Do you know what they say about New Orléans? Their tourism brand tagline is ‘Your Different Here’.
In the elevator at 3:45am, on our way to check out of the hotel and head to the airport, I told The Man I do not agree completely with that tagline.
Yes, New Orléans is an amazing city. It’s history, arts, architecture, culture and who can forget the culinary side (I know I didn’t!), it is amazing. It is like being in a completely different country. With the exception that Arby’s – in a completely standard French Quarter building – stood just across the street from our hotel. (Note: I did not eat at Arby’s during our time there.)
But, when we stepped off the elevator to find a lobby littered with Arby’s Curly Fries (I guess some people do go, apparently), saw a crowd of people posing for drunken photos in the large fountain and patrons still sat laughing and talking loudly at the hotel bar, my point had been made for me.
Me: Wow. This is exactly what I was saying in the elevator.
The Man: What?
Me: You aren’t just different here. You are drunk here.
And, yes we were.
Well, of course I went for work, so a majority of the time (Hi Boss!) was spent in educational sessions, at the trade show and networking diligently with my peers. But do you know what? Networking with peers also occurred on Bourbon Street. In fact, it was at a special networking event that I had my first Hurricane’s and my first bloody mary oyster shooter with my first ever pickled okra, on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. It was really delicious – but it could have also been the side effects of the Hurricane’s.
The world will just never know.
We sang Karaoke at a bar called the Cat’s Meow, and had a blast singing and dancing. Our drinks were never empty but, perhaps we should have eaten dinner. Nevermind, the oyster shooter and pickled okra totally count as dinner.
In the mornings, I would summon my most angry of angry glares to look at The Man, all cozy in the wonderfully over-sized king bed, as I trudged sideways to the bathroom. I had to get up and go to work – while he got to sleep off the night before and spend the day sightseeing. I was just a tiny bit jealous.
Through the joys of social media – I would see him gallivanting through the city. I was happy to see him up and enjoying himself, honestly. It was better than him watching the clock and getting angry eyes for me, and he also scoped out the area and knew where we were going each night.
The last day in town, was our only full day together and we took full advantage. We stopped at Cafe Du Monde for beignets (where we were asked if we were on our honeymoon – they looked shocked when we told them we have been married for seven years). We took a cooking class, which was awesome (and again, we were asked if we were on our honeymoon)! Then, somewhere between where we should of had lunch and the rest of the night, we got lost in a dark bar at the bottom of tall glasses filled with hurricanes. It goes without saying we were asked again, if we were honeymooners.
I guess we looked happy.
We spent the majority of the last day sucking back sweet (yet, dangerous) drinks at the original Pat O’Brien’s. Until this trip – I thought it was a chain restaurant/bar that was Irish. Little did I know it originated in New Orléans, and they in fact created the sweet concoction that had treated me so well during my trip.
We took full advantage of the time in New Orléans, going to the full extent of not sleeping before leaving (probably a mistake). As we made our bleary-eyed way to the taxi, past the discarded curly fries and random intoxicated strangers, we took one last look at the city.
A city that has been rocked by mother nature.
A city that lives content with its way of life.
A city like no other.
It was a great trip. I can’t wait to go back.