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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.