Maaikie in the States, season 2012, episode 1 (English, Nederlands staat hierboven!)

Yay, another trip! While Brad is hanging out in Austria and Germany, I decided to go for a trip for myself: to the United States of America! On the 7th of March, I flew from Munich, via Washington DC to New Orleans. I was in New Orleans 4 years ago and met Jeralyn (aka Jeri) while hanging out in the French Quarter. We stayed in touch and as soon as I posted that I planned to go to the United States, she was the first to ask if I was going to visit her too. Well, of course, the first place on my list! Jeri picked me up from the airport and since it was already past 7pm, we immediately went to a restaurant so I could have some dinner. While catching up, I ate a po boy (a sandwich) at Tracey’s. Or, at least: I tried to eat… Catching up on 4 years isn’t easy with your mouth full! We then went to Jeri’s house, where she, very generously, gave me the bedroom while she was going to sleep on the uncomfortable couch. Thanks gurl! I had a bit of a broken night (I kept waking up) with the slight jetlag of 7 hours time difference, but it was okay.

The following morning I went for a walk in the park with Jeri and her friend Lizzie. It was a beautiful park with a nice walkway around a pond and a golf course where we walked two rounds. Afterwards we went for a salad at Whole Foods, we had to keep up with the whole being healthy-thingy of course… Jeri then dropped me off in the French Quarter where I planned to have the Jazz Walking tour. At the Preservation Hall I waited at exactly 1.45pm (15 minutes before the tour was going to start), but there was nobody there… Luckily at 1.55pm a woman walked up to me and asked me if I was there for the Jazz tour? Well, yes indeed! She said she was the guide and asked me where I was from. She told me I have cute dimples, which of course made me smile and dimple up even more! At 2pm another woman came over and she also wanted to do the Jazz tour. We started chatting and found out that we’re both from the Netherlands. What a coincidence! Our guide wanted to wait a little longer, because there was another couple who made a reservation, but in the end they didn’t show up and the tour began. The guide started talking in her tourguide-voice, which was much more dramatic than her regular voice, which was funny! Maybe I should try that too! Haha! She introduced herself as Creole Quinn, with Creole meaning: local. With her wonderful sense of humor she told the history of New Orleans and how jazz came about, with the influences of all the different cultures that lived there, the French, the Spanish, the Cajun, the Americans. While walking around in the quarter, we stopped and listened at various places to see if we could recognize the type of music. Cajun here, Blues there, and Jazz at the next place. Sometimes when we recognized a song, we sang along with it, so there we were, singing ‘Fire’ out loud on the streets. We also listened to some street musicians, of which Doreen was by far the best on her clarinet. I swear she let out one tone that lasted 2 minutes! You sure have to take a deeeeeeeep breath for that! At St Louis Cemetery number 1 is a tomb for musicians and in honor of them, Quinn wanted us to sing again: ‘Only you, can make my dreams come true… Only you…’ So we did. Me and the Dutch woman even sang it again as we were in the bathroom of Basil Street Station. The tiles gave it such a nice echo! The tour was supposed to be 2 hours, but Quinn gave us an extra 45 minutes. So we asked her why that was and she said that she had such a great time with us. Awwww…. We both tipped her well of course, she was wonderful! After the tour I went over to the streetcar (tram) that took me to Salu on Magazine, where I met up with Jeri and her friends, since Jeri organized Happy Hour! Cocktails for $5, not bad!!! I had a great time with them, drinking, eating, but mainly laughing. Really a great group of people!

On Friday, Jeri and I went to Embodyment, where a friend of Jeri works. Jennifer Lopez. No joke. Since it was a new salon, all the treatments were 2 for 1, so we both had a pedicure for half price. It’s great to be pampered like that once in a while! With our freshly painted toenails (me in a Sheer Beige and Jeri in Hot Pink) we went to Scott and Michael’s house. I met them the evening before over Happy Hour and they’re an adorable couple. They planned a birthday-party for a friend of theirs and cooked crawfish. When it is the crawfish-season, you see lots of people peeling the little mini-lobsters. Michael had been creative for me and made me a sash with feathers and ‘Miss Netherlands’ on it. How sweet!!! I heart those guys! When almost all the crawfish was finished, we went back home again.

The next day I bought an American Sim-card. It’s easier for me to be reached and to contact my friends here. It was a bit of a mission, but it all worked out. If you want the number, just ask me.🙂 Then we had lunch at Subway and went over to the French Quarter for a bit of a pub crawl… A cocktail here, some dancing and singing there. We even ended up going to the Cats Meow again… where it all began! Haha! There also was a parade, the St Joseph parade, so as we meandered through the streets, we got some goodies from the guys walking the parade, flowers, stickers, a garter and necklaces (oh and we didn’t have to show anything for it… just a peck on the cheek!). On the way home we stopped for a chicken burger and then it was time to go to bed.

On the day that I left New Orleans, there was (of course…) another parade, so Jeri and I went to see that one as well. Also with this parade we catched a lots of necklaces and a couple of flowers. Then it was time to say goodbye as Jeri dropped me off at the airport. My flight took me via Houston, where I stayed in the plane as most people got off, to San Antonio. I booked the shuttle to take me to my hostel, but the driver didn’t know where it was. It was not really in the downtown area and most customers go there of course. After a few phone calls with the owner of the hostel, he figured it out and took me to the right address. He also asked me where I was from and why I was here. I told him I’m traveling around for a bit and that I just arrived from New Orleans. ‘That’s where I’m from!’ I said I love that city and he gave me a big hug. Awww… You just gotta love New Orleans, but most of all its people… So happy, friendly, welcoming… I’m looking forward on going back there again!

So now I am in San Antonio and I’ll visit the Alamo and do the Riverwalk tomorrow. Those stories and more will follow the next time!!!

Lots of love,
Maaike

About Maaike

Besides my travelblog on https://maaikie14.wordpress.com, I have another website with various articles on http://thecuriousbutterfly.com. See you on either one or both of them!
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