We grab a cab early and head back to the airport to grab our car booked for 4 days with Alamo rentals - they offered a great deal much better than Avis by throwing in a lot of the insurance coverage for free - Avis wanted an extra $27 a day for that privilege - thieves!
Off we set in search of the French Quarter, we park up and walk through the French Market, shoppers' paradise for souvenirs, and head in the direction of Bourbon Street. The streets are buzzing with live jazz bands on every corner and stunning art works displayed in shop windows, the houses are so what we expected - proper metal railed balconies and big French style windows - it's class!!!!
We love it!!!! We explore the Hard Rock Cafe (compulsory), the Catz Meow where Matt sings a tune (also compulsory lol and until 8pm here it's 3 for 1 on drinks we got 3 Coors light for $6) the Bourbon House where we watch a live band play traditional southern songs, we buy beads in the market for tomorrow's festival and tour the streets watching the crazies painted head to toe in silver with their bits covered by little tassels and … nothing else.
We stop at Preservation Hall where the Foo Fighters played during Sonic Highways there's quite a queue because if you line up you save $15 each on entry. We decide to line up, it's the most famous hall for live music in New Orleans, really historic so worth the wait. We meet a lovely Irish-Italian family and get chatting to them until we get indoors for a performance from their famed Preservation Hall Band.
It's 50mins and flies in - not our sort of music usually but we love it the band are great and so talented they really engage with the crowd and it's the most authentic experience we've had here yet.
When we leave we opt for Pat O' Briens bar next door, Jacq wants to try a hurricane cocktail which is the most famous one to come out of New Orleans - be warned these are potent!!! We share our table with a couple who are dressed in their best having just left a lawyer's gala - they are pretty down to earth people and offer us their details to meet up at jazz fest - we head home to bed, Matts been on the coca cola and Jacqs not - so it's home time.