Today was the last stretch of our road trip from Dallas to NOLA via Austin & Memphis, around 2000 km in all. The Kia Sedona (I think it's a Carnival at home) has been magnificent. There is so much leg room for everyone and it fits all of our luggage and bits and pieces no worries. I'll be sorry to hand it over on Friday and we might seriously have to think about changing our vehicles to one of these for the rest of our trip.
Because it was still raining in Baton Rouge we decided to spend a couple of hours at the Mall of Louisiana before we traveled down to New Orleans. Besides, we hadn't really bought anything but food for at least 24 hours! The mall was BIG. Taine rode the full size carousel inside the shopping centre while his big sister shopped for warm clothes to take to Washington. I had no intention of buying anything today but somehow I wandered in to a tea shop and before I knew it the salesman had schmoozed me out of $52 - for tea! I think I must have 'gullible tourist' tattooed on my forehead. Most of the hotels we stay in don't even have a way to heat water to make tea!
The drive to NOLA was a short one compared to previous days. The swampland starts many miles before the city and we saw some amazing houses built on stumps fully submersed in water. What possessed anyone to build a huge city on below sea level ground is a mystery.
We're staying at the Country Inns & Suites for the next couple of days, a step up from the La Quinta but still within a budget that will allow us the splurge necessary for accommodation in NYC and Orlando. We were all excited to find a gym so we can work off some of the food we've been eating and Taine was eager to have a swim in the heated pool. While we were at the pool we got chatting to some folks from Wisconsin and another family who were there recognised our Aussie accents and it turned out they were from Stawell, just an hour or so up the road from us at home. Small world.
We only had enough daylight for a quick stroll around the city. NOLA (Bourbon St in particular) is an assault on all the senses. I just can't wait to explore it properly tomorrow.