Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Big Easy

I've only ever been to New Orleans for business; conventions, meetings, etc. And my general opinion was that it was a loud, smelly, drunken party town. I'd never been far from Bourbon Street or the convention center, and had really never been the least bit impressed. Of course I'd done all the great restaurants, but hadn't reached much beyond that.

This weekend changed that, and unexpectedly. Coop and I planned on spending the day at the Jazz and Heritage Festival, but when we woke up and had breakfast it just evolved differently. We saw the huge lines waiting on buses to the festival early in the morning, weren't up for the expensive tickets and big crowds, and decided to just go local. And the result was the laziest, most comfortable and relaxed Saturday I've had in ages. No cares, no schedule, no commitments. Just a Saturday. Great music, friendly locals, and good food as we wandered around. If we saw some place we wanted to stop, we did. Street bands. Little dark bars. We never did find Coop's pawn shop guitar, but it was still an incredibly cool day.

A lot of it is Cooper. We're good travel partners. There are people that it's easy to travel with--Shaffer and Andy have always been that way for me. Andy and I do a long guys weekend every fall that totally rocks. And of course Shaf and i have probably ridden something over 50,000 miles on bike trips as roommates. Cooper has joined that list. Already--barely 36 hours in--this is a GREAT trip.

But this city gets credit too. We've consciously gotten off the tourist track and just hung out, and man was it cool! The spirit in this city, of survival, of culture, of's incredible. To say nothing of the music; which is of course what the trip's all about. Well, that and Bazini. More on him later in the week.

Back to New Orleans. I could write a ton, and maybe someday I will on my blog. But for now, I've come to view this city differently, and I love it. Before, I never would have considered this a destination for anything other than business; now I'd tell you I'll be back in a year, I have a long list of things I want to see and do, and I can't wait for that trip. I've become a fan.

Next up: Memphis, but she's got big shoes to fill. The Big Easy is right--easy to love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Royal St,New Orleans,United States

1 comment:

  1. Not surprised by your reaction to a casual "local" Saturday. I've been to NOLA three times, and Sally's been there on business even more, and its one of our favorite cities to visit -- probably *not* on our list of places we'd like to *live.* I've always felt like it was the most "foreign" city in America ... and yet a lot of the music and food that makes it distinctive is distinctively American!