I’m such a sucker for the romanticism of taking off on an epic cross-country road trip, I blame Britney Spears’ Crossroads (remember THAT gem?!), and have been itching to get out there on the road from one side of the country to the other, experiencing all of life’s adventures along the way for aaaages. But for a gal who loves the idea of the open road and everything it holds, I’ve never actually learnt to drive. I know, shocker. There was that one time where my Dad tried to teach me and I almost killed a dog in a caravan park, but that’s a story for another time…
So when a week ago I checked off a major to-do on my bucket list and set off with my buddies in the VENTH team roadtrippin’ from Orlando, Florida, and headed for Los Angeles, California, without any driving on my part at all, it was like all my Christmasses and birthdays had come at once. All I had to do was show up, get some work done and nap like a boss in the back seat.
And so far it’s been an absolute HOOT.
Like all good tales, I’ll start from the beginning. Setting off from Orlando, it had already been a pretty kick-ass day in my books, I’d interviewed We Are Scientists (one of my all time FAVE bands) over the phone from our motel, and gobbled down a stack of pancakes and fruit at the local diner – a dream morning by any standard. But pulling up to the RV park after breakfast to pick up our sweet ride really put the cherry on top, because we had no idea what to expect when it came to the chariot that would be taking us on our journey. That’s when the comedy really kicked in.
After a 15 minute instructional video (which none of us actually absorbed) we were led out to a car park of pretty ordinary van-sized motorhomes that looked like they would do the job just fine… and then past those to the BEAST hidden away at the back and presented with a literal bus! Not only boasting three double beds, bunk beds, a kitchen and a bathroom (which has since locked itself and I’m convinced is harbouring a fugitive), I’m pretty sure it has ample room for a swimming pool and a petting zoo, should we need some relaxation time on the road. If I could freeze the shock written across all of our faces at that exact moment, I would have it framed forever.
As you can imagine this only led to multiple giggle fits, with a small side of terror as nobody had driven anything this humongous before, as we set out on the road headed for our first official stop, Louisiana. Ahhh, #RVlife.
Visiting some friends in Houma, we stopped for a couple of days to really get stuck into life in the South – or at least what we imagined life in the South to be like, gorging on crawfish and trekking through the alligator infested swamps. That sounds about right, yeah?
The former a delicious experience at 1921 Seafood, a shack in amongst the bayou that is everything you picture a seafood shack in Louisiana being – incredible no-frills fresh food, fishing nets draped from the ceiling and charming decor. A true seafood-lover’s haven.
The latter a tense walk through Mandalay’s swampland, terrified a 12 foot alligator was about to charge us and chomp at our limbs. Thankfully, we managed to spot a ‘gator AND enjoy the abso beautiful surroundings with all limbs intact – just look at that view!
From Houma we headed to New Orleans, to let our hair down with cold beers, powdered to perfection beignets and all the jazz our hearts desired…
And to crush on the bright colours, raucous buskers and balconies of the French Quarter.
The whole city is pretty much a heart-eyed emoji around every corner, with classic cars, pastel houses and authentic music hidden away in spots you would never expect.
But the real star of the show? The one, the only, Mr Ronnie’s Doughnuts. Now, I’ve had plenty of doughnuts throughout my life – but Mr Ronnie’s hot glazed doughnuts are the best I’ve ever tasted. With a total of three trips throughout our short stay, we figured out the recipe to success in catching them straight out of the oven and were hooked. I’ve never been a crack addict, but I imagine the feeling to be a lot similar to that first delicious bite…
So far, life on the road IS all it’s cracked up to be – and there’s still plenty more to come. Next stop, Texas!
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