Happy Mardi Gras!
Last year I was so privileged to have the opportunity to head down to New Orleans for a week long celebration of Mardi Gras… and I fell in love.
This is how it all began….
One of my close family friends, EW, had gone to college at Tulane. She loved New Orleans so much that she continued to live there for a couple years after she graduated. Because now she relocated back in the DC area… I had always deeply regretted the fact that I had never gone down to visit her and the lovely city while she lived there. I thought I had missed my chances. But turns out, for my birthday present she hooked me up with a plane ticket, and told me we were heading down to New Orleans, aka, NOLA for Mardi Gras. I was beyond excited.
As the weeks came closer and closer to our departure date, EW tried to prepare me.
“You know how people say New York, is the city that doesn’t sleep?” She asked.
“Yep. Everyone knows that. “
“Well they are wrong, it’s really New Orleans.” She told me.
She was so right about that one. There were nights in NOLA during our week long Mardi Gras celebration, where we got home by 6am and was leaving the house again by 10 am.
She explained, “A drink will never leave our hands.”
“Ok,” I answered
“Always remember though this is a drinking marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.”
This was a great thing to remember, and because I am a runner I could totally understand this metaphor. You won’t get sick or throw up if you slowly drink. You won’t ever be hung over, if you are still drinking.
So this is why I fell in love with NOLA…
NOLA is beautiful. I love to create beauty and be surrounded by it. The architecture in NOLA is outstanding. There wasn’t one house or building that didn’t have character. Some places had a lot of Southern influence, while others had Spanish and French influences.
NOLA taste good. The food was amazing. I ate grits and shrimp, po’boy sandwiches, cajun spices, fries deep fried in goose fat, gumbo, jambalaya, a craw fish bake, oysters, and beignets. Nothing taste bad, I even tried frog legs.
NOLA quenches your thirst. You don’t have to chug your beer here, because you can ask your bar tender for a to go cup. Drinking in the street is totally legal. There is a bar called BullDog, who lets you take your pint glass home with you. It is a popular place among the locals – I highly recommend it. Hurricanes are NOLA’s signature drink.
NOLA plays Jazz music, or you can karaoke.
NOLA loves to dance, sometimes in the street.
NOLA wears costumes.
NOLA loves giving gifts. Sometimes beads…
sometimes South Park toys…
NOLA will party hard, and then sleep hard…
NOLA is highly influenced by the Catholic traditions, which is the whole point of Mardi Gras anyway. Live it up today, for tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.
There are so many amazing things about NOLA and it made me a little sad today, that I wasn’t down there, this year celebrating. But I am so happy, I experienced it last year, and was able to share my memories with you.
Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope it treated you well…
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