Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm BA-ACK!

I know. So you smelled.

New Orleans was wonderful!!!!! Five days and four nights of just me and Shakey free in the Big Easy. No real itinerary, no kids, no work...much fun!


It's so hard to describe the city I adore and what it is about it that I love to folks who have never been there.

Though Shakey had been there before, his visit was for work and so he didn't get to truly appreciate it. I think he's a convert now. It didn't hurt that we started our trip with dinner at Commander's Palace. Starting with a meal like that will soften even the toughest critic. Oh the turtle soup and the oysters and the crawfish veal dish and then the bananas foster! Mmmmm.

As a former resident, I felt like a HUGE tourist carting around my camera but I just knew you'd want to see pictures. So here's my photo essay of the trip.
Okay I lied. I don't have photos of the whole trip so I'll give you the rundown and include pictures as they're appropriate.

Thursday

Flight left on time, arrived early. The cab ride to the hotel revealed a bit of the damage caused by the hurrican, but frankly they parts of the suburbs and the city that I-10 cuts through wasn't the prettiest before the storm so it wasn't as obvious as I expected.

Arrived at the hotel and was pleasantly surprised considering the great rate we got through the United website. Good sized room overlooking the Mississippi and one of my favorite lunch dives (you'll see my obsession with great food as you read on). We unpacked, changed and headed to Commander's for a late dinner. It looks the same and the surrounding neighborhood (the Garden District) was relatively unharmed. As I mentioned earlier, the meal was amazing and we were both so stuffed we went back to the hotel and crashed. I don't think either of us slept very well the night before the trip (does that happen to you?).

Friday

Slept in (wink wink--did I mention no kids?). And man did we work up an appetite so...
Mmmm...jambalaya for Mamma and an Oyster Po Boy for Shakey.
Headed over to the New Orleans Arena for some Bball.


Memphis v. North Texas State; Nevada v. Creighton during the first session. We went back to the room, changed took a little rest and headed back for the second session of Arizona v. Purdue and Florida v. Jackson St. Jackson St. held on for a bit, but by the second half it was clear the game was over so we headed out with Florida 20 points up and went down to the Quarter to watch the rest of the Kentucky game (we're big UK fans in this house--though we weren't dumb enough to pick them to go past the first round in our pools). A few beers, UK won and we were off to walk through the Quarter.

To this day, I don't understand why people scream for beads on Bourbon Street. It's not Mardi Gras. Beads are for Mardi Gras. And this former resident is not about to expose the ladies for a few little beads (now a Zulu coconut on Mardi Gras day? That's an entirely different story. Have you seen those coconuts?! They're hand-painted! With glitter! Totally worth the flash.) So I snickered at the tourists (she says looking down her nose) and got off Bourbon Street as fast as we could. After four basketball games we were a little beat (sitting for so long is very tiring). As we walked back to the hotel, we had to pass



so we had to just walk through.

At 2:30 a.m. we left $639.00 richer!!!! Shakey won $339.00 at the $.25 slots and I spent two and half hours at the black jack table on $40 eventually walking away with $300. Yeah, we thought we were so cool! Shakey learned a life lesson too. About a half an hour into my black jack he came up and whispered in my ear.

Shakey: Did you know if you sit at the slot machines they give you FREE drinks?
Me: Uh...yah!
Shakey: This place is AWESOME! I'm going back to the slots. See Ya!
Me: [shaking my head] novice

A half an hour later:

Shakey: Did you know that if you sit at the bar and play video poker that they give you free drinks?
Me: Um...yep
Shakey: This place rocks!

Where has my husband been all his life?! Obviously not in a casino I guess.

Saturday--St. Patrick's Day

No games. No plans! We slept in--again. Looked down to check out the line at Mother's and guess what! No line!


More jambalaya and more oyster Po Boys. We're creatures of habit. And the food is so damn good.

After that we headed up to my alma mater.

If you had a magnifying glass, you'd be able to read the sign in the distance that says Tulane University. The campus was pretty quiet due to Spring Break, but it was nice to walk around. Not much has changed. We stopped by my old sorority house.
Where I discovered they had installed a porch swing.
Happy Mamma on the porch swing in her St. Patrick's Day boa. Doesn't everyone wear one to celebrate the holiday? If you haven't I recommend it highly. I felt very festive.

Then it was a stroll down St. Charles Avenue past the stately homes.


Just in the nick of time (we were getting thirsty) we happend upon Fat Harry's. Enjoying some beer and some basketball on their many TVs when all of the sudden I noticed this scene.
Now a cannon being drawn by four horses isn't the weirdest thing I've seen in New Orleans (by a long shot) but it wasn't what I expected to set my eyes upon as I gazed out the open front of the bar on a Saturday afternoon. I'm guessing they were returning home from the parade. The best part though was the gentleman tying them up to a lamp post so he could stop in for a drink.

At Fat Harry's we made friends with a lovely young man named George whose favorite saying was "It don't cost nothin'." This ended up being true for us since he was treating half of the bar (including us) to round after round of shots. I was sure glad it was the motto he settled on for the day.

Many beers and shots later, it was time to eat--again. I told you food would be a recurring theme. So we hailed a cab and I dragged Shakey back into the Quarter for the best hamburgers in the world!

Shakey agreed and he had had just enough to drink that he didn't complain too much about me taking silly pictures of him under yet another sign.

We walked off dinner through the Quarter where we saw this

and this

and then stopped here for a little dessert.

Nothing like hot beignets!

Then of course I had to take a picture of this eerie site. I've always loved it.


Sunday

More basketball. Happily Florida won, since I have them winning the whole thing.

Then dinner here.

[edited to add] I can't believe I forgot to mention the obligatory stop at Pat O'Brien's. I checked in on the Piano Bar because I didn't want to disappoint the Queen, but the weather was just too nice so we got a table at the patio bar right next to the flaming fountain. I have a great picture, taken by the Pat O's photographer, if only I could find a scanner that works.

Monday


Sadly, it was time to pack our bags. We had just enough time for a walk through the Quarter, lunch and a little shopping and then it was time to get on the plane.








I almost got teary during lunch. I hated leaving. I do know what it's like to miss New Orleans.

15 Deserve Mamma's Love:

PunditMom said...

Welcome back! So glad you had a "relaxing" time! ;)

karrie said...

Sounds like so much fun! I love, love, love oysters, so I'm jealous of the eats alone. You look so cute & happy in your green feather boa.

canape said...

That was an awesome recap and great photos! I feel like I've been back too. What a great way to start my day - thanks!

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Bee-ooo-ti-ful.

I am DYING to go there...One day.

Glad you had fun!

Welcome home.

100 Words said...

I'm packing my bags ... and is that a picture of the real mamma, by the way?

Slackermommy said...

Wow, what a great vacation! I love the pictures.

Oh, The Joys said...

So jealous!

Welcome home!

Wendy said...

Glad you had a great time. Oh man, now I want some Port o'Call. Did you get the required tub of sourcream on your potato?

My favorite restaurant is the Napoleon House. Best red beans and rice in the world. I like the courtyard, too.

Come back ya hear?

Wendy said...

Glad you had a great time. Oh man, now I want some Port o'Call. Did you get the required tub of sourcream on your potato?

My favorite restaurant is the Napoleon House. Best red beans and rice in the world. I like the courtyard, too.

Come back ya hear?

Attila The Mom said...

You look so beeyootiful! And that boa really gives you that "Hoochi-Mamma" hubba hubba!

Glad to hear you had a wonderful time!

MommaK said...

I love your boa!!!So glad you had a great time :)

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Sounds like you had a great trip! I am so proud that you made it to Pat o's. I stood right next to Fat Harry's for three Mardi Gras seasons in a row when I was in college.....GOOD TIMES!

I can not wait until Mr. Mayhem and I get away........

BTW- I am going to New Orleans in June for a four day conference.....OH YEAH! A coworker and I will be there....we are already planning out the fun!

www.nolanotes.com said...

I live here, yet you made me miss my city. Glad you made it to Galatoire's--one of my absolute faves!! Thanks from all of us here for the Katrina-didn't-kill-the-gems-of-New-Orleans plug, too! Come back soon!!

Shannon said...

Your trip sounds like it was fantastic. I'm so jealous...I could so use a little get a way...much sooner than the trip I have planned to Key West in October!

Ruth Dynamite said...

Wow! Loved the photos and the recap! One of these days I'll make my way to New Orleans, but for now, I'll just have to visit through your pics and words. Thanks for the virtual trip!