Monday, March 20, 2017

A Week in NOLA for Mardi Gras

In January I saw a post on my Facebook feed about cheap flights to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. My friend Alicia from college now lived in Cleveland and was looking for travel buddies. I reached out, we reconnected quickly via a quick phone call, and had a whole trip booked within a week. We ended up staying in two different AirBNBs and a hotel over four nights because it was most economical, but staying in multiple places in one trip is my new favorite way to travel.

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Monday night before Fat Tuesday was definitely my favorite night of Mardi Gras. We arrived around 3 pm, found our first AirBNB in Treme, got dressed in our costumes, and ventured out to Bourbon for a party and a Po Boy. We stayed out all night. The streets were packed, but not too packed. We saw lots of activities happening in public that you would otherwise get arrested for. We put money in G-strings, took shots in the street, collected our beads, instigated the protesters, etc. All in all, it was exactly what I had hoped for.

I don't have a ton of pictures from Monday night that I want to put on the internet, but here's one of me and my new friend. Super sweet guy.

FAT TUESDAY, February 28th, 2017

Tuesday we woke up in Treme, got ready, and walked to our new AirBNB in Faubourg Marigny. Surprisingly, most businesses were closed for Fat Tuesday. We were tired and hung over and just needed to eat. Thankfully The Spotted Cat was open and had a bunch of great brunch specials. We stayed in a boarding house above a karaoke bar called Kajun's Pub, and were warned by the Robin, the owner, that we probably shouldn't plan to sleep that night.

After resting up during the day, Alicia and I went out on the town for the big Fat Tuesday party on Bourbon. It was a lot like Monday night, but more of everything. We had a great time, and I'm pretty sure we had a drink in every single bar on Bourbon St. Robin was right about not sleeping. I forgot bars don't close at 2 pm everywhere.

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

I think Wednesday was a slow, chill day for everyone in New Orleans. By the time we rolled out of bed and ventured to our next location, the beads and trash from Fat Tuesday were mostly cleaned up. We saw lots of clearly-hung-over people and their luggage getting into taxis and Ubers as we walked down Bourbon St. Everyone seemed to be moving in slow motion. We were very pleasantly surprised by our hotel we got from an online booking site, where you blindly book a hotel in a vague area of a city. It was a relief to find out we were staying at the historic Prince Conti Hotel in the French Quarter.

Wednesday evening we went on a riverboat dinner cruise and were able to finally sit down to a full dinner service with some live jazz. It was a great, low maintenance way to spend the evening, as Alicia and I were both pretty worn out from two nights of Mardi Gras. Call us old... whatever.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday was another full day. We woke up early to get on a shuttle to the Bayou, saw some alligators, pet some alligators, etc. The alligator we are holding is a rescue alligator named T-Boy. He fell asleep in my hands like a little puppy. So sweet.

I was so into the Spanish moss all over the trees in the swamp.

For the rest of Thursday we walked around getting pleasantly day-drunk on some boozy slushies. At this point, I no longer felt weird about walking out of a bar with a drink. We watched live bands on the sidewalk, and then went to ACME for oysters and craw fish in the afternoon. I bought a CD wrapped in a paper bag from a band on Royal St.

Friday morning we flew back to Cleveland. From there I drove home to Pittsburgh listening to my paper bag CD, eating a grilled cheese from Melt, and planning the next big trip.