n’awlins

So, a couple weeks ago (before all the madness) I had just finished up a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was my first time there, and I think spending St. Patrick’s day in NOLA is as close as I’ll get to the Mardi Gras experience.

It. Was. Unreal.

So unreal, that I felt I needed to do a massively epic photoblog to describe the experience. And this isn’t even all the pictures I took – I decided to spare you all the multitudinous and predictable number of selfies.

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First impressions: the city smells. Specifically, Bourbon Street and its immediate environs. I don’t know if it’s left over from Hurricane Katrina or if it’s just the combined effluvia from millions of drunk tourists doing who-knows-what all over the place. A couple times while standing in line someplace I had to actually cover my nose and move out of line, it was that bad. There were SO MANY PEOPLE it was insane.

Other than that: the people were warm and friendly, and the food was great pretty much anywhere I went. If you like seafood, I imagine it’s even better.

I would definitely recommend beignets at Cafe du Monde. In case you’re wondering, there is sometimes a line, the service is brusque but fairly fast, and they want you to order the super simple stuff and nothing fancy. That being said, they were…divine.

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If you want drinking, dancing, and some truly superlative people watching, I would recommend spending some time on Bourbon Street. For something a little more low key and better music, go for Frenchmen Street. I really liked the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleon – it is a big circle with the bartenders in the middle. The outside ring and seats rotate around. Not too fast, but some of my friends said it made them queasy.

There’s a mechanical bull and dancing at the Bourbon Cowboy and we heard an okay live jazz band at Sing Sing. I had a yummy roast beef po boy at Cafe Pontalba, which was probably my favorite bar. It was right next to the St. Louis Cathedral, with open doors all along the sides to let in the breeze. Cheap drinks, too. I could have stayed there ALL DAY. I had an amazing fried chicken salad at the Oyster Bar and they tell me that the oysters there are to die for. There were, naturally, numerous places we went in and had drinks at that I don’t remember the names.

Remember that you can walk around with beverages there, but not glass containers. You’ll get a fine if you leave with a bottle of beer or the glass cup from the bar. Just ask them to stick it in a to go cup and you’ll be fine.

I stayed at the Westin. It was…not what I would expect from a Westin, at least in the elevators and hallways. I guess there’s only so much you can do when your hotel is situated in Party City, USA. the people were super nice and service was fast. Beds were fairly comfortable but the toilets were weird and scared me every time that they weren’t going to flush.

The pool was…okay. Small. But it was on the top floor! So that was cool. Best of all…the hotel had 24 hour room service! Food wasn’t spectacular, but it was food. When you’re starving at 3 am that’s a very good thing.

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I rode in a pedicab, had an awesome roommate, and am happy to report that I was the only one with the…er, balls…to wear the Big Balls Necklace. I also visited the St. Louis cathedral though I didn’t go inside. I wish I would have!

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The work part of the trip was fun, too. They had a selfie contest, which I tried my very hardest to win but sadly, did not. I did, however, get to get all dressed up for awards night! I wore a mask I picked up on Bourbon Street. It even made it all the way home, minus a sequin on the side. Go me!

All in all, I’d say I would definitely go back. Though maybe with nose plugs next time.

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