We left our friend’s parent’s house in Naples and drove to Florida’s capital – Tallahassee. Yes, we didn’t know it was the capital either! We drove to a cinema, hoping to make the late night session of Dunkirk. We made it with a few minutes to spare, so after walking through the metal detectors and passed the police and security we decided to jump in line because who can go to the movies without getting popcorn and a drink? Probably lots of people but I am not one of them. This need to get popcorn and a drink did cause us to be late by a couple of minutes (oopps!) nevertheless, the movie was amazing and we were so glad we booked a hotel right across the road. Our excitement quickly evaporated as we checked in through what seemed like a bulletproof glass window and were watched by what we assumed was another guest. Once we got our room key we drove around to our room and started grabbing our things from the van. As we were doing this we noticed that the guy was watching us was walking around the corner with another guy by his side. It was at this point that I asked Mark to “maybe bring the axe inside the room”. To which he looked at me, looked at the guys and then told me to take our things inside. At first neither of us felt threatened but after spending a decent amount of time in the States we had watched enough news to see how quickly things could escalate. The guys eventually reached our room and because Mark was still outside asked him for a light. They stayed for a minute or so before walking away. Mark eventually came inside and we discussed how we both thought they were pimps for whoever was occupying the rooms a few doors up from ours. Our simple movie night turned out to be rather interesting as we fell asleep with an axe and two cans of bear spray beside the bed.
It’s safe to say we didn’t have the best sleep, you know, with the axe and bear spray beside our bed just in the backs of our minds which meant we were up early. Our destination for the day was New Orleans. We had been told to stay in the French Quarter so we booked another hotel and made our way there. The hotel was beautiful but we didn’t spend much time there as we were out exploring New Orleans or NOLA as the locals like to say. Our first full day we explored the French Quarter and found that although the city itself was pretty it was really dirty and smelt bad. The next day we ventured out to check out the surrounding areas of the French Quarter and enjoyed those parts of New Orleans a lot more. As we were walking along some small streets we noticed the blue sky had disappeared and been replaced with a light grey, within minutes this light grey turned to a super dark grey and all of a sudden rain started to fall. It went from blue skies to heavy rain within minutes so we ran to hide under a huge tree whilst we waited for our Uber to arrive. He eventually showed up in a black Jeep and when we jumped in I noticed that he had what I can only describe as a huge beanie on his head. This beanie was so huge because it was covering his mass of dreadlocks. He reminded me of the twins in 22 Jump Street that always say the same thing simultaneously. We went back to our hotel and hang out there to wait out the rain and once it stopped we ventured out to meet up with an old colleague of Mark’s. She had been travelling through America with her boyfriend so we spent the rest of the night hanging out with them, eating and drinking our way through New Orleans. To top it all off we ended our night with a visit to a blues and jazz bar. We figured it was a perfect end to our stay in NOLA.
We had treated ourselves to some nice hotel stays in Key West and New Orleans and with our next stop being Austin, Texas, we decided it wasn’t going to hurt to treat ourselves once more. Mark found an amazing hotel in Austin and we stayed for a couple of days exploring the city. Austin immediately become one of our favourite cities in America. We stayed in the South Congress part of Austin and it was brilliant. We were able to ride into the main part of the city and to the outskirts so we could explore even further. We walked down to a huge park by the river and thought it looked like such a nice spot to relax that we laid down on the grass and admired the sky. I’m not sure what is wrong with us these days but every time we look up at the sky it turns grey. And so while lying on the grass in a park in Austin rain began to fall just like it did in New Orleans. It was not all bad news though because I did manage to get this photo of Mark on my polaroid camera.
My souvenir from Austin? This photo.