As I drove east from Texas, the road trip took on an unmistakable feeling of wrapping up. I was back in the southeast.
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Bossier City sits on the east bank of the Red River, opposite Shreveport, in northern Louisiana.
- Horseshoe Bossier City
- Boomtown Bossier City
- Diamond Jacks Casino Resort
- Margaritaville Resort Casino
Horseshoe comped me a spacious hotel room with a view of the other three through floor-to-ceiling windows.
The soaring hotel itself has a Beau Rivage feel, with its front fountains and small shopping esplanade.
In addition to the buffet, it hosts several restaurants, including 8 Oz., where the burgers are excellent.
The attached two-storey riverboat casino is fairly small. Central tables encircled by slot machines fill the first level. The high-limit room on the second level offers a lovely view of the sunset over the Red River.
Ever since my early visits to Las Vegas, I’ve loved waking up in hotel rooms to the sight of neon casino signs through wall-length windows.
I set out to see a couple of them up close, taking a long walk first past Boomtown and then to Diamond Jacks.
Sporting running shoes, sticky from the humidity, and generally looking like I’d just been camping, I didn’t go inside. But I did peruse Diamond Jacks’ small walk of fame, featuring well-worn stars for entertainers like Wayne Newton who’ve performed there.
After a fun couple of days in Bossier City, I headed to another casino town: Tunica, Mississippi.
Gold Strike stands tall and gleaming, like Horseshoe Bossier City, on the outside; the hotel lobby inside is open and spacious, and the casino is big and busy.
Horseshoe has a downtown Vegas feel to it, with its big but not as busy casino. The hotel comped me a cozy room for a night, and I moved on to Tennessee.
It’s been six years since I last visited downtown Nashville, but it seems like another life ago. My companion then had previously been a reporter there and knew it well. He was also one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, and a great travel companion, mostly because he was like me: curious about everything, with a taste for the finer things. He passed away last year, but I wonder whether he’d even recognize Nashville now. It has really changed. The Southern streets we strolled are now a tourist mecca with more bus and truck bars per capita than I’ve ever seen.
From there I went to walk along the Cumberland River and found my way to the reconstructed Fort Nashborough, built for the protection of early settlers in the area.
Today, the Tennessee Titans’ Nissan Stadium stands on its opposite river bank.
Partly for memory’s sake and partly to escape the heat, I popped in to the trendy Hotel Indigo.
I sat on a comfy stool at its black lobby bar and sipped my second cocktail of the trip, called a Kelsi, a refreshing cucumber-y vodka-based drink.
The road trip is drawing to a close. It’s been amazing, but it hasn’t given me much time to sit quietly and think. One of the purposes of the trip was to see places I haven’t seen before. A logistical quirk had brought me back to Nashville, but I realized it’s changed so much that it’s almost like seeing it for the first time too.
I wonder what other old places I can visit anew.
I fell in love with travel on a trip to Mexico when I was nine years old. Since then, I’ve travelled the globe from Israel to El Salvador. I’ve skied the Swiss Alps and hiked national parks like Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, and Virgin Islands. I’ve marvelled at masterpieces in the Prado, the Uffizi, the Huntington, and the National Gallery of Art. I’ve stayed in a cabin on a mountaintop in Norway and on a kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and been kicked out of the Ritz at the Place Vendôme. I’ve taken cooking classes from New England to the Caribbean, and watched a chef prepare traditional shakshuka in the kitchen of his restaurant in Tel Aviv. I weave historical research and my personal experiences together in writing this blog. I hope you find it helpful. Read more …