This is a big one! I am so happy to cross #34: Go to New Orleans with Kris (carried over from 2011) off my 2012 goal list! (My favorite meal of all time, red beans and rice, pictured above.)
Words cannot explain how excited I was to go back to New Orleans. I used to live in the area when I was young and haven’t been back since I was a tween. It was a great trip full of alcohol, food, and old memories. Not in that order. Okay… maybe in that order.
We spent a few days being drunk and bloated tourists, but the most significant part of the trip was when we went outside of the French Quarter and visited the Hurricane Katrina-devastated 9th Ward, as well my old house in Harvey.
A few random things I learned/experienced:
- I lived there as a child, so I wasn’t exposed to this side of New Orleans, but you can imagine my delight when I found out that you can drink alcohol in the street. You can even drink in the museums, well the Voodoo Museum.
- I drank absinthe for the first time, which I enjoyed at the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. There is an actual carousel. In a bar. It rotates.
- Flooding could change the course of the Mississippi River away from New Orleans. Read more.
- There were a lot of pregnant tourists who accompanied their alcohol-drinking husbands. I found that odd and monumentally not fun for the pregnant women.
- There are major pockets of stink. You know those warm/cold spots in the ocean you randomly swim into? It’s like that, but with the air. Sometimes you get hit with funk like a brick wall.
- The rain brought out prehistoric, mutant bugs with the power to cause volcano-sized bites.
- I must have a never-ending stomach. At one point, Kris said to me, “I don’t want to eat anymore.”
- Sure, I’m not the biggest shellfish fan, but seriously, WTF is that monster between two perfect pieces of bread that you call a fried soft shell crab po’boy?!?!
- I had praline-crusted bacon. Whoa there, indeed.
- It was hot, like 80 degrees. But not like a D.C. 80 degrees. It felt approximately 167 degrees.
- The above-ground cemeteries are beautiful.