If you didn't read my last post, Zach and I just got back from our spring break trip to New Orleans! We thought we were really prepared for the trip, but once we arrived we realized that we weren't as smart as we thought we were. We had prepared for the weather, the humidity, and made plans for what to do while we were there but we still missed preparing for some things that would have been helpful to know. Just in case anyone was wondering, I thought I would share the things I wish I knew before flying 3/4 of the way across the country.
1) Walking is the fastest way to get around. Unlike here in Southern California, taking a Lyft or an Uber is not going to get you anywhere in a hurry. Every night on our way to dinner we would check to see if calling a car would be easier or faster but it never was. Walking everywhere not only saved us a ton of money, but it also saved us 10-20 minutes everywhere we went! The French Quarter is so crowded in the afternoon and evening that some of the streets get closed off to cars. The rest of them have so many people in them that it just takes forever to get through. Zach ended up with sore ankles from wearing the wrong shoes and I ended up with multiple blisters in places I wouldn't have even thought possible. If you are planning on doing anything more than just staying in your hotel, make sure to bring comfortable shoes that you won't mind walking all over the city in.
2) California has different standards of dress than the rest of the country. I packed some sundresses, jeans, t-shirts, and sandals figuring that I could pretty much make an outfit for any occasion out of what I packed. Just for good measure, I threw I medium-formal dress, a blouse, and a pair of wedges. In Southern California, wearing jeans is acceptable for almost any occasion so I figured I would be fine. Zach, luckily, packed a blazer and a couple of button up shirts for the trip or we really would have been in trouble. Most of the restaurants we went to for dinner had a business casual dress code that specified no jeans. Some of them even said jacket preferred. Even just for day-to-day activities, I noticed that all the locals, or at least people visiting from the south, all were dressed much cuter than I was and NO ONE (besides me) was wearing flip-flops. If you live outside Orange County, maybe you think I am crazy for saying jeans were my plan for the whole trip, but if you are from here and are planning a trip to New Orleans, make sure you bring plenty of "dressy casual" and business casual clothes.
3) Everything moves just a little bit slower. This really was not something I was expecting. From the moment our plane touched down, the passengers got off the plane slower. When we caught a Lyft to our hotel, the driver drove slower. People talked slower and waited longer to take our order at restaurants. When we were walking in the streets everyone walked slower and nobody seemed to mind. People ate slower shopped slower and greeted each other slower. I loved it! Zach was going insane.
I really try to plan for every trip we go on. I hate being unprepared and try to think of everything I can before a trip. Still, almost every time there are things I miss when planning. Have you ever had something pop up on your vacation that you weren't prepared for? Did it work out or did you have to scramble to come up with a solution? Let me know in the comments below so I know I am not the only one this happens to!