Long drive down to Louisiana stopping by the Honey Island Swamp just after the border at the top of Louisiana! We all took the swamp tour with a bloke who told us he had grown up on the swamp and even swims in it! His house backed into it so it was all he had ever known! He had a really husky southern accent too which was just great. It was a really interesting tour and he seemed to know so much. We saw about 6 alligators and he would feed them over the side of the boat with hot dogs on a stick and marshmallows so we would see them jump out of the water! It was so amazing to see them so close and I got great pictures. I learnt that the distance between an alligators nose and eyes in inches is how big it is in feet too! The guy also said he had caught 60 pound catfish from the swamp before! It was weird seeing lots of little boat houses and shacks destroyed and half in the swamp which the guide told us was the ruins from hurricane Katrina.
Later we got to the hotel in New Orleans, freshened up and headed out for dinner with Molly. We walked down Bourbon Street to get a taste for it and it was absolutely crazy. Bright lights, madness and entertainers everywhere. Molly explained it was normal to just block off the street here for a band to play. We saw some live bands and then went to a nice restaurant called Oceana for dinner. I tried fried catfish and jalapeño hushpuppies (which were basically falafel) and loved the catfish! New Orleans is famous for Jazz music but also Cajun food and seafood. Famous dishes are things like Gumbo too which is a rice and black beans dish. We had a good meal and then headed out onto the town to try and get a few drinks - even though most of the group are under 21 :(
We managed to get into a few bars, some would ID or mark hands with a big X if you were underage, others asked for ID at the bar and some not at all, it was very relaxed. I bought a couple of people who gave me the money drinks and we all had what they call a "hand grenade" which is this really strong alcoholic slushy drink in a grenade looking cup. It tasted really citrusy but was nice! Most of the group were pretty drunk after one and Emily could hardly speak! A few of us had tequila and a couple of beers too and everyone was good. Walking down the strip though we got invited into a male strip club and took a vote about going in. Needless to say, we were persuaded! On the way in a man coming out who I think worked there, said "your daddies told you never to come to a place like this - enjoy" which was weird! Inside it was the seediest, weirdest place and was definitely an experience! Just think Magic Mike although there were points when they were totally naked! Emily and I just sat there jaws to the floor not really sure what to make of it while the rest of the group were pulled around and dragged into all sorts haha! It was getting late so most people headed home and three of us stayed out. After walking up and down the strip a few times exclaiming in our best southern accents "hey y'all" and making lots of friends... We stumbled home at 3am. We did have to ask for directions to our hotel though which was a worry as we had been warned New Orleans can be very sketchy and dangerous and there was lots of homelessness. A good night though and after embarrassingly checking us into the strip club we fell asleep!