Oh, hi! So where was I in life? Ah, yes, the last week of August was spent taking bites out of two giant slices of Americana with a bunch of college buddies. The first, New Orleans. How is it possible that it’s taken me this long to visit Nola? I love it there.
We flew out on a Tuesday, landed in New Orleans and immediately without stopping and without passing go went to get our first of several Po’ Boys. I took a recommendation from future friend and Nola expert Nora and we went to Acme Oyster House around the corner from our hotel and we both ordered this hot, delicious mess of fried oysters, fried shrimps and spicy mayo.
Otherwise called the “Fried Peace Maker Po’ Boy”. Oh, and some Abita beers, of course. This was the beginning of a very special relationship that blossomed between me and the food of New Orleans. A relationship both strong and at times obscene.
After we broke the snack seal, we got settled in at our hotel. We stayed in the French Quarter (but off Bourbon street) at a cute, 125-year-old hotel called Hotel Monteleone. The first order of business was to meet up with friends for a stiff retro cocktail at the hotel bar called Carousel, for obvious reasons. And yes, the chairs rotate around, as they should.
For the first couple of days, it was just us Coulters and The Romers: aka Husband’s college buddy Collin and his purdy wife, Breanna. We couple’d it up hardcore and went from Carousel Bar to walking down Bourbon street drinking Huge Ass Beers. Which is a thing. Again, as it should be. Gator!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (this is what they call foreshadowing).
We walked into many a strange bar situation, ate some jambalaya, seafood etouffee, beans & rice and gumbo at Mother’s restaurant and then scared up some Hurricanes because it’s something you do when you’re on Bourbon street.
Once. You only do that something once.
The following day, before the other two couples arrived, we got all ambitious and took a swamp tour. Which probably sounds a lot tourisy and lame. BUTITWASNOTLAME. It was sooooooooo fun. And beautiful! We ordered up a private air boat for just the four of us with a tour guide who had a terrific Cajun French accent. You could understand about 45% of what he was saying, which is really good when you’re being told how not to get eaten by gators.
Collin ‘aint afraid of no gators.
We wore these noise canceling earphone things because the airboat was pretty loud. After a speedy jaunt down the river, we winded into the splendor of the swamp. One of the most gorgeous sights I’ve ever seen.
Doesn’t it almost look like we’re floating on a grassy path, it’s so swampy? Behold, the swamp.
Come ‘n get me, gator! (but, like, please don’t)
Our guide tempted the gators from their swampy hiding places with what he called “swamp crack”, which is just jumbo marshmallows. I kept thinking to myself “sorry, mother nature”.
There’s a joke about to happen. Are you ready? For the joke? Wait for it……….just wait…….here comes the joke……….”Oh look, a crack head!” (joke reused with the permission of our guide)
Heading back to drier land with all our fingers and toes and my weird photo posing face.
On the way home, the bus driver at some point asked if we were enjoying the fat-free food of New Orleans. He says, “we’ll get you fat for free!” To which I said, again in my mind, “actually it’s weird but you have to pay for it”. New Orleanians = jokesters
After our swamp tour, the other two couples started rolling into town. Here is a list of things that followed in no particular order because, well, one has a hard time remembering order when one and one’s liver and arteries has spent time in New Orleans.
-Celebrated Breanna’s birthday with a group feast at Cochon. Ordered basically everything on the menu. CARNIVORE.
-Had Beignets and Cafe Au Laits at Cafe Du Monde while listening to a street artist play the easy listen’ hits.
-New lovely lady hat from Goorin Bros.
-An actual trough of red bull and vodka. Hi mom and dad!
-Mo’ Po’ Boys at Johnny’s. (shrimp and beef with gravy)
-Weird bars every 30 minutes the entire time.
-The boys did late night Parkour through the streets.
-The girls prayed for their safety.
-Q: “Cocaine Energy Drink. Is that like Red Bull” A: “No, it worse.”
-Brooke’s Al Green slow dance with a lounge singer named chicken.
-Good music at D.B.A.
-Tiny shame burgers at Krystal.
A perfect summer trip, thank you to our New Orleans cohorts. To quote an email I sent to the group before realizing that they might not know the original Saints motto:
"Who Dat Say They Gon Miss Dem Friends?"