Day nine - the end of the journey in New Orleans....
Day 9 brings to an end this amazing road trip that has taken me in excess of 800 miles from Shreveport in North Louisiana to New Orleans in South Louisiana. I've seen great sites, met amazingly interesting people and tasted amazing food all across the state from Natchitoches to Lafayette and Lake Charles to Baton Rouge! Each and every port of call has its own interesting history that has in some way shaped what makes Louisiana the culturally eclectic melting pot that it is today. I have done this tour in nine whirlwind days, my trip has given me and hopefully anyone reading this a really brief taste of what the state has to offer. In truth I could have spent nine weeks and I'm sure I'd still be having to come back with a list of must do essentials for future visits.
Today I have managed to squeeze in a visit to the New Orleans School of cooking, with a mixture of so many cuisines from all over the globe this in my mind is an essential for any visitor. Take one of the participation classes would be my suggestion as you can show people the pictures and tell them the stories you've been told along your journey but what better way to give your friends a taste of Louisiana than to quite literally do that and cook up some Gumbo or Étouffée?
The final stop before I take my flight is a site that I'm pretty sure doesn't have the recognition it warrants either domestically or internationally though the team at the former home of one of the impressionism art movements founders are working hard to change that. Edgar Degas House is an interesting place as really it's a unique museum, in as much as the building itself and the part it played in the tumultuous life of Degas in America is the artefact, home to one of the art worlds most famous names. I must confess the fact I'm sipping a champagne and absinthe cocktail as I tour the property seems such an appropriate end to my time here.
I leave for the UK in the reassuring and comforting knowledge that I will be back in the far from distant future and a state that is constantly reinventing itself whilst not forgetting it's history will have many many more treats in store for me when I return.
To this end I extend a huge thank you to my hosts throughout the stay, of course there are specific people but what I really mean here is each and every Louisianan known by name or otherwise that I've met and invariably enjoyed an extended conversation with along the way.