I went to New Orleans for the first time at the end of April 2017. It was fun and ridiculous and a whirlwind. A great place for a party (i.e., my friend’s bachelorette party).
I arrived at 6 PM on Thursday and was overwhelmed by the hot mugginess. It smelled like stagnant wet – like a swamp!! That’s definitely a type of smell. Anyways, the airport was not the clean efficiency that is the Denver airport. You’d think I live in one of the Scandinavian countries or something…
I took an Uber from the airport to our Airbnb. My driver was great, giving me lots of recommendations and generally very friendly/non-threatening, which I really appreciate in strangers. I got to the house, and three of the other eight girls were there.
We got ready and then went out to Angeline’s. It got really good reviews but I thought for the price it was a solid meh. I’m not aspiring to be one of those professional Yelpers, it was just a bewildering sense of indifference to the food. Anyways.
Then was time for the cluster fuck that is Bourbon Street. Think many blocks of continuous bars with flashing strobe lights, music so loud it reverberates in your chest (which was very concerning at the time), sticky tile floors filled with trash, very drunk patrons of all ages, and of course women dressed in almost nothing carrying around test tubes of shots and provocatively shoving them down people’s throats. Also, a variety of strip clubs dotting the landscape with strippers beckoning from the doorways.
My sensory offense to this makes me sound/feel like I’m a couple decades older, BUT WHATEVER IT WAS RIDICULOUS. We got home at 4 which is the latest I’ve stayed up in a very long time, and crashed into bed.
The next day I got up at 9 and laid in bed for a while pitying myself for not getting enough sleep. We waited for a friend to get in at 11, then went to Cafe Conti for a solid American brunch. Eggs, sausage, potatoes and coffee. Just when the coffee started kicking in, we walked to a bar to start day drinking. If drinking wasn’t bad enough for your body, prime it with some coffee so it has no fucking idea what to do. UP OR DOWN??
We stayed for most of the day at a bar that supplied “hurricanes”. Basically jungle juice, involving multiple shots of 190 proof liquor. You know it’s ridiculous when the bartender gives a warning before handing you the drink….like this is all you should have. It was fun, but I’m glad this is not my standard weekend 😉
In the evening we went back to the house and hung out while waiting for a few more girls to arrive. We ordered pizza and got ready to go out. This night was a visit to Frenchman Street, the classier version of Bourbon Street, replete with jazz bar after jazz bar. The amount of live music in New Orleans is pretty dang cool, I enjoyed that a lot. Reluctant [er, wannabe] hipster? We visited a couple bars before calling it an earlier night. Day drinking is a young man’s game or something…
A better night sleep of 6 hours and I felt semi-human. We took an Uber to the New Orleans institution of Cafe du Monde. We waited in a long line until we were shown our tables, piled with heaps of the last patrons’ plates. Sweet. After waiting 20 minutes, the plates were cleaned off the table by an angry waitress who also seemed pissed off by our order, like it was incomprehensible. Another 15 minutes and the sweet deliciousness that is beignets and chicory root coffee came out for our rapid consumption. It lived up to the hype.
We then walked to get a view of Jackson Square. We were doing our requisite girl group pic when an angry alcoholic (it was 11 AM, no pants on, had a purse full of wine bottles, and was chugging from an open wine bottle – so appropriate assumption?) did a spiteful photobomb.
Next up, swamp tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this ended up being fun. We were in the boat with a rowdy group celebrating a birthday. They did lots of drinking and screaming of random things. And our boat captain was a Louisiana swamp man caricature telling not even remotely convincing stories, so it was double entertaining. The tour boats we passed were mostly filled with dozing passengers, so we definitely hit the tourist jackpot. We saw alligators, but the stars of the show were the swamp boars – voraciously eating tree roots – and swamp raccoons that were well-trained to come to the boat and eat hotdogs. Our boat captain also floored the boat up and down the river which was exciting.
Oh and we saw the “stars” of the reality show “Married to Medicine” filming in another boat. The swamp seems like a desperate place to make up some drama. When we got back to the parking lot there were way too many vans and crew members with expensive equipment waiting around for the celebz to return. God what a stupid fucking thing that exists. I hate myself a little for enjoying Bachelor in Paradise (deep dark secret…). I guess it’s a job creator. And a way to numb the masses.
We took the hour bus ride back to New Orleans and then got ready for our last night on the town. First up was dinner at Kingfish. It was delicious. I got the scallops, which ended up being four scallops on a smear of pea purée. So basically an appetizer for $30 but wow they were incredible.
We then went to, you guessed it, Bourbon Street for one last round of chaos. It was fun. Lots of loud music, more hurricanes and this other, even more alcoholic drink called a hand grenade, yelling at each other over the loud music, dancing on stages and other things from the movies (I don’t know what movies, but that’s what it felt like), etc.
We got back around 4 after eating late night pizza. The next morning we got up around 9:30 to some very loud wind. Then came rain and crazy thunder and lightening. Then the street started flooding, and we read that there were tornado and coastal flood warnings. Our friend who went to the airport early said that her flight was delayed and then the dread set in that our flights would be cancelled and we’d probably just have to live in New Orleans forever.
We waited for the rain to let up then risked our lives in the flooded street for some very important brunch plans. We ate at Another Broken Egg in the Garden District. More American fare, which hit the spot.
Then we hung out for a while waiting to go to the airport. My flight ended up being delayed three hours, and then on the other end we sat on the tarmac for an hour while we waited for another plane to move from our gate. The other Frontier gates were empty, so that was annoying, but I don’t know how airports work so whatever. We did get $75 vouchers (and I got a $15 food voucher for the three hour delay) which was pretty sweet. Thanks Frontier!
It was a fun trip, great for a bachelorette weekend. Time for sleep.