearing normal clothes.

 

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The food was amazing and really the only interesting thing that happened on the drive.

 

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After that it was another state border and more driving. Nothing exciting happened other than spotting the most American thing ever.

Whats more American than driving a dually pickup truck? Hauling your other dually pickup truck with your dually pickup truck. #merica

 

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Finally arriving in Nashville we dumped our stuff at the hotel and went into town for dinner at Hooters ( Paul had been dying to go for like 3 states ) and then we walking Broadway.

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Broadway was pretty much the country western version of Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, lots of tourists and lots of music and food.

 

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Trip total = 538 / 865 km

Miles on Car = 17,930 miles

Road Tripping the USA – Gators and Hotdogs in NOLA

A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without going to see som alligators. We went all Burt Reynolds on this place and jumped on an Airboat Adventures Swamp tour. It was located about 25mins from the French Quarter and I’d totally recommend it to anyone.

 

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They did have a albino gator in a tank in the shop which was a bit sad but they said if would be dead if it were in the wild and there are only 50 in the world. The gators are definately use to the routine, as soon the air boat rocked up they headed right towards us.

 

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The guide said the best thing to get them to come up is marshmellows, something about them being white attacts them. Not sure how good they are for the gators but they didn’t seem to mind. They have a blind spot above their eyes which the guide managed to get one on top of. He was pretty relaxed around them considering.

 

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The Louisana swamps are a pretty creepy yet interesting place to go. If you have a good guide and go in the morning before it gets too hot it is well worth the trip. And as always, there are alligators, snakes and massive rats in the swamp if it wasn’t terrifying enough.

 

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We both crashed for a bit after the late night and the early hot/humid swamp tour, but then headed out again that night back to Frenchmen Street for some food and maybe try to find some more music. We ended up at Dat Dog, an awesome little Hotdog place with amazing food and good beer selection. An Andygator beer and Bacon Werewolf for me and I was done for the night.

 

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Only our way back we did run into the marching band on the street. According to people working at Dat Dog, they are not the most liked group in Nola. They were extremely loud and once they started you could barely talk to the person next to you in resturants or on the street. Interesting entertainment for tourists though I guess.

 

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And one last note for the day, it is the whinge about what Paul and I have come to refer to as “jangle”. It is the shit house Amercian currency denominations of 1c, 5c, 10c and 25c. You end up with some much of this crap that you need another coin bit in your wallet. Paul and I spend most so much time at every purchase trying to see if we can rid ourselves of the “jangle”. This is not even two dollars, outrageous.

 

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Road Tripping the USA – Wandering New Orleans, Jazz, Blues, Funk and food

Was a slow morning today after the long haul drive from Austin the day before. A couple of useless storm chasers/aligator finders, I grabbed some breakfast while Paul slept some more.

 

In the morning we jumped on the ‘street car’ or for everyone else the Tram to the end of Canal Street. The street cars are $3 for a 24hour pass and are pretty convenient in the humid Lousiana heat. New Orleans sits around 32ºC and 80% humidity.

 

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Walking down the river front of the Mississippi there was plenty to see, with boats coming and going, the Aquarium of the America’s ( which had a massive bricked walkway carved with the donors names ) and it all ended at the French Markets.

 

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The French Markets were a collection of farmer’s market type stalls and local cuisine booths. Both of us were on the hunt to eat something Alligator filled. I ended up finding the bluntly named ‘Gator on a Stick’ which couldn’t be anymore on point. One of the coolest and funniest things I spotted was that a lot of the locals brand “New Orleans” as “N’awlins” which is spelt more like how they phonectically pronounce it.

 

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Luckily Paul was wrong and it was actually just a gator on a stick, rather it was just a gator hotdog, thing. Gator is pretty fatty and not my favourite, although I would be keen to try a gator steak.

 

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The rest of the afternoon was just walking around Frenchmen Street and working our way back to the hotel. The maps make it out to be a big walk ( 16 blocks on the map ) but it realistically didn’t take that long. Through the side streets off the main roads the houses were colourful and rustic, it really felt like you were walking through the classic New Orleans everyone talks about, not just the drunk mess of a street that is Bourbon Street.

 

Paul did get talking to a local ‘artist’ that had supposedly painted a bunch of murals on some buildings on Frenchmen Street, but it was hard to distinguish what was actually true when he was drinking cheap beer and looking like he slept under a street sweeper. I’d like to think that he was telling the truth because the pictures were pretty cool.

 

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Walking the streets is a great way to see a city and I think we enjoyed it more. You kind of get sick of driving everywhere in the big cities like LA and Austin that it is really refreshing to get out on your feet and go for a walk, even if it is liking walking through soup. One of the most prominent things you notice when you get into the USA is that the level of homeless is a lot higher than at home. New Orleans and Austin even more so. Its hard to go through and intersection or walk a block without seeing the homeless, it makes you feel like the cities haven’t figured out how to help them. Austin with its veterans and New Orleans with the victims of natural disasters.

 

As it came to night time we hoped down to The House of Blues so I could get some t-shirts ( seriously I need to stop buying myself t-shirts, although they may all fit in my pack with some handy ranger rolling ). Did some Googling and found good reviews of a place called Jimmy J’s Cafe. Food was good and the setting was cool with custom printed skateboards on the walls.

 

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We grabbed the street car / tram again down to Frenchmen Street to check out the music scene. Almost everyone has told me it is the better part of the city to see good music, it is usually the locals choice over Bourbon Street. The music ranged from lo-fi rock, to blues at Bamboulas, jazz at The Spotted Cat Music Club and funk and 30/90. The funk band at the end was by far the highlight of the day, the ‘band’ was nothing more than local musicians who had signed up on a bit of paper and were just jamming till 2am, it was easily the most pumping and packed club on Frenchmen Street.

 

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The music is all ‘free’ with a minimum of 1 drink purchase per set they do to sit and enjoy, with most drinks costing us $11 for two beers which isn’t bad at all. Frenchmen Street is defiantely more my scene over Bourbon Street which just felt a bit pushed and a bit touristy, it actually had a vegas feel to it. I would recommend Frenchmen Street and the French Markets to anymore visiting New Orleans and day!

Road Tripping the USA – Austin to New Orleans

With last nights gig done and dusted we hit the road nice and early, although both of us were a bit tired. This post will be a bit short as it was mostly driving and not much else. Texa’s is a big and flat place, easily bigger that NZ. There was some nice bridges coming into Lousiana and more insane highway overpasses in Houston.

 

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First stop was when we crossed the Texas / Lousiana state border.

 

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After that it was a brief stop when we got to the Gulf of Mexico. Not a lot to see, just some beach, and a massive storm in the distance. We also had to get a ferry across one of the rivers, which was funny being the only car on it, pickup trucks are just as popular in Lousiana as Texas.

 

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We needed to stop for gas and food so we stopped in Cameron, LA. Got some Po-Boy’s ( basically just sandwiches ) from Anchors Up Grill.

The most interesting part of the day for sure. Just as we ordered that storm we saw earlier came in and started coming down hard. I can see why Lousiana floods so fast. All the land is not very far off the water level.

 

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You can tell this place is prepared for flooding and has been hit hard recently. All the houses are on stilts and a lot of roads are still closed. Not the best feeling when it was currently raining so hard that you could barely see the road.

 

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Driving the Creole Nature Trail was pretty cool, leaving the slight fear that if it did flood, there would be alligators around.

 

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The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful as we got on to the I10 Interstate into New Orleans. A lot of the water in the area was still very high under the bridges, just showing how much it had flooded the previous week in Baton Rouge.

 

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Once we got to the hotel, we realised that “has parking” on booking.com doesn’t always mean you can park your car. They have valet parking at $36 a day which made the price of the room a lot more.

 

We walked down to the House of Blues for some food after a rest. This place is pretty awesome, we just missed the music playing, which turned out to be Warren G ( a rapper ) who had his Rolls Royce on like 32″ rims out front. We both got Jambalaya which was incredible.

 

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We finished the night with a beer on Bourbon Street at the Funky Pirate. Bourbon Street is a bit chaotic with drunk people everywhere and a lot of people trying to get you to come into their place, felt like Nepal again.

 

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Trip total = 517 Miles / 832km

Miles on car = 17,308miles

Road Tripping the USA – Tex Mex, vinyl and Ume

After yesterdays long drive of 800+ km we wanted/needed a bit of a break. It was a realitively early start at the Days Inn Austin Cross roads hotel, with the usual waffles for brakfast.

we had planned out a few places to check out during the, trying to keep it as long key as we could. First stop was the Texas Thrift shop Paul wanted to check out, he has been wanting cowboy themed clothes since Las Vegas.

 

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Not much was found but it was cool to see what these places were like. The day really was jumping from thrift shop to record store and some food inbetween.

We were Googling up a storm trying to find cool old places to visit, a lot of shops had closed or moved since they were listed on Google. But as usual we kind of just stumbled across a record store or two on  the way to other places. I ended up getting a bunch of records that were either really expensive at home or hard to find.

 

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We found ourselves down on the Colorado river that ran through the city centre was. This was the same river that we saw a few states back at the Grand Canyon, its pretty amazing to see something that big cross such a big distance.

On the riverside we found the texas blues man himself, Stevie Ray Vaughan.The statue was put up in 1993 by the family foundation and located at the intersection of Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail. It was also a pokestop, which was amusing to watch all the idiots wandering  around.

 

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After getting confused again in the Austin traffic we finally got to South Austin where a lot of the record stores, thrift shops and food places were.

 

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While I wander around record stores looking for things on my list Paul wandered the thrift shops.

 

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Right across the road from these shops we spotted a place called Polvos, a mexican food spot I had seen on Yelp eariler but didn’t look into where it was. The food was incredible and possiblely some of the best food we have had all trip. I ended up getting the Quesadilla Compuestas which was amazing.

 

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Once we were completely full ( I couldn’t even finished mine ) we headed up to Congress Ave, another south Austin spot with supposedly good shops and record stores. We didn’t end up finding anything but it was a cool to just get out and about. We ended up getting caught in massive flash floods though, a warning even came over our phones.

 

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We accepted defeat and retreated to the hotel, but not before heading to the liquor store. Paul ended up buying the worlds biggest bottle of rum for next to nothing and we both got a few beers for tonight.

 

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Tonight was the night we get to see Ume live. Ume is a band that we discovered a while ago and have listened to ever since, when we were planning our trip we we realised that they just happened to be playing only on the day we were in Austin, these uncanny things just keep happening to us.

 

Ume was playing as part of Pennyfest 2016 at the Empire Control Room and Garage. It was an awesome venue with two stages, one inside and one outside.

 

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We didn’t realise at first it had two stages, and just thought it was really quiet. Nope, everyone was just outside listening to Quiet Company. This band really rocked out, you could hear all the players and they held a lot of energy through the whole set.

 

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Then 11.30pm came around and we wandered inside to see who we came to see, Ume. A 3 piece band from Austin that has a massive sound. Lauren Larson has one of those unique voices that goes from mellow to full on attack from one moment to the next. One of the mosy explosive guitarist/singers you will ever see, it was wicked!

 

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The venue was alot more intimate then we were expecting, but it worked out well as well got to talk the Lauren and Eric and get a photo with them. Paul managed to get the set list signed which I was a bit jealous of.

 

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The venue closed up after both the final bands finished, so we headed back to the hotel via Taco Bell and called it a night. One awesome night.

Road Tripping the USA – A whole lot of miles, driving from Roswell,NM to Austin,TX

After the obvious under estimation of just how long it takes to get from Flagstaff to Austin and ending up sleeping in Roswell for a night we headed off to attack part two of the drive. We did manage to find a cheap motel for $50USD a night, but it ended up being in the rough end of town. Not dangerous rough, just not nice rough.

 

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Most of today was pretty boring really, it was just putting in a lot of driving stopping at interesting stuff along the way. It wasn’t long till we crossed the Texas state border and lost another hour’s sleep to timezone changes.

 

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The roads were so straight that you couldn’t see the end of them, just a heat mirage in the distance. At least you could see what was coming the other way, for like 10 miles.

 

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There was plenty of ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ towns along the way, with most of them looking like pretty run down places where most people had multiple old pickup trucks on thier lawns.

 

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They don’t lie when they call it the lone star state, half the people were wearing cowboy hats and boots and the other half were driving pickup trucks. Plenty of ranch’s along the way too.

 

We did pass ALOT of wind turbines on our trip, for a bunch of oil happy Texan’s they sure do love their renewable energy. The turbines went on for miles, they just dissappeared into the haze of the Texas sky.

 

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But they were easily offset by the oil pumps just before them.

 

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We stopped in Post, Texas. About 4 &1/2 hours from Austin for lunch. One of the locals recommended a place called Holly’s, a drive up burger place on the edge of town.  Once again the small town folk America prove that it is a awesome place to visit. We were greeted well and talked to a bunch of the locals while we ate. I still don’t think we are use to the drink sizes in the US yet.

 

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As we headed south east to Austin we came across a bunch of other little places along the way. There was a little ‘Mon & Pop’ Beef Jerky place on the side of the interstate that we grabbed some snacks from. We needed to try ‘proper’ jerky while in America and the places seemed as legit as you could get.

 

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The family back home will be pleased to know I found Wingate,Texas. The bad news was it was a bit of a shit hole, but I took some photos anyway for them.

 

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We pulled over at a couple of other places along the way but nothing too interesting. We did end up realising that American highways/interstates have alot of signs and it can get pretty hard to figure out what way you need to go. The American road signs do look waaay better than ours though, especially the Texas ones shaped like the lone star state itself.

 

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Coming into Austin was kind of what we expected, huge flat city with highways forever. It’s like they don’t want to have intersections or something! This one is one of the smaller ones I managed to get a photo of, some are like 6 story’s high.

 

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We finally arrived at our hotel in Austin after a long 8 & 1/2 hour drive from New Mexico. We have a few days rest here before we head down further to Louisana.

 

Trip total = 516 miles / 830km

Miles on car = 16,718 miles

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