Road Trip Along the Gulf Coast

This episodes takes you a 5-day road trip through the Gulf Coast of America. We flew into New Orleans and drove to Orange Beach, Alabama then over to Biloxi, Mississippi before going back to NOLA to spend a few days before ending the trip.

If you’re looking for a flight deal to the Gulf Coast, we recommend signing up for Thrifty Traveler Premium to get daily flight deals (points & cash) emailed directly to you! Use our promo code TS10 to get $10 off your first year subscription.

Stay in the same hotels and do the same tours we did on this trip:

Road Trip Along the Gulf Coast – Episode Transcript


Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast.Today we’re taking you to the Gulf Coast.The Gulf Coast is the coastline along the Southern United States, and it’s comprised of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.


So in this episode, we’re going to focus on Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana because the purpose of our trips was to cross off states 40 and 41 for Jamal and I.Specifically the Alabama and Mississippi portion, right.We have been to Louisiana before, but 40 and 41 was Alabama and Mississippi and this was a fun trip exploring a part of the South that I feel usually isn’t associated with the South when non natives think about it and that’s the coastal waters.


So this was also a really special trip because my mom was able to join us and be an honorary squatty and squad member on this trip.So we really did enjoy knocking off states 40 and 41 with my mom.Now, I didn’t go on this trip with your mom.


I have been to New Orleans, so we’ll talk about that.But it just so happened that two weeks before you all took this trip, I also went out to Alabama, stayed in the Gulf Shores Orange Beach, stood a little bit out there.So I feel like I was there with you.


I can talk about it with you here now.And it’s like we had the experience together, but we didn’t.Yes.Like we went same month but just different weeks is really what it was and we missed.But it’s OK.We were there in spirit together, and we’re going to talk about it all right now.So we flew out on a Friday.


We took a non-stop flight from San Diego to New Orleans, but we weren’t going to be staying in New Orleans first.We were going to be driving to Orange Beach, AL.So that’s exactly what we did.We got into the car and we drove the 3 1/2 hours to Orange Beach.But before the drive, we picked up these amazing shawarma sandwiches from this random Middle Eastern spot close to the airport on the long way to Orange Beach.


Yeah.We didn’t really want like fast food, fast food and where the airport is in New Orleans, we’re like, oh, you’re in New Orleans, let’s get some good food.But then it would be out of the way to kind of go downtown fringe quarter area, what’s along the way found this really good Middle Eastern spot that we chose to go to.


But after we settled our hunger, we hit the road and we started on our way to Orange Beach.Of course, like very close to New Orleans is the border with Mississippi.So technically we hit Mississippi off, but we didn’t really stop.


So we don’t count that as having been to Mississippi that day.We continued on through 3 1/2 hours to get to Orange Beach, AL, which is very, very close to the state line of Florida.Yeah, I would say Orange Beach is a very great family beach vacation spot.


The beach is really long, really wide.There’s a lot of state parks.You can do a dolphin fighting cruises.There’s golf course or mini golf courses, lots of hotels and motels and beachfront houses as well.Kim, where did you stay when you went to Orange Beach?


We stayed in a huge house right on the sand in Orange Beach.It was like 6 bedrooms.It had floor to ceiling, windows, view of the coast, this gorgeous pool.And it was actually, maybe not exactly in Orange Beach, but in between Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, which is the very tip of the Gulf Shores area right there in Alabama, which was great.


There was nobody on the beach in February.From what I hear, it gets very, very busy in the summer months that were coming up on here and a huge tourist destination.But I just left.It’s like so relaxing.You can walk on the beach with your dog.I think it’s the perfect place to get a house with family and just enjoy it.


It’s a good family vacation spot.We stayed in a hotel.We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Orange Beach, and it had direct beach access.If you went by the pool area, there was actually like a little bridge that went over onto the sand and then you had direct beach access.


So it was really nice, yeah.Little boardwalk style bridge.I remember Brittany even telling me like I specifically chose this hotel because it has this pathway direct to the beach.And if anybody has ever been to Ocean City, MD, Orange Beach kind of reminded me of that.


Now Ocean City is a little bit more busy.Granted, we were there during the summer and has so much like mini golf and people could maybe say it’s like super family oriented with the boardwalk kind of like cheesy.But this was a more, I want to say classed up Ocean City MD that I really appreciate.


I would love to see it at its summer peak to really see how crowded.But even in February, it was just enjoyable to be along the Gulf shore.I mean, when we say Gulf shore, we’re talking Gulf of Mexico, which is technically the Atlantic Ocean so to speak.


So I really did enjoy this.But we’re talking about the hotel.We did check in, but like I mentioned, it’s so close to the Florida State line.What did we do that night when we arrived with my mom, Britt?You’d be proud of us, Kim.We went out to a bar.


We went to the Flora Bama bar.It opened in 1964.It’s a waterfront Bar and Grill has, you know, oysters, pub grub and live music.It is so big that there’s actually three different sections with live music.


It is right on the Florida and Alabama State line.And I guess Kenny Chesney has a song about it and has actually played here back in 2014 and he had an attendance of like 40,000 people at this bar.So you can just imagine how like big this bar is.


It’s a pretty big venue.And then we got drinks, we walked on the beach cause the bar has direct beach access and then we hung out on like the they have an outside stage.So we hung out and drank out there.The inside of the bar itself was pretty crowded, but there’s actually a poll that’s on the beach that shows the state line of Florida and Alabama and the divider.


Yeah, I mean, this bar is literally the first building in Florida.Once you cross from Alabama, there’s a stop light.And then there’s this bar right here, first building in Florida, and you know, it’s 34 stories each different location, different bands playing, different style of music.


I mean, if you really love music, this would be the place to go.I felt like I got honky tonk vibes in one section, more classic country music in another, more kind of like modern style music in a different section of it.So you can have a really good time.And of course then the ambiance of being on the beach.


So even though we’ve been to Florida before we were this close, we were like, how can we not go to this world famous bar and not just cross off into another state since we’re so close to it.So pretty much travel day.And let’s get cocktails with Mama at Flora Bama.


Yeah, it was a long travel day because we literally started off in California, landed in Louisiana, drove through Mississippi, checked into our hotel in Alabama, and then drove to Florida.Five states.Five states in that one day.Wow, that’s a lot.


Yes.So we went back to our hotel and just went to sleep to prepare for the next day.Hey squatties, let’s talk summer vacations for a minute.Summer is just around the corner, and Thrifty Traveler will help you find the best flight deals for all your summer vacations.


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Just go to thriftytraveler.com/premium and use our promo code TS10 to get $10 off your first year subscription and start discovering your summer flight deals today.So I told Jamal that I wanted to do a morning beach walk.


The sunrise.Of course you did.Pretty not want to do a morning beach walk or anything when the sun rises.And I wanted to see the sunrise.I did.So the sunrise rose at 6:22 AM.So we got up early.


It was cold.The sand was super cold.But there was literally no one on the beach.The skies were clear.It was a really beautiful sunrise.You know, when I was in Orange Beach and did a beach walk at 11:00 AM, there was also no.


One on the beach, but it wasn’t sunrise, Kim.Why are you trying to belittle her experience?I’m not trying to belittle her, She’s just trying to say that you don’t have to get up that early, then trying to defend my sunrise.I guess that’s true.But you know what?We kind of did have to get up early, Kim, and I’ll tell you why.


You know, being on the West Coast, and I know you’re not on the West Coast anymore in Texas.We miss you out here, no doubt.But we’ve always seen sunsets over the Pacific, right, because the sunsets in the West while we were in the east and we rarely get to see a sunrise coming over the horizon of water.


So I I really did appreciate that very much.So as much as I hate the early morning calls, it was nice to just really get out there again, have that direct access to the beach from the boardwalk, from our Hilton Hotel that we were at just beyond there, take that stroll a great way to really start the day and really appreciate it because unfortunately you know we were there in February, right.


We can’t really lay out on the beach and lounge.It’s not weather appropriate.I would love to go back there and check it out during the summer, but this was of course still during winter so we had to just enjoy the sunrise.Then we went to our first ever Waffle House experience for breakfast.


Wow.Have you ever eaten at a Waffle House, Kim?No, I still haven’t.If nobody has ever been to the South or this region and you’ve heard of Waffle House, let me tell you, they’re like Starbucks.I counted.I don’t know how many, but so many on every corner.


Literally.It was a joke.Even my mom was noticing it too.Like there’s another Waffle House.There’s another Waffle House.We couldn’t figure out what we wanted to eat in the morning, so after the sunrise walk on the beach, we said F it, let’s just eat at a Waffle House and try it.


And what do you give the Waffle House experience, Brittany?We actually had a really good waitress.She was very nice and she explained a whole bunch of things on the menu to us, so I thought it was a very good experience.I thought the food itself was OK, but a squatty had asked how was your experience?


I said, Oh well, the food was OK, but yeah, overall it was good.And she goes, Your waitress makes or breaks the experience, so.And that’s really kind of what happened.Funny enough, I saw something on Instagram before we had gone on this trip about Waffle House.They will give you a menu that’s literally a tiny portion of it.


That’s their hits and favorites.You can ask for the full menu, and there is a full menu with such little small print of so many different things that they actually have.So if it’s your first time going, or if you’ve been there many times before and didn’t know that what they give you at the table is not the the true menu.


There is a lot more, so just be sure to check that out.What did you end up ordering?Brittany and I, I believe we ended up getting some sort of country bowl.Wasn’t it like a scrambled with hash and sausage?And of course, you know, we’re in a Waffle House.


We had to get waffles, although they’re waffles are thin waffles, which kind of threw me off.She did mention that I was craving pancakes, but how can I go to Waffle House and not get a waffle?So if I go back to Waffle House, I’m getting pancakes, Though I could tell you that I want to try them out there.


But obviously mostly Southern breakfast food at Waffle House.I would go back to a Waffle House if I had the chance.I would go for like a biscuits and gravy or chicken fried steak or something more southern.We did have biscuits and gravy.OK.And how was it?Average.


I won’t lie, it was average, you know?But it could have just been the day.Who knows?I would try it again.I feel like Waffle House is a glorified Denny’s.A Southern Denny’s OK, well, what a great way to start the day.And we had to feel ourselves because we were going mini golf and we get really competitive over here with our activities.


Yeah, there’s lots of mini golf places out in this region.Again, family oriented and that’s kind of why I gave it the comparison to Ocean City, MD.If anyone’s ever been out there, literally every block was mini golf.There’s not every block mini golf out here in Orange Beach in this area, but there is mini golf and I love it.


So I said what a great thing to do.Let’s play mini golf this morning and getting really competitive.My mom and I both hit a hole in one, and I’m sorry to say for Britney, she did not venture to get a hole in one on this expedition.Oh well.But it was fun.


It was fun playing mini golf.Was it a ABB situation?What do you mean by that?Anybody but Britney.Anybody but Britney to.Hater.It wasn’t an anybody but Britney type situation.No.But you know now that you say that it probably should have been to, you know, ’cause the marouche’s out, did Britney to buy the numbers 2 to one on that one.


But now we went to the do mini golf at Beachside Mini Golf.That’s the name of the course that we did.It was really fun.They were doing construction, so they didn’t have the water running through the moats and stuff to give you the full theatrics that mini golf courses do.So we ended up getting it like at half price, which was actually pretty cool just because they were doing construction.


But Even so, it was still a fun course to play.And of course, if you go there with the family, or even if you’re going adults, friends, just have a couple of drinks, play mini golf, it’s always a good time.And then we went to the Perdido Pass seawall.It’s a small boardwalk area that’s open to the public.


There’s a lot of people that are fishing here.We also saw this bird called an egret.I think it’s called, my gosh, they’re huge.Do you remember that bird?I remember it.They look like dinosaurs.They do.Jamal has become a bird watcher in his old age and so not surprised he saw and loved it.


I loved it.It’s hard not to see it because it’s so huge.It’s just sticking out.I don’t know what the scientific term is for bird watching or the love of birds.I know there’s an official term.I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, but the older I get, the more I appreciate birds and the the creatures.Except seagulls.


I don’t like seagulls, I’ll just say that.But I like birds.And then from here we were heading on to Biloxi Ms., but we couldn’t not stop at the Bucky’s along the way.Oh, Bucky’s.Tell us what Bucky’s is like.


Bucky’s is like as big as a Walmart, but it’s a truck stop that doesn’t want truckers to come.They have tons of different kinds of food, like fresh sandwiches in out here in Texas.They have brisket tacos, brisket sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, a bunch of different other kinds of meat type things.


They had the Bucky’s corn Nuggets, tons of different drinks.They have Bucky’s everything, shirts, hats, home decor.It’s like a Super Walmart truck station, but Bucky’s themed.Yeah.And when we walked in, I mean, the first thing they were giving was free samples of Bucky’s fudge that they actually had.


Yeah.Jerky candy nuts.So you’re comparing it to Walmart, which I think is a really good analogy.I think of it as think of Costco but in gas station form, right?You know, it’s kind of like that, but without the membership and literally over 100 pumps.


I mean, you’re not going to be waiting in line to fill gas because they have so many things, but what the attraction is, is what is inside the Bucky’s.We got a brisket sandwich, we got beef jerky, we got a pastry because they had a bakery, and then we had Jamal’s mom got an individual size of a coconut cream pie.


I have to stop myself because I can easily drop 100 bucks in there and it’s like I don’t eat all this food.Yeah.And if you haven’t been into a Bucky’s, if you ever come across one that are only in certain regions of the US, do it.We caught one here on our way back to Biloxi, Ms. which is about a two hour drive from where we were staying in Orange Beach, AL.


Now Biloxi is famous for its casinos.They have lots of casinos out there, but we weren’t necessarily going for the gambling.Again, it is a nice larger city along the coast Gulf of Mexico area.


We stayed at a really nice hotel called Hotel Legends.We ended up booking this reservation through the Chase travel portal through my Sapphire reserve card, which I always love to do because they give you like extra bonus points when you do that.But we got a two room suite which was really nice.


So we walked into the room.You have a living room kind of like a little bit of 1/2 kitchen type situation of course rooms opposing on the other side.So we didn’t have to have two rooms, one for me and Brittany had one for my mom and it was nice to share, but was really great is upon arrival and check in, they gave us tokens for drinks at their bar, and their bar that they have is very famous.


This is a historic hotel.They’ve had lots of famous people come in and sing there and they always have a musician play that night.And of course we didn’t do it right away because it wasn’t open yet.But that night they had a Marilyn Monroe impersonator who was doing the singing and it was really nice out there.


How fun.Yeah, and shout out to our squatty Erika who told me about this hotel.She’s gone to Biloxi a few times and she stayed here each time and she recommended it to us.So thank you so much for the recommendation from here.We walked over to the Hard Rock Casino, which was across the street.


We signed up for membership.We got free play, and I won 60 bucks on Wheel of Fortune.Oh, nice.Yeah, I always got to sign up for the free play if they’re giving it to you.And Brittany walked out with 60 bucks, my mom and I, not necessarily so lucky, unfortunately, but you know, a win is a win and we’ll take it.


But from the Hard Rock, which was just literally across the street and catty corner from the Hotel Legends where we were staying at, we continued on to the Biloxi Lighthouse.This lighthouse was erected in 1848, so really old and was one of the first cast iron lighthouses in the South.


So it’s famous because of that and it is the city’s signature landmark.So in all honesty, when we kind of read up a little bit about the lighthouse, Lighthouse is a lighthouse, right?But we’re like, OK, let’s go ahead and go see it.I had no clue what’s in the median divide of the little highway that’s running along the the coast.


So it’s not like a huge giant one because some lighthouses you could go in do tours.This is closed, but it was really cool to just kind of.Go see it.It’s in front of a little promenade area that you could walk along the beach.So we did that and it was an enjoyable experience.


But don’t be up sold by the Biloxi Lighthouse when you see it on the list of Must Dos in Biloxi.I will say we did walk along the beach a little bit here too.This beach is rockier and it’s not as nice.So we definitely preferred Orange Beach in Alabama to the beach in Biloxi.


But you know what?Biloxi’s known for casinos, not their beaches, so that’s what it is.Our squatty Erica also recommended a restaurant called Half Shell Oyster House.So we went there for dinner and it was the best dinner that we had on this trip.


Jamal’s mom got in almond encrusted chicken.You would have really liked it, Kim.It was actually phenomenal.You know, I was thinking to myself, OK, like a chicken, it’s going to be good, but OK.And then they brought it out and I tasted it.The portion size was huge on it too.


It was really, really good.And the sides and accompaniments were great.And then Jamal and I, we split the royal redfish.Kim, you wouldn’t like this.It’s a bronze redfish.Serve over grilled asparagus and it was a Cajun boiled potato cake and it was topped with royal red shrimp that was sauteed in a white wine cream sauce.


And then we also got a seafood Alfredo with shrimp, crawfish, mushrooms and seasonings.So all of your favorite things Kim And then it was Oh my God, topped with lump meat, crab lump meat.And it was so good.I gotta say, if you’re a seafood lover, you’re gonna love the Gulf Coast.


Well, you are, but I’ll tell you what, you would have loved this restaurant because that of course they had other stuff than the seafood.But again, the almond crusted chicken is going to be really good.Because when we were in Costa Rica and you got a chicken dish and you loved it, like I honestly thought back even though you weren’t here to my mom getting this and it was kind of very, very similar.


So if you remember that chicken dish that you loved, it was the lot like this.And then we went back to the hotel and we used our drink tokens at the bar with the Marilyn Monroe and impersonator.So we had a nice little day in Biloxi, yeah.So we woke up in the morning the next day and something that was on Britney’s list that she really wanted to try was going to this one coffee house called the Jacked Up.


The reason for it is one, of course.It had really good reviews, came up really highly rated.But it was famous for its monkey bread.I mean, this is a coffee and tea house that makes fresh monkey bread daily.Not only just monkey bread, different flavors at that.


So we went in the morning to go get that.We really enjoyed it.The coffee was good.Brittany had a Chai tea.I hate Chai, let me tell you this.And I took a sip of this and I’m starting to think, wow, if I have Chai right, I can like Chai.It was really good.The monkey bread was good.


But what I really liked in there also too was the design aesthetic that they had in there.Everything was kind of like classic old, had a really good vibe.So if you are in Biloxi, even if you’re not going in the morning, but just looking for a nice place to go, sit and relax, read a magazine, a book.


Jacked up is a really good coffee house to do that.Yeah, and on the way to jacked Up, we passed a cafe called the Toasted Yolk Cafe.We decided to go there for breakfast.Their portion sizes were huge and I ended up getting a Southern Fried Arnold, which is actually just kind of a Benedict and it was 2 biscuits topped with hand battered chicken tenders with poached eggs covered and smothered with Country Sausage Gravy.


It was really good.I’m.Trying to remember what I got.I think I just got an omelette.And I yeah, me and my mom both got an omelette.I know, I know, I know.But you know, nothing else was really intriguing to me then at that point.You know, the omelet that they had did look really good, but all of us love toasted Yolk Cafe.


It was a really big line.So if again you are going to be in the Biloxi area, this is a really good breakfast spot.Locals, tourists come alike, so you will be waiting.So go early to avoid that, but before we left Biloxi, we did a couple more things.


We really wanted to pop into this one other casino called the Beau Rivage, and the reason for it is, from the outside, this looked almost like the Bellagio in Las Vegas, minus the Lake and the Fountain show.But just the outside, an aesthetic of the building looked like the Bellagio you get inside the lobby area almost has a little bit of a Conservatory, just like the Bellagio.


So I think whoever designed the Bellagio designed the Beau Rivage, maybe partner owners, I’m not too sure.So this was a really cool, unique casino to go ahead and pop into and check out and it was like a little mini Las Vegas right here imitating the Bellagio.


And then we ended our time in Biloxi with a few games of bowling.We went to big play, played two games and Mama Maroosh almost won the first round and it was really making Jamal nervous.I get competitive when I I get competitive when I play sports.


And not that I was necessarily trying to beat my mom.God, I love my mom.But you know, like, I can’t really lose to, you know, my mom.I don’t really want to on that front of things, so I was just getting warmed up.But luckily on that 10th frame I was able to push through and do it.


And then on the second one I ended up beating Britney too, of course, which I’m always trying to beat Britney when we play competitively on that.Anybody but Britney, Right, ABB.Anybody.You guys are just still mad about how good my hand stands were in Costa Rica and my card gameplay.


Yeah, your card game plays pretty good.You upset me when you do really well at cards.So from Biloxi, we went to a place that we’ve all been.We drove into New Orleans.But before we get deep into New Orleans, I just want to say, you know of what we’re talking about.


Orange Beach, Biloxi, they’re famous for what?They’re famous for.Biloxi, the casinos, Orange Beach for the beach.We didn’t really do a lot of stuff, ’cause this was really trying to highlight and cross off like two other states for us.But I feel if we went at the right time of year, more particularly in Alabama, Orange Beach area, really get to enjoy the beach, the weather, get into the water, do this, that there’d be a lot more to really talk about.


But just the time restraints that we had on this trip and the purpose of the trip didn’t really have much other than just enjoying ourselves, kind of being locals, going around, doing stuff in these two cities.Kim, you’ve been to New Orleans.Why don’t you describe New Orleans to the squatties?


Well, New Orleans, the first thing that comes to mind for me is architecture.That French architecture, so much energy, jazz, music.There are usually a lot of tourists there, depending on the person and how much you go into Bourbon Street.


Could be a lot of drinking, partying, nightlife type things.But for me, what really stands out is Southern food and gorgeous French architecture.I mean, you kind of summed it up all in one.That’s really what it is famous and world renowned for.Also, you know, the round the clock, nightlife, voodoo even.


And I say voodoo because, you know, New Orleans is that kind of unique city where it’s a cultural melting pot of French, African and American culture really all into one and still alive to this very day here in this one city.


So we stayed at the Hotel Mazarin and this hotel was so cute it had a bar attached to it and they gave us so many drink coupons.Upon checking, I think they gave us 5 drink coupons and then on top of it the rooms they booked each came with a bottle of wine and we booked one room for the house and one room for Jamal’s mom.


So we had two bottles of wine and five drink coupons.Did you use them all?Well, we did use all the drink coupons.We did use one bottle and wine and went through it.The second bottle, we couldn’t really finish by that point because one thing Brittany did not mention about Hotel Mazarin is it’s right at the foot of Bourbon Street.


So I mean, you’re want to experience drinking out there too and just getting a couple drinks.So it’s like, yeah, it’s free and it’s here, but I want to get out.So we left.We left one bottle behind, unfortunately, but.You didn’t take it with.You.


No, I didn’t take it because I didn’t really want to have to check luggage.Yeah.And like in in fairness, they didn’t give us like a hugely expensive bottle of wine either, You know, like, I feel like I could have gotten that for today.I I probably should have taken it in hindsight.But no, always.


We left that soldier behind, unfortunately, on that one.And the hotel also had a courtyard with a fountain.And so we just would take our drinks from the bar and then go sit in the courtyard with the fountain.And then that’s also where we popped the bottle of wine as well.But once we got out and exploring, we went and got course to start a beignet, got the classic beignets on Bourbon Street.


Then we walked around French Quarter and we explored.And then that first night that we got into New Orleans, we did a Ghost tour.Oh, spooky.Yeah.Have you done any of the ghost tours, Kim, when you’ve been to New Orleans?No, I haven’t.This one was fun if you want me to be honest.


You know the ghost tour that we did in Savannah, I would wager to say, was a little bit better.But this one was also really good.And what I really like about these ghost tours, whether you believe them or not when you go to these cities, is they give you such a unique perspective of the history of the city, town or whatever that it is that you’re actually walking through.


So of course, from the history you get these urban legends, are these ghosts real or not?That’s up to you to really decide.But you get a really awesome history lesson and background.So why don’t you tell a couple of the unique stories that we heard on the tour?Yeah, so we went by this restaurant called Mariel’s Restaurant, but before it was Mariel’s, it was actually someone’s home.


It was Pierre Antoine Lopardi, Jordan’s home.He was actually a gambler and he lost his house in a poker game, and he was actually a really bad gambler, but anyways, lost his house and because he was so shamed by it, he decided to commit suicide in the house on the 2nd floor.


And when they first opened up this restaurant, whole bunch of weird paranormal things were happening.Like all of the wine bottles that were stored facing down were coming out of their slots and like cracking open onto the floor.Whole bunch of dishes were cracking.


Weird things would happen every single night.So they hired a medium and they figured out it was him.His spirit was still in the house and he was upset that people were coming to his house, drinking his wine, eating his food, and no one was even paying attention to him.


So now, every night before they get the dinner service started, they pour him a glass of wine and they set out some bread for him.And things have settled down quite a bit.And you can actually dine at his table and buy him a glass if you’d like.Oh, wow.


But what’s also really unique is when you walk by the restaurant, you can look into the windows and you can actually see the table that’s set for him.Like Brittany said, the wine is out, the bread is out.They have a candle lit for him.Of course, you could play extra to sit there, but not everybody you know sits there.


There’s a normal dining room, but even if you’re not eating there, you can look in and see what they said.And they say that ever since they’ve started doing this, the paranormal activity has actually stopped.Yeah, And then there was another one where there was a really wealthy Madame.


Her name was Delphine.She was a serial killer.And she was believed to have, like, tortured and murdered many of the slaves in her household.And when they found a whole bunch of slaves on the third floor in her attic, they were mutilated.They were really tortured.


She had broken bones and like, reset them in weird ways.She was practicing like lobotomies just to see what would happen.All sorts of weird things.But she ended up getting on a boat and escaping so.Well, she only got caught because her story is that she was divorced, but not divorced.


Widowed either two or three times, I don’t really remember.And of course, she married rich each time, so she’s this widowed heiress with a whole bunch of money she’s done to throw extravagant parties.She’s throwing a party one night, and then one night during the party, a fire breaks out while they find that the fire started by one of her slaves who tried to kill herself by chaining herself to like the the furnace or stove in the kitchen.


Like, why did you do this?And they’re like, I don’t want to end up on the 3rd or 4th floor, whatever floor it was.So the police, fire department, like, what are you talking about?They go up there and all those atrocities that Brittany described, they found upstairs of her slaves and even other people who weren’t, who she’s kind of like, imprisoned and done things with.


And as soon as she found out, like, hey, they’ve discovered no one knows what’s happened to her.And it’s believed she has like, escaped O again.You know, just through these ghost tours you get the unique history of the people who are living in New Orleans, the history of it.And we really enjoyed this.We booked this tour on free tours by foot.


So a lot of tours are free walking tours.Of course tip your guide specially if you appreciate them and the story, but free tours by foot and you can find mini free walking tours, ghost or non ghost tours alike for your trip to New Orleans.That is such a good resource.Jamal and I just want to take the time to let all of our squaddies know.


We have tons of resources on our website travelsquadpodcast.com.We have a whole new mini episode series, itineraries, trip planning worksheets, free templates for like pet guides, how to start your own podcast, a whole course on that, a bimonthly newsletter, Amazon shop with all of the products we’ve ever mentioned on episodes and so much more.


So head on over there and you could find it all.So the next morning we decided to go to the Saint Louis Cathedral into Jackson Square.That is the classic iconic church that you see in all of the postcards and they do flyovers of New Orleans.And then from there, we walked to brunch.


We wanted to do a jazz brunch, so we did brunch at Court of Two Sisters.Oh, I love that spa.I was actually really, really looking forward to this.This was the thing that I was looking forward to most about our trip and time in New Orleans.We had reservations at 11:00.


The reason why we did that is because lunch food starts at 11:30.So we’re like, all right, well, let’s get a little bit of the breakfast food.When we looked at the menu ahead of time, more of the lunch food that was going to come out during brunch was intriguing to us.So we’re like, let’s just straddle that line.


We sat out in a beautiful courtyard, no doubt what I would say that disappointed me most about the experience.And it could be because we went during an off time of year where it’s not necessarily as crowded in New Orleans.I don’t know.I expected the jazz music to be a little bit more abundant.


They only had one band and they were going back and forth between setting up outside in the courtyard, back inside.For the people who were sitting inside.The music wasn’t even necessarily continuous.Or I don’t want to say I want it to be loud music so that it drowns out the conversation.


Because it’s brunch.You want to be peaceful.It’s not a nightclub, right?But it just was really faint and I I just felt like I was missing the jazz from the jazz brunch.But I would still go back and do this on the hopes that it was just an off day and recommend anybody go here and do this because brunch at the Court of Two Sisters is a New Orleans staple.


How was your experience there, Kim?There were sometimes where jazz wasn’t being played.I agree it was kind of the same.And for a brunch that calls it a jazz brunch, you would expect abundant jazz music the whole time.But what do you think of the food?Oh, food wise, amazing.


I was even a little bit hungover when I was there.You know, it’s always hard to eat a little bit when you’re hungover, but I just powered through and it was so good.Yeah, for breakfast they have like and Dewey sausage bacon.Make your own omelets, Benedict’s ham grits, biscuits.


The biscuits were actually.All the dessert.Yeah, yeah.The biscuits were really good, The desserts were really good.And then we were there for like the lunchtime too.So it had like, the classic red beans and rice, gumbo, turtle soup, shrimp, EP touffe.


And then it had the rib eye station.Dude.I didn’t realize I loved cream spinach so much, but I do well.Mashed potatoes, shrimp, pasta.Oh, their candied sweet potatoes were really good.And they even had Duck a Lorange.


So a good eclectic mix to settle any hankering that you have for your appetite.So I I would recommend this.There is Jazz.We’re not going to say that there isn’t.I just had the conception that there was going to just be a lot in continuous.So I guess if you know that that’s not going to be the case going into it, it could be a little bit more, you know, enjoyable if you don’t set your expectations high in terms of the Jazz component.


But really great experience at Court of Two Sisters.We all loved our brunch.There I stayed full for hours, ’cause I stuffed myself so much at brunch.But afterwards we did a 3:00 PM Voodoo tour.We also booked this with the same company, Free Tours by foot.


We mostly stayed in a park called Armstrong Park and we learned mostly like a lot of people think of Voodoo and like the Hollywood version of it and how it’s like really bad.But this tour was mostly talking about the history of Voodoo, how it still functions as an alternative religion in the modern day city.


And we visited different trees in the park, talked about the gods that represented them, and then the different offerings that are given to the different gods in the voodoo culture.Yeah, we had a high voodoo priest who was our tour guide, so it was a really unique perspective.


And Brittany said that this is an Armstrong park.They’re talking about Louis Armstrong.The reason why it’s actually there is because I believe the people who have the city contracts to clean and take care of the park are actually descendants of the voodoo priests and priestesses.


So they just kind of really use that as their home, so to speak, in terms of where they practice and leave offerings at different trees and altars that they make within the park.But Armstrong Park is just a short 5-10 minute walk from the French Quarter.


So if you’re in the French Quarter, you can just head outside of it, not towards the Mississippi River, but opposite direction, and you’ll end up in Armstrong Park.But again, a tour that gives you a really unique perspective of the awesome city that you’re visiting and the history that goes with it.


And this night, we also just kind of walked around French Quarter a bit.And then Jamal and I walked along the Mississippi and we went to Cafe de Monde for some more beignets, of course, and just kind of ventured out a little bit, just did some walking in along the city and then called it a night.


And we, while we were there, our old roommate reached out to us and she loves New Orleans and she was giving us a whole bunch of recommendations.And one of the things that she recommended was to do a tour of the Sazerac house.So that’s what we did the next morning, which was our final day.


Yeah, The Sazerac House is just outside fringe quarter like on the edge of Canal Street in the downtown area.And it was either Sazerac House or what was it the the Pharmacy Museum.And we really want to do the Pharmacy Museum, but the Pharmacy Museum was closed that day that we were actually going to be leaving at halftime, had we known.


Of the Pharmacy Museum and she gave us that recommendation.If she knew ahead of time that we were going, I think we would have for sure tried to squeeze that one in.So Squad tip, be sure to check that out because I regret that we didn’t.But the Sazerac House is basically a building of course where you can go and enjoy a complimentary tour where they will actually allow you to try cocktails.


They have interactive exhibits also, but but the Sazerac House first opened for what many people consider to be coffee houses.That’s what they would actually call bars back in the day.And of course they became more prevalent with prohibition and this is one of the famous ones of New Orleans and they are created the Sazerac cocktail, which is really almost a cousin of the old fashioned.


So there’s a storied history of alcohol in New Orleans within this house.And so you can do the free tours and free taste and set.It was a really unique experience.So you all went and did a free tasting tour in the?Morning.I mean, we’re in New Orleans, so you know.


I mean open containers in New Orleans, just like in Las Vegas.Would you judge me for having a drink in the morning in Las Vegas?No, I I wouldn’t.I would never judge, but just it’s just a funny time and for a tour like that.Yeah, so.I mean, we we enjoyed this.This was a really, again, unique, awesome experience.


We enjoyed some of the cocktails that we tried.What was really cool is in some of the exhibits, after you try the cocktails, they’ll give out complimentary coasters.OK, whatever with the coasters, but the coasters will then have drink recipes on them for the drinks that you’ve actually just had.


So if you like them, you can take them.Try them.Also, the claim to fame of the Sazerac house is I think it’s called the show.It’s spelled PEY CHAUD, but these are basically a type of bitters and they rival the other famous brand that they do have.


So these are the the second most popular bitters to use in cocktails that require bitters is the Peshod Bitter and created here in the Sazerac house.We haven’t opened it yet, but we actually picked up some pralines and cream liqueur that I’m pretty excited to try.


That sounds delicious.It’s going to go in my Old Fashioned, and I’m going to make a Southern Old Fashioned.I’m going to pour that in there and it’s going to have that little pecan flavor to it.It’s going to be just right.And Britney’s going to have an old fashioned too.I doubt she’ll have an old fashioned.No, it’s for.Core I’m just going to have it as a shot.


As a shot.Oh, you’re getting crazy.Well, Kim, I think it’s your favorite time of the.Week.Questions of the Week.All right.This week we have a single question and it is coming in.


Are there any other areas of the Gulf Coast that you want to visit?Jamal and I have been to Venice Beach which is all in the Gulf side of Florida and it was really beautiful white sand beach.But we also need to go back and explore more of the Florida Gulf side.


Yes.Which I want to do and I also haven’t been anywhere on the Texas Gulf, so I would be interested in some of those areas as well.I can’t say a lot about the Texas Gulf Coast, but there’s a ton of places in Florida like Destin, FL looks absolutely gorgeous.


I would love to go there.Think Rosemary Beach is very close to Destin too, and I hear just amazing things like white sand, beautiful clear beaches, gorgeous clear waters.It’s a really big summer destination too.Well, we want to get back out to that coast of Florida for Crystal River.


We actually had gone in 2023 to Crystal River, FL to specifically go swimming with the manatees because in that area that’s the perfect time of year to do it just to based off of water temperature etcetera.But then a big storm came in and then it was just unsafe for us to do it.


So we’ve been out there, but we didn’t get to do the highlight experience, which is to swim with the manatees.So I would say that’s the main reason why I want to go back.I would love to go back to Orange Beach during summer like I said and just kind of really experience it to what you said, Kim, about you not being able to attest to the Gulf Coast of Texas.


I have heard not so great things about it.And again, no disrespect to Texas, but I’ve actually heard the Gulf Coast on Texas is not necessarily very nice.There’s a lot of like industry that they have in that area.So it’s not like literally the best waters in that part of the Gulf Coast to really want to enjoy.


I think it depends on the day too.I’ve heard sometimes in like Galveston and some of the other coastal areas that there can be oil washed up on the shore that gets on your feet.But then I’ve also heard other days where it’s nice and clear.I would like to check out Galveston, you know, just to see it.


And what’s funny, you said industry stuff.I have a funny story about Orange Beach.When I was there, I got in actually about midday, but by the time we got back to the house, it was getting dark.You know, it was winter, so it got dark kind of early and we were looking out in the ocean and we see these lights and we’re like, is that a boat?


Is that a cruise ship?Like, what is that?And we were out there for a while, like discussing it amongst ourselves.And the next day comes around, the sun is out and we look out and it’s an oil rig.That’s how it goes.Well, it’s everywhere.


Some of the most beautiful coastline in California, more particularly Santa Barbara area.You look out, there’s oil rigs.So I mean it, it’s everywhere.But you know, like I said, I I can’t speak to it.I’m only saying what I’ve heard.So I’m not dying to go to the Texas portion, I could tell you that.


Well, lots to do on the Florida side, that’s for sure.Absolutely.Squatties, thank you so, so much for tuning into our Gulf Coast episode this week.Make sure to keep the adventures going with us on all the socials at Travel Squad Podcast.Make sure to follow us on TikTok and send us in your questions of the.


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