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