Big Easy, Big Belly: Part 2 + Houston

Let’s go see some ‘gators! For our second day in New Orleans we ate some breakfast in the RV and headed about twenty minutes out of NoLa towards Airboat Adventures. We did the group airboat gator tour, where we saw about 10 gators and even got to hold a baby one! It was surprisingly soft, although we don’t recommend trying it out as a pet.

After the afternoon tour, we drove back to the RV park. We didn’t head straight there, though. First we had to make a stop at one quintessential New Orleans place: the drive-through daquiri. I couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of our giant RV going through the drive-through, although the server seemed less than amused. We asked her to describe one of the flavors and she said she didn’t know how to describe it, so we stuck with orange.

daquiri

Later that evening we headed back downtown. We took the local trolley and local bus towards Magazine street and stopped at a happy hour at Bouligny Tavern. This was a hipsters paradise, complete with a dark bar, chic cocktails, and a music played with actual old school records. We didn’t want to spoil our appetite for dinner, but we did get the gougeres, which were out of the world amazing. Whenever we go back to New Orleans we are stopping here for a full meal!

For dinner we landed at Croquette, which was another friend recommendation. We decided to do it up this night, and ordered the full chef’s tasting menu with the wine pairing. It was a very creative menu, with solid ingredients and fun flavor combinations. They also worked around our limitations (no shellfish for Akil, no meat for me), and the service couldn’t have been better. My only complaint is that there were fried eggs on at least 2-3 dishes, which isn’t my favorite thing, but Akil loved it. Also, when the dessert came out and it was a little underwhelming, they gave us a different one, with homemade ice cream! This is definitely a place to stop for a splurge or a simple happy hour,

Coquette

For the night we headed towards, where else, Bourbon Street. We’d both been there enough, but decided to try the famous drink at a bar that had been on Bar Rescue: Spirits on Bourbon. It was surprisingly delicious, and not as sweet as the color suggests. After that, we went to Frenchmen street and popped in whenever we heard some music we liked. We finished off New Orleans with a late night po’ boy, which came with gravy that I’m pretty sure was sent from heaven. (Don’t forget this a no-judgement zone)

Our next big drive was from New Orleans to Pecan Grove RV Park in Austin, TX. We had a few stops I knew we had to make on the way, so we got going pretty early. Luckily we were still full from those po’ boys, so no need to stop for breakfast.

The first stop was the San Jacinto Monument in Houston, which is even taller than the Washington Monument, so it was a bit of a novelty for us. The area also boasts one of the largest shipping areas in the US, so there were a lot of interesting things to see and learn about.

After the monument it was time for a late lunch at Goode’s Armadillo Palace.  Akil couldn’t wait to get his teeth into some authentic Texas BBQ, and it didn’t disappoint. We over ordered though, not realizing that the saying is true. You know, about things being big in Texas.

armadillo

Next up was my favorite roadside stop of the whole trip. It was giant statues of The Beatles and busts of presidents, all 44 of them. The busts were taller than Akil, and The Beatles statues were several stories high. It was just so cool.

beatlesThe last pit stop was to pull off the side of the road to see Ms. Pearl, the giant squirrel. It’s exactly how it sounds. My friend Brittany is obsessed with squirrels, so we knew we had to do it. She’s also obsessed with her cat, who is the most photogenic cat I’ve ever seen. FACT!

squirrel

Side story, in the RV park we came across the following van. Unfortunately we never bumped into the actual owners, but I at least creepily took some pictures:

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