We did a similar trip some 15 yrs or so ago. Flew into some airport in mid-Florida and drove around The Bay towards New Orleans.
The main thing that i remember is a dichotomy - how friendly the average American can be and yet how insular and unwelcoming some can be as well.
We had a great time in a little town called Destin on the Florida panhandle, yet a few days later my mate and i were threatened with a gun in a bar in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Alabama for simply not being from that town. Mind you, when we were in Destin we mentioned to a bunch of Texan ladies that we were planning on driving through Alabama, and even they told us to drive straight through as Alabamans are considered odd and backwards even by other Deep South folk!
We had a bit of a weird one in New Orleans though...
The sat. night was one of the lads birthday, so we were out on the booze. We went to a table dancing bar which three of us found pretty boring and offputting to be honest whilst the other two were in their element. The three of us wandered of and found a rock music bar, the othert two stayed in the titty bar.
Apparently, after a while they fell out of that bar and got into a taxi, told the driver to "take us to where the girls are..."
Driver duly delivered them to a bar and told them they'd have a good time inside. In they went and at the bar is this stunning (and tall) blonde girl, huge boobs and dressed like the proverbial Daisy Duke (not of this parish!)
Anyway, Gumpy decided he wanted to have a go and chats to the lass before going off into a back room. The other chap G, buys a beer and thinks "hmm, she was hot".
A little while later gumpy comes running out almost in tears, grabs hold of G and attempts to drag him into the street. G, thinking gumpy had been rolled for his cash is ready for a fight (& at 6'3 & 19 stone he's a bit handy). Gumpy drags him into a taxi and recounts the tale..
Seems she told him it was the wrong time of the month and would he like to take an alternative approach to penatrative sex...
Afterwards she rolled over, opened her legs to display what was actually there and said "Your turn now Hun!"
I found out the next morning whilst swimming in the pool, couldn't understand why gumpy was so miserable til i was told then i nearly drowned laughing. Gumpy tried to swear us all to silence, of course we went to the nearest internet cafe and e-mailed the rugby club...