Our family loves to travel and we’re fortunate in that we have family and friends spread throughout the continental United States. For the last several years, we’ve gone back East at least once every 12 months but we haven’t taken a real “vacation” in a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely love spending time with loved ones but those kind of trips aren’t really “vacations” (the kind of travel where you stay in hotels, do touristy type activities, and have absolutely no obligation other than to enjoy your time away from home). When the opportunity to get away for an extended weekend came up over my daughter’s spring break (from preschool), we jumped at the chance to head down to a place we’d never been before.
One of the things I appreciate most about this country is that there are so many different cultures that exist in different regions. The experience of traveling to a place like New York is so vastly different from what you would see in San Diego, Oregon, or Nebraska. Having been to several of the states already, I’ve had the chance to witness first hand the various types of cultures that exist in each area but I’ve never experienced New Orleans. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat ignorant to Cajun culture (even after my trip to New Orleans, I still feel that I didn’t really get the full Cajun experience (maybe we’ll try southern “Cajun Country” Louisiana next time). New Orleans was great, though. Just great. And I can’t wait to share our journey with you.
When we first decided to head to NOLA (I feel like I can use the acronym now since I’ve been there- I’m totally down with the verbiage, right y’all?!) we knew absolutely nothing about the city (other than the fact that they host Mardi Gras each year). After leaving, I feel like we know slightly more than nothing about it. Nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable few days away from home that provided a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.
The drive down from Kansas City was brutal, even with splitting it up into two days. We made the mistake of leaving in the afternoon (which, normally wouldn’t be a problem) to head down to Little Rock, Arkansas (the halfway point for our journey). The final stretch between Kansas City and Little Rock was dark, mountainous, and somewhat frightening. Highway 65 South is full of small towns, underlit roads, and deer which made for an interesting journey at night. By the grace of God (and careful driving), we made it to our hotel in North Little Rock.
A huge thank you to the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock, Arkansas. We booked our stay through Priceline.com and had an incredible experience at the hotel. The staff was friendly, the hotel was comfortable and clean, and the free breakfast was one of the better ones we’ve had at a hotel chain.
Our breakfast on day two helped to sustain us through the long drive down to New Orleans, which took us through parts of Mississippi that were so unbelievably rural it was shocking. In my next post, I’ll tell you more about it.