Accessibility Tools

29 May 2024
Louisiana the Pelican State.

The second state that we went through on our 1980 American road trip was Alabama but we didn't stop there, we drove through Alabama to Mississippi for an overnight stop & on to the fourth State we would go through, Louisiana on the I10.

Alabama & Louisiana.

Alabama.

On our way from Florida to New Orleans, we travelled across Alabama into Mississippi using the I10. The only thing I remember about our short trip through Alabama was the number of police cars on the road. They seemed to be cruising the Interstate road looking for people speeding. When you leave Florida & enter Alabama on the I10 the speed limit drops immediately & the unaware driver can easily be caught speeding. As young children, it was quite nerve-racking as we believed we we would all be shot by the armed police or locked up & miss the rest of our holiday.

I specifically remember the road being high up on concrete pillars as it crossed the swamps along the southern region of the Yellowhammer State, Alabama's nickname, through the Heart of Dixie as the State is also known & into Mississippi.

Mississippi.

I only remember stopping for one night in Mississippi for an overnight stop in Biloxi before we continued on to New Orleans. I only remember stopping there but not any hotel or details. I did however go back to Biloxi several times with friends in later life as it became a gambling resort.

Louisiana.

Our first stop & the only stop that I remember in Louisiana was in New Orleans. 

New Orleans.

Bourbon Street is a historic street in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans. It extends thirteen blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue & is famous for its many bars & strip clubs. Our hotel was on Royal Street, which runs parallel to Bourbon Street, making it a great place to explore from. I think the hotel we stayed in was then owned by Holiday Inn but it is now run by Wyndham Hotels. It is a great location & I have stayed there on all but two of my visits to New Orleans, including my trip there with my Uncle Dave in 2012. As young children, there wasn't a lot to keep my sister Karen & me entertained on Bourbon Street but I do remember walking up the street & looking at all the young ladies standing in the doorways of nightclubs & strip clubs.

Big Daddys strip club.There was & I think still is, a strip bar called "Big Daddy's", with a plastic pair of legs on a swing that sticks out of a window onto Bourbon Street. It had a big neon sign hanging on the wall outside advertising "topless & bottomless table top dancing". It used to be a big tourist spot & I do remember my dad & I getting our photograph standing underneath it, but alas the photo has been lost & on this trip at least, it was the closest I got to see what went on inside. I do remember my sister Karen & I asking our dad about the bar, & telling him that as he was our big daddy, it must be his bar. I remember that the question was met with laughs by both our mum & dad.

I also remember walking around to Pat O´Brien´s bar on St Peters Street with my mum, dad & sister. Like all bars in New Orleans, they have a strict over-21 policy & they wouldn't let my mum & dad go in with us kids. Both mum & dad went in separately to look around. One of them went in whilst the other waited their turn with me & my sister outside. From there we explored more of the French Quarter, walking down to Jackson Square & into the French Market district, before walking back along the Mississippi river to Canal Street & back to our hotel on Royal Street.

New Orleans is a fantastic place that I have visited on many occasions. I actually used to drive up from Orlando for a weekend when I lived in Orlando, but it doesn't stick long in the minds of a 13-year-old boy & an 11-year-old girl. Likewise, I have no other memories of anywhere else we may have visited in Louisiana before leaving & continuing our road trip.