U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Three (Louisiana to Missouri)

U.S. Road Trip Week Three

After crossing the big wide state of Texas in week two, this week started with an epic day of gluttony in the New Orleans French Quarter. We filled our bellies with pralines, boudin and beignets and then turned north so Ian could experience the best baseball in the country and what I think is one of the most unique state parks in the entire U.S.

For the third week in a row, here is a photographic recap of our spring and summer road trip across the U.S. This week we’ve got a balance of city and nature, with lots of delicious food and wonderfully varied weather in between. 

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You can get an overview of our trip each week here on the blog, but we’re posting almost daily updates of our cross-country U.S. road trip on Facebook and Instagram.

Bourbon Street street sign, French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

Bourbon Street in the New Orleans French Quarter // Read about our epic Cheat Day from the 4HB diet in New Orleans.

bridge at Missouri border over Mississippi River

Entering Missouri across the Mississippi River

We’re camping our way around the U.S. Want to know what gear we use? Check out 5 of our summer camping essentials here.

States Visited This Week

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi*
  • Tennessee*
  • Arkansas*
  • Missouri

*just passing through

States Visited in Previous Weeks

Total States Visited So Far: 10

California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri

Ian at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri

Ian’s first time at Johnson’s Shut-Ins Missouri State Park


  • New Orleans, LA
  • Lambert’s Cafe, home of the ‘Throwed-Roll’ in Sikeston, MO
  • St. Louis, MO
  • The Arch and Old Cathedral in downtown St. Louis, MO
  • The Hill, a famous Italian neighborhood in St. Louis, MO
  • Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, MO
  • Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, MO
  • Elephant Rock State Park, MO
tadpoles at Johnson Shut-Ins Missouri State Park

tadpoles at Johnson’s Shut-Ins Missouri State Park

Crawfish at the Farmers Market in the New Orleans French Quarter

Crawfish at the Farmers Market in the New Orleans French Quarter

In the shut-ins at Johnson Shut-Ins Missouri State Park

Diana in the shut-ins at Johnson’s Shut-Ins Missouri State Park


  • Cheat Day on our diet, featuring all the must-have food and drinks in the New Orleans French Quarter
  • Finally visiting Lambert’s Cafe — after seeing a childhood’s worth of TV ads for the Home of the ‘Throwed-Roll’ — and it being everything I could have hoped for and MORE (oversized, warm, buttery rolls THROWN to you with apple butter and molasses to spread on them, all-you-can-eat ‘pass-arounds’ including black-eyed peas, fried okra, fried potatoes… live piano music, servers in suspenders with country accents). Watch us catch them in our Lambert’s Cafe video below!

[Video] Lambert’s Cafe: ‘Home of the Throwed-Roll’

  • Hanging out with my cousins at Busch Stadium for a St. Louis Cardinals win against the Arizona Diamondbacks (I forgot to mention last week that we SAW a diamondback rattlesnake at Saguaro National Park. Cool, huh?)
  • Returning to my favorite childhood Missouri State Park, Johnson’s Shut-Ins, and having Ian think it was just as awesome as I do (the tadpoles are still there!!!)
  • Camping at Johnson’s Shut-Ins for the first time and waking up to a thunderstorm pouring down on our tent in the early morning hours (and staying DRY despite it — read more about our REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent here.)
  • Rehearsal at the Old Cathedral, dinner at Zia’s on the Hill, and Welcome Party at Busch Stadium (another Cardinals WIN, this time vs the Dodgers) for my friend Kristen’s wedding

Notes and Insights

  • On our road trip playlist this week: The Naked and Famous and The Lumineers
  • Our favorite 4HB road meals this week: Steak ‘n Shake taco salad and Steak ‘n Shake chili
swimming at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park

Diana at Johnson’s Shut-Ins, the 4-Hour Body diet is paying off!

Crystal clear water at Johnson Shut-Ins Missouri State Park

Crystal clear water at Johnson’s Shut-Ins Missouri State Park

Elephant Rocks Missouri State Park

Diana at Elephant Rocks Missouri State Park

Photo Gallery

"Home of the Throwed-Roll" Cardinals game at Busch Stadium "nature's water park" -- rocky clear water at Johnson Shut-Ins Missouri State Park on a road trip in Midwest Ian Norman at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park Boudin on a stick at Cajun Jerky and Meats at the French Quarter Farmers' Market pralines at the New Orleans French Quarter Farmers Market Bloody Marys and gumbo at The Gazebo in the New Orleans French Quarter Cafe Du Mondé beignets in the New Orleans French Quarter Cafe Du Mondé beignets in the New Orleans French Quarter Swimming at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park Elephant Rocks Missouri State Park

All photos were taken by Ian and Diana with the Sony a7 II (Ian’s camera), Sony RX100 III (Diana’s camera — review here) and our smartphones.

Week Four Preview

  • Seeing one of my best friends from school get married (and being one of her bridesmaids) at the historic Old Cathedral in St. Louis
  • Hanging out with my twin brother in Chicago (our first time in this city)
  • The Bean, Michigan Ave and downtown Chicago

I hope you enjoyed our week three U.S. road trip re-cap! In case you missed them, check out week one and week two. Have you road-tripped to any of these U.S. locations? Tell us about your trips in the comments.

Until next week, follow us on Facebook for the latest news and photos from our trip.

About the Author

Diana Southern
In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.

2 Responses

  1. Haley Stroup October 4, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    I’m also from St. Louis, I also went to Truman, and I love your blog. It was one of the first to pop up on Pinterest when I searched “European travel.” What you’re doing is cool. I love knowing that your circumstances were incredibly similar to mine, and you’re pulling it off! Good luck with everything!

    • Diana Southern October 5, 2015 / 8:58 am

      Thanks for your comment, Haley! It’s nice to connect with another Midwestern girl. 🙂

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