Geishas, Gypsies, Adventure, Oh My! What a wacky vacation! - My Family Travels

It started when we stepped into unfamiliar territory filled with men dressed as geishas, women dressed as Elvis Presley, mystic gypsies, and rainbow-feathered, human parrots. Quaking in my pink Nike’s and wringing a map of the city in my hands, I peered up at the rectangular, green sign: ‘Bourbon Street’ it boldly displayed. While trying to find the Mardi Gras parade on Canal Street, my cousin and I had taken a wrong turn and entered the chaotic streets of New Orleans.


My cousin, fresh off the plane from Seoul, Korea, gawked at the site before him. A bearded lady in a neon pink ensemble coyly winked at him and continued on her way. The surreal site jumbled my mind, and I began to break out in cold sweat as the air around me seemed suffocating.’Tom, stay calm, and we’ll find out how to get back to Canal Street,’ I squeaked.Frantically, I opened my map, hoping that all the different colored squiggles and lines would direct us to our destination.

My imagination ran wild as I thought of the idea of being kidnapped or never seeing my family again. My eyes darted left to right and pinpointed my curious cousin peering at a group of men powdered with white flour, black wigs secured on their heads, and wearing a red, silk kimono swaying to the sound of music and fluttering their flowered fans; they were beckoning us to join them.Tom turned to me and in his broken English he asked, ‘Beautiful — women?’Knocking down a grungy pirate, I grabbed my cousin’s arm and raced down the cluttered street, weaving through the gypsies and tin-foil men. My heart pounded loudly and I could hear it vibrating in my ear; it was not until later that I realized the loud banging was actually a drummer boy nearby and not the beating of my heart.

Gulping for air, my eyes darted frantically and finally, spotting a sign with bold letters that said ‘Everyone is Welcome,’ Tom and I entered a maroon, Victorian house, hoping to find a map or a phone. ‘Come in,’ a husky voice beckoned. ‘Excuse me but is there a phone that I could use?’ I asked, my voice small and quivering.

A woman emerged, clothed in a violet skirt and a long white blouse. In one hand she held a shrunken head and in the other hand a vial of green powder. Through my shock it took great effort to close my jaw.

Her long grey hair framed her inquisitive face. She beckoned us into a chair and glided to a gnarled, wooden bench across form us. My cloak of terror slowly melted away and was replaced with wonder and even slight amusement.

The woman stroked her shrunken head and quietly hummed a Frank Sinatra song. ‘You are on a quest’ she finally said, shattering the silence. ‘You…you need a vial of my protection spell and I can provide that for a mere twenty dollars.’ Shaking my head politely I tugged on Tom’s jacket and we slowly retreated into the sunlight.

After a moment of silence, we burst out into a roar of laughter. Retracing our steps back towards the strange festivities, we spotted our parents uncomfortably standing between a group of colorful hula dancers and the male geishas we had met earlier. Never have I experienced such a bizarre vacation, but I do hope to stumble upon another adventure even wackier than this one in the future.

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.