New Orleans – Day 3 : still raining, the morale is good

This morning, feeling rested, we managed to move at a decent hour.

We started with an unusual activity for us : shopping ! It’s colder than anticipated since we got here, and we mainly had summer clothes, so we were very cold when going out, and since we won’t be reunited with our wardrobe anytime soon, we decided to complete our packs. We have some coats and pull-overs waiting for us in Paris, but we needed one pair of pants each so we could wash ours and survive the drying time. We went to a mall and tossed aside our wishes for ethical, sound or organic stuff : first because there weren’t any, then because, even without being picky, the prices were hard on us. They weren’t that high, but our Central America’s habits die hard and everything seems expensive to us.

wp_20171207_11_07_39_pro_r
Along the way, we met the Mississippi !

What’s definitely not helping is the display of prices without the taxes, so you always get a nice surprise at the cash register… But as foreigners, we have a huge advantage : after shopping, we can go to a Tax-refund Center and get all the VAT reimbursed, just by proving we will get out of the country. It seems a bit complicated, but it’s like shopping duty-free for other things that perfume and booze…

Then, we braved the weather on around 200 meters and got to a chicken-joint. It seemed like a classic fast-food, but we had gumbo (it was deliciously hot) and fish, both local Louisianan dishes, which was funny. Then, we got back in the streets for a few minutes. People here are clearly not used to winter, because the streets were deserted and bars and restaurants were closing due to lack of clients, everyone being holed up at home.

wp_20171207_001_r

We warmed up again in the Presbytere Museum, which has an historic exhibition on Mardi-Gras, and one more recent on Katrina. If you like these topics, we recommend the place. One was full of extravagant costumes, and the other with trivia and objets from the hurricane crossing the city.

We also went into the Cathedral, founded by the French, with statues of St Louis and Joan of Ark. For once, it was warmer in the church than outside, and we were thankful !

wp_20171207_14_46_41_rich_r

After all that, it was that late, but our toes and ears were talking strike, so we went groceries shopping (and found a big bread like a baguette that turns out delicious, especially toasted !) and we went home. Ben cooked us a great quiche and it had been too long since we had one of these !

wp_20171207_19_05_27_rich_r
Spread the dough with a canned beer : check !

The weather is not getting better and the house’s insulation is not good, so if we don’t end up frozen in our bed, see you tomorrow !

One Reply to “New Orleans – Day 3 : still raining, the morale is good”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

New Orleans – Day 2 : rest

Today, we did absolutely nothing!

We still had a lot of sleep to catch up on after the 2-day plane travel (and the all-nighter in the middle), so we slept in late.

And then it was rainy and 7°C outside, so we weren’t really motivated to get out. Instead, we watched a few episodes, and mostly brought the blog up to date (don’t forget to read the previous posts).

In the evening, we went to eat in a very good Italian restaurant, and we walked a bit along Canal Street, but as it started raining a lot, we quickly got back to the shelter of our small apartment.

So, not the most exciting day, but sometimes you need to take a break 😉

P.S : we don’t have any photo from today, so instead here’s a photo from the front of a library in Léon, with a cool saying written on it (ok, it’s the small red text in the picture, so the eldest of our readers might have to zoom a bit 😉 )

“A kid that reads is an adult that thinks, an adult than reads is a kid that imagines”

2 Replies to “New Orleans – Day 2 : rest”

  1. Message pour Milan
    ” Hi Milan, we are very pleased ro see a foto of you with Ben, that’s very nice to have welcolmed Alice and he. you seem very well, we hope you enjoy your life in New Orleans.
    You always stay in our heart. Be happy
    Your ” french Family ” from Pont les Moulins

    Dominique and Christine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

New Orleans – Day 1 : wandering around discovering

Today, we’ve done a bit of exploring !

wp_20171205_11_34_00_panorama_r

We woke up reasonably late from our slumber, and Milan took us to a very nice place for breakfast. We discovered grits, this meeting between porridge and rice pudding, in this cased mixed with some fresh cheese. Then, we walked around Treme a bit, Milan’s neighborhood, and sat on a bench between sun and shade to talk for a while.

wp_20171205_10_49_19_pro_r
We went along this nice urban vegetables garden with a self-service !

Like most american cities, building density is not always linked to the center or the wealth of a district. Treme, from where a number of jazz musicians came, is not very rich, but still is composed of nice two-floor houses, painted with soft colours with gardens and tall trees. Like everywhere, the streets are wide and the cars shiny (and huge).

wp_20171205_16_18_16_rich_r

Mid-afternoon, we went to our accommodation, a studio-apartment we rent for the week in Mid-Town. It’s a slightly more fancy neighborhood, but with the same sort of houses, just a bit more elaborate. On all our way (a good 4 km) we met people saying hi or enjoying the sun on rocking chairs in front of houses. everyone was really nice and welcoming, even if we were just passing by. I’ll just mention the fact that most people we met are black and the local accent is gorgeous (a mix of african american accent and southern states accent), but sadly I’m afraid we are way too white to pull this off…

Our room turns out even better than anticipated. We rented it late enough so that we didn’t have many choices in our price-range, but the result is more than nice ! We will be able to cook a bit, we have a big TV, the fridge and stove are US-size, which is huge, and there is even a princess-flavored conditioner in the shower… We are in walking distance of the street-car, taking us to the center, and the transportation prices are very affordable (compared to Paris or even Toulouse !)

With this vintage-looking street-car, all red paint and wooden benches, we joined the French Quarter for dinner. The streets had name like Bourbon (the most famous) but also Toulouse, and it’s clearly the party and tourism district. Since the weather was getting bad and the rain coming (with a cold wind like we didn’t have for a long time), the restaurants closed early and we ended up finding a place to eat local fried fish and jambalaya. We had dessert in a café, with traditional beignets covered in powder sugar and some hot chocolate !

wp_20171205_21_06_45_pro_r

In the center, the buildings are higher and the streets narrower, of course. There are also big construction today to rebuild the sewer system. It was in such a bad state lately, that flooding caused a mix between rain water and sewage to go back up in the water networks. The food had a sewer flavor, and food is so sacred around here that they finally started the construction ! Not too far, the business district is the highest with lit towers, and the squares with gardens offer us nice points of view.

Finally, we went back “home” and on the way stopped to buy cereals and milk for tomorrow’s breakfast in a 24/7 drive-in pharmacy (yes it is insane)

See you tomorrow, X

PS: don’t forget to read yesterday’s article, that just came out ! It’s just a bit further down 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Miami – Day 1 : beach and diner

Today we were in Miami !

Miami

We landed at 7am Florida Time in Fort Lauderdale (near Miami), after 2 and a half hours in a plane (to short to really sleep). So we were quite tired when we went through immigration and customs. But luckily, it all went quite quickly and smoothly.

As we didn’t know how much time it would take, we hadn’t booked the 8am flight to New Orleans, and the only other cheap flight available was at 10pm. So we had a whole day to spend in between. We decided to rent a car a visit Florida a bit.

Doesn’t feel like we’re in December!

Yes, I know, we rented a car instead of taking public transport. But we’ve been taking exclusivly public transport for 3 months, and we were a bit too tired to adapt to a new network. And we wanted to make sure we got back to the airport in time. Also, we didn’t want to unpack our bags.zip (see yesterday’s article), and they’re not very practical to run around with.

At first we wanted to rent a Ford Mustang, you know, do as the locals do, but as we’re in the USA, the prices are shown without tax, so we quickly turned to the cheapest solution. We first went to a diner to have breakfast, and immediately felt like we were in Pulp Fiction (too bad I left my “Bad Motherfucker” wallet back in France 😉 ). Then we went to the beach, to lie a bit in the sun.

The Atlantic in Miami, much colder than the Pacific in Nicaragua!

Well they call it “the land of the free”, but not much is free here ! Parking was 2$ an hour, and only accepted small change. The shop nearby required you’d buy something if you wanted change (cheapest was a 2.5$ water bottle…). And if you wanted to set foot on the pier you had to pay 2$. Even the toll road don’t tell you you have to pay until it’s too late and you can’t go back !

So then we drove south to Miami Beach, which was actually much further than we thought. But the drive was nice, it was sunny weather and we went along the huge avenues with lots of palm trees, and old American hits were playing on the radio. It really felt like GTA (except we didn’t kill anybody, as far as I know…)!

Miami Beach

After a late lunch and a stroll on the beach, we started to get back to the airport, but there was already a bit of traffic. Even though we avoided most of it, it felt like forever to get there. Americans are used to spend a lot of time in their cars, so when they tell you it’s near, it’s like a 2h drive, which is a lot for a French!

Near the airport we parked in a supermarket parking lot and slept like babies in the car. We could have slept at the airport, but the air conditioning is set on “freezing your balls”, and we only had our T-shirt and shorts on us! After the nap, we manage to fill the tank again (which was not an easy task, we’re not used to the American pumps), and gave the car back.

So, we landed in New Orleans near midnight, and went to see Milan, a cool friend of my brother, who very nicely let us sleep in his flat for the night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Exiting Nicaragua

Today was all about luggage and transports !

We went for a last walk in Léon with our friend Markus, had a fresh fruit juice and enjoyed the heat and the dust <3

Then, we took care of our bags. Since we are cheap bastards, we only bought one checked luggage. Tonight, we are flying low-cost, everything is a paying option, and the price of a luggage is about the same as the flight (so not much, but still). So, we played the luggage.zip game, using hammock-ropes, straps and hooks, to put together our two backpacks, shove all the heaviest stuff in another bag and measure it all !

I guess we did it right, because we have 17,6 kg of checked luggage and were allowed 18, not counting the protection plastic, helping the agents see that this is only ONE bag. We also had to check that the sum of length + width + height is less than 157 cm, because with retard units imperial system, nothing is ever a round number !

In Léon, we took a taxi-bike to the terminal (a guy pedaling on the back of a cart, the whole being covered for shade) and it was really nice and helped see the city in a different light. Then, a van took us to the terminal in Managua in 2 hours with the double-bag on our laps, and then, a regular taxi with a boot took us to the airport. We have been there a few hours, will be there a few more, but we have wi-fi, movies and cookies, and even fried chicken next hall !

We should take off around 2:30 in the morning (9:30 in France) and land in Florida in the morning, for a day of exploration (maybe) before another night plane takes us to New Orleans !

For those who want to follow the flights (because we know there are some) : tonight and tomorrow. Until then, X !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Léon – Day 4 : chill out and beers

Today we did absolutely nothing!

Well, we are in a luxury hotel, so we make the most of it! Ok, it’s not the Hilton, but compared to what we’re used to, it’s really luxurious. The windows actually close completely (so the room is isolated from the noise of the city), there is a swimming pool, air conditioning (that we can set at a more normal temperature than the Nicaraguan setting of freezing cold) and thick curtains (so everyone doesn’t see you naked in your room for once…).

So we woke up late, ate the very good included breakfast, and went back to our room to chill out. Well, we do need the rest as we’ll be spending a lot of time traveling through different airports in the next two days.

In the afternoon, hunger motivated us to get out in the heat, and we went for greasy fried chicken (because we’re gonna eat sooo healthy during the christmas dinners back home…). Then we went for a stroll to enjoy the sun a bit more before getting back to the northern winter. And we also negotiated for a new addition to our future home : a hammock!

We were thinking about getting back to the hotel and then going to the movies, but we decided to grab a beer instead. So, two young Nicaraguan guys in the next table invited us to join them so we talked with them (in spanish) about a lot of things, it was fun (and in the end we had more than the one beer…)

Selfie with our Nicaraguan friends

So afterwards it was too late for the first screening, and we went back to the hotel. On the way, we passed what looked like a tiny Christmas market.

Where’s the hot wine ?

The second screening for the movie we wanted to watch is now, but we’re way too lazy to drag our ass there (it’s already a miracle I mustered the courage to write the blog…). So no more adventures for today. And as we’ll be traveling in the next few days, you probably won’t see any new post before Tuesday. But we swear to tell you all about how we’ll have fit the hammock in our only checked luggage as soon as we’ll be settled in New Orleans !

One Reply to “Léon – Day 4 : chill out and beers”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Leon – Day 3 : churches, rotundas…

Today, we finally visited Léon !

We started by leaving our hostel and migrating to our last accommodations in Central America. To celebrate, we booked something a bit more fancy than we’re used to, and it was a good idea since the last one had a shitty internet and tried to rip us off in the end. So now we have a pool, a lightning-fast internet and we’re close to the center !

The center, let’s talk about it. We finally visited Léon’s streets, which usually end up on a square and/or a religious building !

And like most cities we’ve been to, the central church (the cathedral here) offers, for a reasonable fee, an access to a nice viewpoint ! Here, we got all the way up to the roof, a white painted cement surface (don’t ask, we don’t know) and we had to take our shoes out as not to damage it ! It was weird but nice.

This way, we had plenty of views on the surroundings, with volcanoes everywhere and the parks, squares, streets and gardens of Léon !

The city’s atmosphere is nice enough, but it is always really loud around here ! There’s always a shop with loud music, honks, drums playing somewhere, a bike whirring or the bells of one of the numerous churches ringing. All this didn’t prevent us to stop here and there to observe the city or drink a lemonade…

wp_20171201_16_00_58_rich_r

After the walk, we encountered again a german traveler that we had met in Salinas Grandes, so we went for a few beers and a bite with him, after that, it was late !

See you tomorrow, X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Leon – Day 2 : last swim in the pacific

Today, we left the beach.

Ok, we did get to swim in the pacific one last time (and do the burning sand dance to get there), as we stayed there all morning. Waves were big, so our surfer friends were out (but we were like 5 people there, so pretty cool). And Alice did a new watercolor painting!

Last view of the Pacific

At 12:30 we went to the bus stop, as we were told this was the right time to catch it. After waiting 30 minutes, a local guy came by and told us the real schedule was 1pm. So, the bus came at 1:30pm, and we rode back to Léon.

The bus stop was quite calm…

In Léon we went to our hostel, then went out again to do some laundry, and then came back to work on the blog (we didn’t have Wi-fi at the beach). By the time we did all that, it was already night, so we got to the central park were there was some celebration (people with drums and huge figures carried by other people), but we don’t know about what. We took some tacos to go and ate in front of the cathedral, but we were a bit tired (and a bunch of teenagers were playing with loud fire crackers, which gets old after a while), so we went back to get a well-deserved sleep.

Léon by night

So, once again not much info about Léon, but we promise to take some good pictures for you guys tomorrow!

P.S.: don’t forget to scroll down to yesterday’s article, which we posted at the same time as this one, so you won’t miss the AWESOME VIDEO OF BABY TURTLES.

One Reply to “Leon – Day 2 : last swim in the pacific”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.