Bourbon Street

Thinking back on yesterday, I have a hard time believing everything we experienced.  Rather than heading straight for New Orleans we decided to take a slight detour along the beach to stop at a “biker bar” called The Flora-Bama, which gets its name from the fact that it’s located right on the Florida/Alabama state line.  So it was appropriate that mom and dad pulled up on their hog.

Hardcore Bikers

This came highly recommended and I have to say I’m lost for words to describe it?  I looked for an appropriate angle to take a photo that would capture the essence; no matter where I stood, it was a castle of plywood, tarps, and port-a-potties.  In fairness, they were apparently blasted by Hurricane Ike a couple years ago.

The Flora-Bama - Beach View

The Flora-Bama - Road View

Looking through the menu, nothing jumped out at me, but they seemed to tout themselves as an oyster bar.  We decided to order some of their cajun and perdido oysters.  I wanted to like them, but they were a glop of cheese and spices with an oyster buried somewhere at the bottom.

Cajun & Perdido Oysters

I thought it would be fun to play the lobster game where for $2 you take a chance with a claw at catching a lobster; if you catch it, they cook it.  I put my money in and the timer started counting down.  I tried moving the joystick toward the nice sized lobsters, but it moved in the reverse direction and wouldn’t even reach the area where the lobsters were congregated.  On the way out, $2 poorer, it was posted as “out of order.”

You Catch Em, They Cook Em

Out of Order

The one redeeming quality was the live music.  They had a few stages located throughout the bar.  We walked in to some great blues music.  However, it was a small crowd gathered around and felt somewhat like the Twilight Zone where everyone stops and stares as if we were the only out of towners in the place.

Live Music Stage

On the way out, Shannon was upset with me for not taking her picture in one of the Flora-Bama photo cutouts.  She really liked one that would have made her a cat, but I thought it was cheesy.  Dad had to separate us; he put Shannon in Alabama and me in Florida.

Time Out

We were cruising through Alabama when we passed a pecan farm.  Mom requested that we turn around and check out their shop.  This place managed to do just about everything possible with a nut; dipped in chocolate, dipped in chocolate with caramel, and plain.  Oh yeah, and on top of a pie.  I joke, but it was a fun stop.

Pecan Farm

The Goodies Shop

Pecan Varieties

We arrived in New Orleans around dinner time and met up with cousin Katie; an awesome hostess to her city.  We started out with dinner at a restaurant called Katie’s; cousin, your biased.  I had my first taste of New Orleans with an alfredo penne pasta with crawfish; it was excellent.  Next, we didn’t waste any time, we headed for the heart of New Orleans – Bourbon Street.  It was definitely a spectacle; a blend of blues, hip-hop, and strip joints all tied together with a lot of alcohol.  We started out at Pat O’Brien’s; a dueling piano bar.  After a long wait, we finally got in and had a great time.  Katie managed to get her song played and it was a hit with the bar; Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty.  A couple of hurricanes later, I was ready to walk Bourbon Street and get a better feel for the scene.

Pat O'Brien's Dueling Pianos

Feelin the Music

Hurricanes - A Dangerous Beverage

Cousin Katie

At one point I stopped at a bar to use their outdoor restroom in an alley.  While waiting in line next to the empty kegs, a small critter ran out from the kegs a little too close too my shoe; not the cleanest area.  By the end of the night I took the picture below to capture Bourbon Street.  It seemed clear when I took it, but I guess it sums it up better than a photo in focus.  Needless to say, this is why I waited till morning to post.

Bourbon Street

Day 20


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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9 Responses to Bourbon Street

  1. Aaron says:

    Yo! We will be there before lunch! Find a great spot for Po Boys! Elisa is licking her lips already! You didn’t hit Cafe Du Monde without us, did you?

  2. Aunt Bo says:

    I was nervous when I checked the blog @ 6:30 EST to find no blog. I was afraid that Katie had bought a couple bottles of scotch and was entertaining you at her apartment…I was trying to imagine where all of you would sleep. Assuming you would not be in a position to drive???
    There is no place like Bourbon St or New Orleans in general…enjoy.
    Katie has tried to get Mark and me to Pat OBrien’s for the piano bar…I have been there earlier in the day for Hurricanes…but not at night.
    Love Katie’s……we have only been there once but enjoyed it.
    If you have the time…tell Katie to take you to Il Posto in the garden district…best toasted cheese anywhere.
    Loved the final picture….ENJOY!!!!!

  3. Carol burke says:

    My turn! My turn! Hoping to see you in Destin!

  4. Debbie says:

    Hello Road Warriors!

    First of all–Shannon and Bret–everyone at the Robertson Christmas party today wished you both all the love, prayers, thoughts in the world as you are on everyone’s minds and hearts. We missed having you there.

    Although Mom won a fantastic vase in Dirty Santa–Shannon, you will love it.

    So glad you hit Bourbon Street last night, you really do have to experience Bourbon Street in person to fully “get it” and by the looks of the Hurricane’s consumed, you guys got it! And I would have loved to have seen Shannon as a cat–MEOW!

    If you’re looking for the best Po Boy in town, nothing compares to the Acme Seafood House and easy to get to on the Trolley. Can’t wait to see what you guys did today!

    LOVE YOU ALL–and keep it in the road and as always, you carry my heart with you with every mile you cross.


  5. Jessica says:

    The Flora-Bama. Wow. It’s a good thing Hoefens are always up for an adventure! Based on the road view, I’m not sure you could have convinced me to eat there! It does look like your trip got better from there, though. That picture of Bourbon Street is hysterical! I’m sure it looks like that to a lot of people at the end of the night…

    Enjoy the atmosphere!

  6. Muhammad says:

    “Plywood, tarps and porta-potties…” you sure you weren’t at Southern Maryland finest (The Tiki Bar)?

  7. Ashley says:

    Looks like you had a great time in NOLA! I live about an hour from there (south Mississippi) and love making trips there; such a fun place! I can’t believe you braved Flora-Bama…trust me when I say that it is the same bar before and after the hurricane 🙂

  8. Pingback: Giving the Journey Heart and Soul | Bret Hoefen – My CCS Story

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