New Orleans. Somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. Two words that immediately conjure up images of Mardi Gras, debauchery, Bourbon Street, Cajun food, music, drinking.

 

Even though I’ve been to the United States so many times, I’d never made it to New Orleans until a recent work trip to Houston which coincidentally timed with friends visiting the US from Australia. We immediately organised a New Orleans trip together, along with another Aussie friend of ours living in New York.

 

So what happens on a weekend in New Orleans? Well, of course we started with po’ boys. Actually, the whole weekend was full of quite delicious (and mostly fried) food. Including Coquette where we dined with John-freaking-Malkovich (alas, no photo evidence).

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Shrimp po’ boy

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Fried chicken biscuit – the perfect hangover cure

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Beignets at midnight from the famous Cafe du Monde

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Waaaay too much food at Mothers. This doesn’t look particularly appealing but was delicious – I just couldn’t eat it all. Classic case of the eyes are bigger than the stomach…

 

The main highlight of the trip was my first experience of tailgating. What’s tailgaiting, I hear my non-North American readers ask? Well, it’s a bloody fun way for people to get together, literally out the back of their cars (hence, tailgaiting). People set up barbecues near their cars, and and we saw some pretty elaborate set ups with widescreen televisions and fridges full of booze.

 

We drove to Baton Rouge to see LSU take on Texas A&M and, arriving far too late to get a good spot, left the car and parked ourselves on a nice piece of green grass instead. While we 30-somethings were a couple of years older than the majority of the tailgaitin’ crowd, seeing my first college game afterwards was incredible. Tiger stadium holds more than 100,000 people and it was pretty much full that Saturday night – that’s bigger than the MCG in Melbourne. For a regular college match.

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Our crew supporting LSU (photo courtesy of L. Barnes)

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Sorry to whoever has to clean up this mess…

 

A weekend in New Orleans

LSU students getting on down

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Wow. Wow. Wow. Watching this college match was incredible – more people than a normal AFL match

 

A weekend in New Orleans

The sun sets over the LSU campus

 

Waking up a little hazy (what else do you expect in New Orleans) we caught the tram and explored the beautiful buildings in the Garden District.

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Inside the street car

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Decorative pole used for tying up horses

 

A weekend in New Orleans

The Garden District

 

A weekend in New Orleans

The Garden District

 

A weekend in New Orleans

The Garden District

 

A weekend in New Orleans

The Garden District

 

A weekend in New Orleans

The cemetery

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Downtown New Orleans

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Statue downtown

 

One weekend in the Big Easy was definitely not enough. New Orleans, I’ll be back.

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Downtown

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Downtown

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Halloween style decorations downtown

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Downtown

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Downtown

 

A weekend in New Orleans

Downtown