Just before 1am we are standing on Tennessee Street waiting for a bus but this is no ordinary bus, this is “The Megabus” that is going to take us from here to New Orleans for less than $17 per person. It has not been since my college days that I have ridden a long haul bus in the US so I am sort of looking forward to reliving the experience.
As we leave the bus stop we are given a stern warning about drinking and smoking on the bus but it is difficult to take it serious when it is done with a “Southern Twang”. A 15 minute stop somewhere near Pensacola for other chance at “Southern” exposure then we are on the road again.
I vaguely remember hearing “Mobile” in my sleep before dawn's early light is giving me a morning view of the New Orleans skyline. Around 7am we come to a stop on the streets of New Orleans not too far from the outskirts of the French Quarter.
Although our parental plan calls for us to take taxi's from here to the cruise terminal, we are trumped by our group of new graduates mostly from the business school who would rather save us the money and walk. I vote to give them all jobs at the Congressional Budget Office.
Our walk begins with a near miss of being hit by nothing less than a taxi. It is a beautiful morning as we make our way along the streets of New Orleans. A few of the first timers to the city are surprised that bars are open at 7am but hey, this is New Orleans.
We lose a luggage wheel along the way but this problem is quickly solved with a new set of wheels thanks in part to Lowes. I see the potential that most of our cruise expenses can be subsidized before we even set sail.
For a “Big Easy” first timer no trip to the city would be complete with a stop at the world famous Cafe du Monde. We beat the early morning lines and enjoy eight orders of the good stuff on the outside patio.
Another attempt to get a taxi at only $7 per person is thwarted so we continue our walk along the New Orleans Riverfront.
Through a shopping mall our destination is now within easy striking distance. At the top of a steep set of stairs we say good bye to our friend from Lowes but hope he'll be there when we return. Our Dream adventure is about to begin.