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Hooray! It’s Fat Tuesday!

…too bad I’m at home, getting ready to go to work.

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She feels my pain. Can’t you tell?

Really, that’s ok. I’m not one for big crowds. I am, however, a huge fan of the city that is arguably partying the hardest today.

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Streetcars+people+palm trees = must be NOLA

If you were to ask me, on any given day, what city I’d like to be in other than my own at that moment, there’s a good chance that I might offer up New Orleans as my answer. My love for the city isn’t unique; just as so many other people do, I love it for the food, the music, the emphasis on slowing down, and – of course – the genteel enchantment that is a leisurely stroll down the street, cocktail in hand.

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Bayona is one of my all-time favorite restaurants; it’s not the flashiest in New Orleans, but it’s wonderful in every way.

Very fortunately, I’ve traveled to New Orleans once a year for about the past decade. At this point, it’s easy to say that the more time that passes, the harder I fall. I was remiss in not mentioning my trip last November, when I flew down there for a conference. For what it’s worth, the conference was so good that I was actually excited to attend each day, even as the streetcars and merriment of New Orleans called to me from outside the rotating hotel doors.

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Ok. One time I left the conference for a Bloody Mary. I made it back for the next session.

Still, I feel pretty strongly that a visit to the Big Easy for a conference alone is hardly a visit at all (a box lunch, delivered inside the neutered air conditioning of the host hotel, masquerading as a “taste of New Orleans”? ew.) Luckily, I wasn’t alone on my trip. One of my sister’s best friends attended the conference as well, and so my sister and one of my dearest friends came along for the ride.

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I also opted out of boxed breakfasts, seeking out the good coffee at Merchant instead.

It was, simply, a fantastic few days. By day, I was a responsible conference-goer. But each night, once I stripped myself of the plastic nametag holder I wore around my neck, I was a member of a group of women celebrating not only an amazing city, but also our own histories with it. We ate, drank, laughed, got caught in a monsoon-esque downpour, ate some more, and toasted everything all over again.

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Each visit to Peche has showcased how exquisite food can be – even when a photo captures something that didn’t come from the kitchen.

In short, the whole trip was dreamy.

I’d give a lot to be there with those women again, even right now, when I’m sure the city is riding a wave of Hurricanes so strong that I wouldn’t even make it up the stairs to the creepy-yet-wonderful Mardi Gras museum hidden above French 75, much less to the parades themselves. Still. I’ll meet you there just about anytime, for a quick dance with the city that will always hold a piece of my heart in its dazzling, buttered, boozy, and oh-so-colorful clutches.

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Laissez les bon temps rouler, say the creepiest of museum occupants.

 

4 comments on “Fat Tuesday, from far away

  1. charlotteash says:

    I love reading visitor’s accounts of my city! It is truly a magical place. I’ve been blessed to live here for over 35 years. (Wow, did that time fly!)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and I’m happy to find yours! 🚎🎺🌉🎷🏈🍷🍺☕️🍉☔️🌜🌴🌴🌴👠👯👯👯👌

    1. Anna says:

      You have a wonderful blog! I love reading the insider’s accounts of New Orleans. 🙂

  2. charlotteash says:

    P.S. I ❤️Love❤️ The name of your blog!

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