I rolled out of bed in our haunted hotel and went to start getting ready for the day. You know that bubbling sound that the sink made in the movie “It” right before terrorizing the room with blood? Well, that’s the sound I was awoken with. As I brushed my teeth, I heard someone shouting from the hall.

“Raven!”

I peered through the peephole on our door, but saw no one there. Now, I suppose maybe the pipes just made noise in the bathroom, and a girl named Raven just happened to be running down the hall when I woke up…but I’ll give this point to the ancient hotel spirits, as the lights flickered on our way out the door.

There was one last stop we wanted to make before leaving San Antonio: The Japanese Tea Garden. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese tea garden, you know just how picture perfect these oasis’s can be.

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We glided over the entry bridge as giant coy the size of the turtles beside them swam beneath us, bobbing to the surface with their big lips. Up ahead, a waterfall trickled down through the mossy, green rocks. We ducked around the corner into a bamboo-lined trail, feeling as if we’d just entered an exotic Narnia. Recent graduates tossed their grad caps in front of the scene while businessmen took strolls across the bridge with their morning lattes. If this was any sort of window into what a morning in San Antonio consists of, then count me in!

Now on the road again, we couldn’t help but make an adventure out of refilling our gas tank. Rolling down the side street with one of our last few drops of fuel, we arrived at the mansion, or as a Madisonian might call it, Beer Manor. This work of art began we back in 1968 when a retired upholsterer found a way to recycle his habits (beer drinking) while cutting costs on his utility bills.

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The Beer Can House

Behold: The Beer Can House, Houston’s legacy.

We didn’t arrive in New Orleans until about 6:00PM that night, but that certainly didn’t matter. A short ten minute walk around the block later, and we were on a streetcar headed downtown.

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Palm Tree

 

Shoving my spare change into the machine, I went and found a spot in the back of the empty car. I stared out the window, watching the oversized trees and pillared houses fly by until awaken from my daze by a,

“LAST STOP LADIES!”

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Downtown NOLA

Jumping to my feet, I swiftly walked to the door and out into the life of NOLA. The sun was about to set, so we got in position for the show down at the water’s edge, waiting for the ball to drop. As the orange sphere grew with intensity, so did the noise in the streets. Dipping below the horizon, it was now time for a new show to begin on Bourbon Street.

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New Orleans Boat

Passionate musicians blaring their instruments, strong horses plodding the sidewalks and shouting friends riding their neon bicycles down the streets, awakened the somewhat quiet city. We sat down at a rooftop bar with an aerial view of the chaos and ordered a dish of gator bites to share. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but as the pickiest-eater-in-the-world-probably, I can confirm these things are to die for; think exotic popcorn chicken.

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NOLA Street Musicians

Popping the last bite into my mouth, the table began to shake….Earthquake? Forreal 2020? I mean, at least I’d be dying happy. Peering over the balcony’s edge, we spotted the real earthquake: Someone must’ve just dropped a new mixtape because their low rider was bumping down Bourbon, shaking the local businesses with its beats.

“Welcome to New Orleans!” the bartender exclaimed as we grabbed our drinks to go and ran to follow the tunes into the night…

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