The last part of my Trek America experience was Natchez and New Orleans. I couldn’t believe it was nearly the end of the trip at this point, it honestly felt like I’d been away for ages.
The first stop before hitting Natchez was to the 19th Century antebellum mansion. Monmouth Inn. Reflecting all that is charming about the South, expect gracious hospitality, excellent cuisine, historic tours of the house and a lovingly restored garden (quote from http://www.monmouthhistoricinn.com/). The house was beautiful and they’d restored it so it looked very similar to how it used to be years ago. We were given a tour of the house and gardens and then to our surprise were serenaded with opera singers! WOW, it was a truly amazing experience! I had never really heard opera in the flesh before, and certainly not that intimately; their voices filled the room and it was very cool.
After Monmouth, we headed into the main town of Natchez and checked into our hotel which overlooked the Mississippi river. We quickly got freshened up and then headed to a local brewery where lots of important people from Natchez were waiting for us to welcome us. It was mad that they had all gathered there for us! There was food, games, live music and it was a pretty cool evening. We even witnessed the most amazing pink skies over the Mississippi river.
Our time in Natchez was only one night, and the next morning we were in the minibus again and heading back to where we started, New Orleans. I was really excited about this because we’d got a sneak peek of it when we first arrived and it looked like a really cool place to explore.
On route, we stopped off for a quick swamp tour where we spotted many alligators. That was a unique experience for sure seeing them in their natural habitat. I think at one point there was like 8 surrounding the boat!
After our swamp tour, we continued to New Orleans and back to the French Quarter. On our way driving through, we had to make some pit stops though because we kept spotting the most amazing colourful houses. They were definitely all #goals.
When we arrived, we ditched our belongings and went out to explore the French Quarter, strolling through the little streets, stumbling on the cutest shops. We spent the afternoon and evening here and it was a lot of fun. I didn’t realise how lively it was! You can drink on the street and everyone basically bar crawls in the evening.
We were on our very last day now, I think our flight home was around 9pm in the evening so we still had some time to explore. We were taken to the Mardi Gras float museum which was so much fun. There were some mad floats people had created! I couldn’t believe how big they were, we don’t have anything like that in the UK so it was really interesting to see how they were created and the detail and effort that’s put into them. That took up the morning and for the rest of the day we were driven around different parts of New Orleans and stopped off at a few places for some snaps and a bit more exploring. One of my favourite things I stumbled upon was an art studio belonging to Ashley Longshore! Her designs are insane and so me! Think sequins, glitter, sparkles, the lot! I also need to own her throne!
So that was it! Trek America was over. But my god I had the best experience with the best bunch of people. I would honestly recommend it to everyone! Don’t be shy! I was all those years ago when I looked into doing it but then backed out last minute. I’m so glad I was given this opportunity to go! So thank you so so much Trek!