Was New Orleans on my bucket list? Of course, which is why I was stoked when my oldest sister invited me down there for a trip. The funny part is that the occasion was my youngest sister’s surprise bachelorette party. Weird, no? But they promised me that there wouldn’t be any of the girly stuff associated with the bachelorette parties, just food, gators, and bourbon street. That was all the convincing I needed, and I bought the plane ticket within the hour.
My flight left at 6:30AM to connect in ATLANTA before arriving at the lovely MSY airport in New Orleans, LA. I arrived a few hours before my sisters and friends did so I did what any 23yrs guy would do in NoLa… Went right to bourbon street and started to immerse myself in the culture. An by culture I meant binge drinking with all the other tourists on the street. Beers were buy one get one free (I swear I’m not lying). There is no open container policy so the only time you actually have to stay in a bar is when you need another drink or listen to a band; otherwise, you simply walk about the street and watch some of the most interesting people “do their thing”.
I kept in the loop with my other sisters to know when they would arrive at the hotel. I walked down the street until I saw their van pull up, when I ran down the sidewalk and surprised the hell out of my sister Ally (the bachelorette). From that point on it was all downhill, for me at least. I learned the hard way that I was no longer in college and could not drink like I used to. We all went back out on Bourbon Street for a bar crawl that went all night, ending at a dueling piano bar on the strip.
Throughout the weekend we sampled all the different specials, ranging from Hand Grenades to Tully Nuts. Tried a Po-boy and ate some gator meat, and even went on an airboat tour in the bayou, where we saw dozens of gators up close. Everything was in walking distance from our hotel, Hotel Provincial, right in the french quarters. But the best part of New Orleans is the music. The musicians, of all genres, come together on the streets, bars, & restaurants to give you the most diverse, beautiful sounds. Homeless men and women performed some of the best blues I’ve ever heard. Walking through the streets at night, the sounds of trumpets and saxophones echo off the building walls so you are never in silence.
The weekend wouldn't have been complete without a stop at Cafe Du Monde and an incredible brunch at Commander's Palace.
Don't Forget to:
-Definitely stay within walking distance of Bourbon Street so that you get to experience all the action up close
-Stop and listen to all the musicians you can.