Recently I saved up enough money to take a trip down to New Orleans with my friend. It was a city we had both really wanted to visit for a long time and it just seemed like the right time to take the trip. So, while my friend was busy working on her college courses, I was planning our trip. When it came time to book a place to stay that was affordable, I decide to try a new method and use a company which I will not name. This company, that I will not name, made it easy to choose a house or apartment or what have you to stay in while you are on your trip. It was so much cheaper than staying in any hotel in the area and with the money we had it seemed to be the better option. Let me tell you, we were wrong. Of course I research the house we were staying in, I did a Google Earth search of the street and how far away it was from the French Quarter and all that good stuff. There were hundreds of reviews from people who all said they loved it and felt safe in the area so I felt really confident about booking it.
So fast forward to our arrival. It’s about 9 p.m. which was earlier than we expected to land and we’re on our way to the apartment. As we’re driving we pass some very sketchy building with boarded up windows and graffiti written every where. Of course my friend looks over to me with wide eyes and asks if this is the right place. At that point I was a little weary but I still held on to the comments from the company’s website. We get to the house/apartment and there are no lights on. I was a little surprised the cab driver didn’t wait for us to get in, but he left us there alone. On the street, with our luggage, with no one around. We knocked on the doors, rang the bell, even called the home owner several times with no answer. I knew we were in the right place because of the picture I had seen on the website, and there were lights on in the back of the building. So we both decide to call our moms because we were stuck on the street of a city we had never been to before. On cue, a rather drunk guy with his dog appeared around the corner cursing up a storm. My friend decides we need to get off the street. But where do we go? She pulls me off to the porch of the nearby house and opens the front door. She opens. The front. Door. It’s unlocked with no sign of anyone home and she decides to step inside pulling me to come in. Now, my friend is an expert at a lot of things. She probably the smartest person I know, but this kids is not how you get away from creepy drunk men on the street. After realizing it was a bad idea she steps back out onto the porch. I’m still on the phone with my mom waiting for her to call the company or the guy so we get be safe. Again, on cue a drunk woman hops out of a cab stumbling around the streets. So now there are two drunks on the dark street and two girls from Jersey with their luggage. My friends next choice was ten times better than her first. She pulled both of us behind the gate of the house so we were hiding in someones back yard. Now, we can clearly see the house we were supposed to stay in, the side doors were wide open and they even let out their two dogs which we ended up playing with while we waited for a cab to get us the hell out of there. We got into our new cab after what felt like forever and luckily got the best driver in the world. He was so nice about everything and told us when you stay in a city you don’t know you should probably stay in a hotel to be safe. He told us about his daughter and how if she was in our shoes he would couldn’t imagine what he’d do.
So, we get to a mainstream hotel on Canal street that cost double (if not more) the price of our first choice, but we bit the bullet and paid. When we got to our room it was around 11:30 and we were both going back and forth with our moms and the company about what just happened. It was then that I received a call from the home owner who cursed my mom off and decided to blame us for not showing up to the correct address. I confirmed with the owners partner that they had two Sharpei’s. We were in the right spot they just didn’t answer. Never again will I use that company which I will not name. Welcome to New Orleans.