My Favorite Things from our Quick Trip to New Orleans

by - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

1. Collaborative Packing- This fine art nearly transforms the chore into fun. Nearly. I feel like we will spend the rest of our life perfecting the strategy and getting our time down. I think we have finally reached the point where it takes more time to unpack than to pack, but we still overpack every single time. Does anyone have any tricks for this?
2. Horse paintings- On Thursday, I genomed a lot of beautiful things from a gallery in Hong Kong, and was shocked just how often horse paintings still came up (historically, it makes sense, but horses still dominate the contemporary work as well). Jack Donaghy would approve (especially if you threw in some ship paintings).
3. Green Onion- Makes anything instantly seem super fresh.
4. The African Cafe in the Seattle Airport- On Friday morning when we walked by, "Circle of Life" was playing. That is how legitimately "African" this restaurant is. Also, they don't sell any actual African food.
5. Spiderman kid in the Houston Airport- I am not impressed by the Bush Airport; there are no maps, it makes no sense, and they only put moving walkways in places where you do not need them. It actually seems to want to impede your  ability to make decisions (we can all just imagine the political joke that will get me angry family emails here). Truly, this airport is a mess. On the other hand, there was a kid (in a suit no less) who was doing spin moves and casting webs all over the place. Why didn't Sartre say "Heaven is other people, at least the ones pretending to be Spiderman"?

6. Our First Kitchen Nightmares Restaurant- How did we kick off our trip to the Big Easy? By going to the place where the owner threatened to feed Gordon Ramsey to the alligators. And we ate alligator. The Boy read that the busy idiot brother is no longer attached and the place is pretty good now. I have fried oysters, and they were awesome, so I agree, though Gordon would not like the pictures in the menu. Also, we had the first of MANY super kickass New Orleans servers.

7. Late Night Beignets at Cafe du Monde- We planned on going for breakfast, but we just happened upon the cafe on our first walk around the French Quarter (drunks, but mostly sloppy not belligerent or angry), so we went for it. It reminded me of those dates  you go on where you are having such a great time that you add another activity on to the end. Just the kind of business you can't pull with spawn, and therefore a perfect part of our babymooning.

8. New Orleans Cemeteries- I knew that New Orleans funerals were these kind of joyful, musical events, but the cemeteries are also amazing. Like beautiful little death cities. Apparently because of where the city is built, bodies will eventually float back up if you bury them in the ground, which sounds pretty horrible for everyone involved. So this solution proves to be creepy and beautiful, while avoiding the body floating which is plenty creepy, but not beautiful.

9. Creole Tomatoes- I love a tomato, and love a tomato salad even more. I wanted to try the creole tomato, because it has a reputation for being really sweet and delicious. It reminded me of tomatoes people grew in Pennsylvania, but it still made me happy.
10. New Orleans Service- Almost all of our servers were awesome. We were nervous to go to Commander's Palace (we just feel like posers at fancy places), but the whole jazz brunch had a fun playful atmosphere, and our server was funny, odd, and really welcoming. God bless a server who can see you are pregnant and comes up with some cocktail ideas for you. Also, her food runner had a ridiculous mustache, kept dancing when he thought people weren't looking, and requested the band play slayer. He also gave the Boy a hat for finishing his dessert. I guess the focus on really capable and warm servers makes sense with the Southern hospitality deal, but it still caught us by surprise.

11. Pag's future career- Commander's Palace (and many other local restaurants) has a jazz brunch where a small ensemble plays while you eat. I can totally imagine Bullyhill Brass doing it, and we heard so many songs that I mostly have only heard my relatives play, so that was exciting.
12. Dude Pool- I was so excited to go swimming (seriously, the best feeling ever to walk into the pool right now), but it turned out to be very busy in the afternoon (despite the impending thunderstorm). It was busy with dudes, looking for hot girls in swimsuits. The ratio of men to women was like 10 to 1 (and most of the women were older or me), and the bros were each pretty bro-ish. Two women were at the pool, and I saw the men kind of circling, but neither woman looked all that interested. The Boy says New Orleans serves as the Las Vegas of the East, and it did have large collectives of dudes, but I have to believe Las Vegas pools are luckier for the men. Also, I would like to be a yenta and just brazenly force people's love connections.
13. Pregnancy stories- People in New Orleans were really friendly and ready to share their own pregnancy and delivery tales. My favorite/ the most traumatizing was told to us by a girl in a candy store, whose cousin gave birth to triplets when they thought she was only expecting one baby. I do not understand how this could possibly happen, but it is truly horrifying.
14. The Besh and his hair- We went to a John Besh restaurant, and they have all of his cookbooks right up front, so in case you didn't know before, you are eating a beautiful person's food. Also, the food was delicious. Best pasta ever (with more tomatoes!).

15. Street musicians who are really freaking good- the majority of the Seattle street musicians play acoustic guitars and mumble. On our last night, we just walked around the city, and we came across the best trio ever (though Nick felt they played the same song too long). One of my favorite moments of the whole trip.
16. D2, DC, and too much time in the airport- We showed up at the New Orleans Airport 2 hours before our flight (our standard time) at 11 AM. We were through security at 11:06. The terminal only had 12 gates. We perhaps made a mistake, but we had a fun time doing laps in the airport, because we are weird like that.
17. Pens that explode- About once a year, I have a pen destroy my hands, some chunk of clothing I am wearing, and The Boy's fledgling belief that I am sort of like an adult. It's worth it to use nice pens, not horrible ones like he does.
18. The Sadness of a Trip being over being Replaced by the Comfort and Drive of getting back home- I think we get sad every time we have to leave, and this trip was perhaps even worse, because we knew we wouldn't be adventuring again any time soon. But you get home, and you can be in your own bed,  and you start checking things off your list, and it mostly feels really good. Back to work!

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