Spencer McKeown
Day One: April 24
On Tuesday we left at 5 am and took a long bus ride to New Orleans. After multiple stops for bathroom breaks, food stops, and gas we finally made it. Once we got there the bus dropped us off at Mother’s, an original New Orleans sub and food shop. I wasn’t all that impressed with the restaurant personally. After we left Mother’s, we took a walk to our hotel the Drury Inn and Suites. Our hotel was located in the downtown business district of New Orleans. The rooms were extremely nice featuring a fridge, microwave, flat screen, and two double beds. Located on the rooftop was a hot tub and pool, an amazing view could be seen from the two.
Day Two: April 25
Day two we woke up early in the morning and some of us were still pretty tired from the day before. However, some coffee and a good hot breakfast was what we needed. We then loaded up a bus and picked up an amazing tour guide named Wolf. Wolf took us on a Katrina tour of New Orleans. This tour covered all areas from the Lower Ninth Ward, the French Quarter, and then took us to some amazing cemeteries. Many of the houses in the Lower Ninth were still boarded up, but only feet away were some of the most interesting looking houses built by Brad Pitt’s organization Make It Right. Also on the tour, we drove across a famous bridge where a bridge shooting took place. The port of New Orleans was visible from a bridge, the tallest of its kind in the world. After leaving the Lower Ninth and finishing our tour we found ourselves in an extremely nice district of New Orleans.
My second part of the trip was the Cajun Swamp Tour. I had a buffet of some of the best New Orleans jambalaya and gumbo they had prepared for us. We loaded up on a boat and began our tour of the swamps and started looking for alligators. Our tour guide was amazing and knew a lot about the swamp and was able to talk to the alligators like they were his pets. He fed them chicken out of his hand, which was a site that I will never forget.
After leaving the swamp tour we headed back to downtown New Orleans and got to spend some time on the Riverwalk, a shopping center with a variety of interesting shops. Once we left the Riverwalk we headed to PinkBerry, a yogurt shop, to meet with a man from the Make it Right foundation. This gentleman talked with us about why they built the houses the way they did. He also told us that a lot of the complaints about the houses were inaccurate because the shotgun houses were mainly in the French quarter not the lower ninth.
We then left and grabbed a quick dinner at the hotel. Later on that night, we walked up to a Jazz Festival a few blocks away. The music was definitely interesting and the park was absolutely swamped with people, who gave off a chill vibe. After that we went back to the hotel and enjoyed some hot tub and pool action then retired for the night.
Day Three: April 26
We woke up early again the next morning then our classes broke up and headed different directions. Our class and Dr. Deege’s class left and first went to talk with Idea Village and Launch Pad. After visiting with these two companies we hopped onto the St. Charles trolley cars and headed to Tulane University, to talk about their entrepreneurship school. This school was absolutely beautiful and the people we spoke with were very happy to talk with us and tell us about their experiences. Then we were able to eat some Panda Express which was amazing. After leaving Tulane we went to the University of New Orleans and spoke with Hero Farm. Hero Farm consisted of two men who left a larger marketing agency and decided to start their own. We then left and went to Southern University of New Orleans and talked with some of the entrepreneurship professors. We talked about their program as well as the aftermath of Katrina. SUNO was devastated by Katrina. The campus now consists of a few brand new dorm rooms, one new school building, and 48 double wide trailers that are used as offices and class rooms. Just by driving onto the campus you can see the impact Katrina had on this school.
Later that night was by far my favorite part of the trip. We came back and went to Rock N’ Bowl. The Rock N’ Bowl is a bowling alley that features New Orleans style music and bowling lanes. While there we enjoyed everything from dancing, bowling, and mainly the time of interacting with fellow students. After leaving the Rock N’ Bowl we went back to the hotel spent a little time in the hot tub and pool once again then went to bed.
Day Four: April 27
We all woke up early in the morning again to unfortunately load up the bus and leave New Orleans. After loading up the bus we took off in groups. My group briefly toured Bourbon Street, one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Orleans, and then made our way to the Jackson Square shopping centers. We detoured back to Bourbon to eat at Cajun Pride and some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life. We tasted gator and had one of the best pastas ever. We met up and then loaded the bus to head back to Canton, Missouri.