My First Solo Trip - New Orleans 1998

New Orleans Travel Blog

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me in uptown area

My first solo trip ever. Before that, I would always travel with my family, to various places. But there are so many places I wanted to see, but the rest of my family didn't really have that desire.

I decided to go to New Orleans. Why? I don't really remember, but I guess because it was different. Anyway, I was excited for the fact that I would be traveling alone. I would be gone from March 6th to the 10th. Rather than do a day-by-day summary, I decided to write an overall summary of the trip, of the things I've seen or done.

I would arrive in New Orleans on Friday, March 6, and got picked up by Mike, one of the guys that I planned to meet up with. I would stay at his place, for the entire visit.

me on bank of Mississippi River
He lived with a few other roommates, who I also got to know.

The French Quarter was the main attraction of the city. It does have a European feel to it, and not surprising, since it used to be a French colony during colonial times. Unfortunately, one of the days that I was there, it was raining hard, so I could not see much. Plus I was a novice in traveling, and not sure of the approach, I would end up not doing much.

I would get my first look at the Mississippi River, the most famous one in the US. And got to visit nearby Jackson Square, which commemorates Andrew Jackson, the man who led the Americans to victory over the British, in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

I did try some beignets, based on a recommendation by someone.
St. Charles streetcar
They were very messy, but that was part of the fun of eating them. I ate them at an outdoor cafe, the Cafe du Mont. I also noticed a lot of Popeye restaurants in the NO area.

I would also get to visit the uptown area as well. I rode the St. Charles streetcar, which was the old-fashioned way of getting around, and a piece of history that can continue to live in the present day. The uptown area does look like how I picture the American South, with antebellum mansions and all.

The roads are very bad in Louisiana, but that is because the city is built over the swamp. I have never seen roads that bad. And I thought the ones in PA were pretty bad. Feels like I was on some bumpy ride in an amusement park.

I did take a look around the University of New Orleans campus, as I did have some thoughts (none serious) of moving there.
in Jackson Square
It was along Lake Pontchartrain, which has the longest bridge spanning over it. Without a car, I was not able to cross it. The campus itself, looked nice and quiet.

The weather has been strange here at times. While the rain was no surprise at the start of the trip, the freezing weather was. I never thought I would have to wear a winter coat there, but I had to in this case. I think it was in the 40's. Not what I expected.

I would fly back, first having to go to Cleveland. I decided to have dinner there, and when going up to the gate, it was already closed with 10 minutes to go. So I missed my flight. Not good, on a first solo trip, and proving to my parents that I'm capable of traveling by myself.

Eventually, I got on another flight, and got back to Philly.

WalterC says:
Thanks Brian! I remember taking these photos with a disposable camera that I bought from a local Walgreen's, and bought the airline ticket from a travel agency. Hard to believe how travel planning was done back then, as the internet was relatively young back then, for the general public.
Posted on: Jul 12, 2012
spocklogic says:
Nice reminiscence of Nawlins, Walter, and I visited there just about a year later in March 1999. I have a reminiscence I will share on my "USA:Yesterday to Today" blog and I thank you for this post to remind me of that. You have some photos too - excellent! I fear mine may be lost, but I remember that St. Charles streetcar - looks exactly like I remember from 1999.
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012
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me in uptown area
me in uptown area
me on bank of Mississippi River
me on bank of Mississippi River
St. Charles streetcar
St. Charles streetcar
in Jackson Square
in Jackson Square
Jackson Square
Jackson Square
me and Leslie at Washington Artill…
me and Leslie at Washington Artil…