18 July, 2019 at 6:18 pm #1117509Woke up extra early on the 3 july 2019 all excitied for my forthcoming holiday. We left Liverpool heading to Manchester airport with plenty of time to check in etc. Treated myself to a more comfortable seat on our flight- after all this was my special birthday, travelling to somewhere ive always wanted to go Memphis and New Orleans. We landed at Atlanta to catch our connecting flight to Memphis with only 90 mins to catch our flight. This didnt happen! two half hours to clear immigration and another hour to clear security our flight had well gone taking our luggage with it! We told the totally uncaring immigration officer we had a connecting flight and that we had a returning ESTA she simply shrugged ” The bitch!” Things got worse as other flights were landing, bare in mind this was the 3 July independence day being the next day you can imagine how busy Atlanta airport was. We finally got to our gate area and was put on standby for the next flight to Memphis. We sat at that gate for over six hours and watched five flights going out that were full. Finally our names were called they found two seats for the last flight at 10pm.We finally got to our hotel after midnight instead of 4.30pm the previous afternoon. We were booked into The Peabody hotel, a grand old hotel that is famous for its ducks! every morning these ducks come down in the lift from their top floor penthouse duckroom they are then introduced by their very own duck master. The lift door opens and these ducks walk the red carpet heading for the fountain in the middle of the hotel foyer, come 5pm they walk the red carpet, back in the lift to the top floor to settle down for the night.The Peabody Ducks have gained celebrity status with television appearances.The custom of keeping ducks in the lobby fountain dates back even further than the 1930s.The next six days of our holiday was a whirlwind adventure, althrough not a Elvis fan, we had to visit Graceland, suprised that we really enjoyed it. I now see Elvis as a decent human being besides being an iconic performer. Visited the sun studio where Elvis, Johnny cash, carl perkins and jerry lee lewis to name a few recorded their music. We spent hours walking around the National civil rights museum which used to be the Lorriane motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. Loved the nightlife on Beale street spent our nights at B.B Kings blues club. The food was amazing had the best bbq ribs in my life! craw fish, crabs, po boys, cat fish etc washed down with Blue Suede Tini cocktails and our fav in the peabody called ” the rubber ducky, made of Malibu coconut rum, creme de banana, pineapple and orange juices, it comes with a rubber ducky floating on top.We left Memphis caught the amtrak train taking us to New Orleans, a nine hour journey ahead of us. We booked the family room with beds, shower and all meals included. Thought we could have a sleep wake up refreshed then jump a cab to our hotel. This is where things start to go pear shape. Four hours into our train journey the guard announces the train can’t go any further because the track is flooded because the Mississippi river was swollen which flooded the tracks!we got as far as Jackson Mississippi. We collected our luggage then put onto a stifling over crowded bus, temp outside was over 40c to continue the rest of our journey ( this should have been a warning of things to come)
Attachments:18 July, 2019 at 6:23 pm #1117514
We eventually arrived at our hotel in the french quarter of new orleans, unpacked, showered etc then headed out for Bourbon st,Bourbon st is a historic street in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans. Found a nice restaurant and ordered some local dishes that were recommended- Crawfish Ettouffee, Jambalaya and their famous oysters ( had mine cooked in garlic butter sitting on a bed of hot salted stones) Mmmmm delicious.
Woke up the next morning the day of my birthday to total meyhem, went down to the hotel lobby to find out what was going on, looked out the entrance to see the whole street flooded with water pouring into the hotel! staff running around with sand bags. I watched people outside walking around in water past their knees, wheelie bins floating down the street! followed by a fridge! i looked across our street to see the guy who ran the beer and spirit shop standing inside his door way his shop totally flooded surveying the damage while drinking a can of beer. This was the start of storm Barry. We did have a calm before this storm, we managed to get out to jean lafitte national park which is where the swamps are and do a airboat tour, seeing lots of wildlife including aligators up close!
The next day we went around the area and met people who lived and lost their homes when hurricane katrina a Category 5 hit New Orleans back in 2005. Was shocking to see people still rebuilding their homes and how they have been neglected. One amazing old fella had turned his home into a small museum and allowed visitors into his home , he told us the real story that he lived through what he witnessed etc his walls covered in pictures of people who lost everything, he had us all in tears.
Woke up the next day watching the news on tv, couldn’t believe what we were seeing, the mississippi river almost ready to flood the whole of New orleans! They had put the floodgates and levees up to protect the city over 350 miles of floodgates and levees. New Orleans, floodwalls protect the city to 20 feet – we were at 17! The local news was telling everyone to stay in, stock up on essentials and to stay safe yikes! we had 2 bags of crisps a few bottles of water and a bag of taffys ( chewy american toffees that come in 100s of flavours) My phone keep going off like a siren with hurricane warnings and flooding. The TV ran storm commentaries all day advising people. Two whole days we sat in that hotel room only to be told all flights have been cancelled. The hotel staff couldn’t get into work so basically we were on our own!
It gets worse!!! i was surprised with two tickets to see the Rolling stones who were performing at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans 14 July then was gutted it got cancelled because of storm Barry.
In the meantime we were trying to contact the airport and virgin airlines to rebook our flights and get us home! the hotel charged us for the two extra days, we had to stay until the storm eased off . Spent a fortune making calls home to let everyone know we were okay. Finally home, knackered, jet lagged with that floating on air feeling haha But! thank god nobody lost their lives during that storm.
It was an experience for me, a birthday i shall never forget! I heard and witnessed heart warming tales of people helping each other. The men and woman who worked through the storm the emergency services etc even the animal shelters had every animal rescued and moved to higher ground, incredible examples of people helping others. I shall never complain of the weather in the uk again.
Last thing to mention travel insurance. They wont pay out for my expenses eg the hotel bill for the two days etc grrrrr that act of god excuse again haha- honest, im not moaning just glad to be home. Note to Linda- I wont put any food pictures incase people complain its unhealthy haha I always fill my face when on holiday why eat lettuce! its only for two weeks out of my life and im making sure i have a good time! which i did. Loved the Hurricane cocktails!!!
Attachments:18 July, 2019 at 6:56 pm #111751918 July, 2019 at 10:38 pm #1117522
Another brilliant and interesting post Sophs Mwah mwah glad you’re home safe and sound tho !!! xxx18 July, 2019 at 11:39 pm #1117529
Sophia..I am so happy it was a some what good birthday. Yes those parts understand still rebuilding and it been some time. FEMA and organization to help house those many was given less help at time I recall due to lack of funding. Insurance..sadly have one provision in them..”Acts of God”. Sadly hurricane, tornados, flooding eliminated and not compensated for..Many States now require homeowners to have homeowners flood Insurance. Way to get more funds.
Yes airport travelling can be a bummer. As an American citizen if I told you have many times I have had to be rechecked..embarrassing as hell..this due to a tumor growth inside my leg. Non cancerous. Get’s me every time. Not in New York..lol.
I also wish I knew of your delays. My friend’s daughter is a teacher out there. I could have reached out to her she would of helped you in some form. Knowing her well, Jennifer would have let you stay in her home, or took you foods and things to airport to give comfort. She a lovely young woman whom I watched grow up.
Foods lots of laughter. Xx dont go to America and try a diet at same time..you fail on see food diet..lol. eat more… well I know my dieting can fail often too. Xx
Well glad you back home safe..memories what take back with you..and yes those hurricane marquaritas can be very very addictive. Lol. Lol..xx
Thank you for a well explained post..hey u find any strays you wanted to pocket and bring home.
I still laugh and giggle at hedgehog adventure days..21 July, 2019 at 8:26 pm #1117786
PML……yes well explained….better than any thing linda ever writes…..PML LMAO RATF