The last time I was in New Orleans, we visited Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. Built between 1722-1732, it is considered the oldest bar in the United States. We stopped by after taking a French Quarter ghost tour for a much needed drink. If you’ve never heard of Delphine LaLaurie, feel free to click the link and read about what a wonderful person she was. Then you’ll see why we needed a beverage. At the time it was said the house where she tortured her slaves was owned by Nicholas Cage, but he was trying to sell it and could not find a buyer. I can’t imagine why.
Lafitte’s is also supposed to be haunted. The ghost tour took us there as the last stop, which worked out perfectly as we had plans to visit anyway. I had one of the best Hurricane’s of my life there. It was layered perfectly and made with real fruit juice. Down the street, Pat O’Brien’s will serve you a Hurricane out of a nozzle, but I’d rather have Lafitte’s Hurricane any day. Inside, we were told that if you take pictures with your flash in the dark rooms you can see the “orbs” of spirits floating in your picture. I was unsuccessful last time, but maybe this trip I’ll capture a ghost. With my camera only, please.
My last trip to New Orleans was for my bachelorette party. The time before that was for a high school choir trip. You can imagine how those two trips might differ.
For my bachelorette party, we rented a van, piled six girls in it, and met up with a couple others there. The first night we ended up at Harrah’s at 3 a.m after spending a few hours on Bourbon Street. It’s funny because you always read about girls flashing people on Bourbon street, and part of you thinks “nah, that can’t really happen,” but it’s a thing in movies for a reason: it actually happens. At 2 a.m. the bar we were visiting had a contest where two couples had to complete different challenges in order to win more drinks, because they obviously needed them. They played a few games, like “put the condom on the banana,” and “demonstrate your favorite sex position,” but it wasn’t long before it turned into “which girl has the better boobs” as both sets were on display for God and the entire bar. Surprisingly, about half the customers, including us, left at that point. At least at Harrah’s you can lose your money, but probably not your clothes.
Remember when recovering from a night out was as easy as a Bloody Mary, some water, and you were ready to go again? Those were the days. One of the locals in our group recommended we check out Deanie’s for brunch, and when I returned from the bathroom, I found the Bloody Mary I ordered was staring me down. It watched me try some baked Parmesan oysters for the first time (a deliciously bad idea), and have an amazing crab salad. The Bloody Mary itself saved my life that day, and my shrimp friend hanging out the side was eventually a tasty snack (once I had someone else shell him). That meal was probably my favorite of the whole trip, so when I head to New Orleans next week for the first time since, I can’t wait to stop by again.
However, don’t expect to see me out on Bourbon Street at 2 a.m. this time; I have work to do, and these days, I need more than a stare down with a Bloody Mary to save me.
I’m dragging. In my twenties, it was not a problem for me to come back from a trip on the latest possible flight and skip into work the next day. One Vegas flight in particular, I landed at midnight, was in bed by one a.m. and was up for a three mile run by seven a.m. Today was a much different story. I set my alarm to get back into my typical (mostly) morning routine: run, coffee, get ready. That flew out the window at the first snooze. I surrendered and reset my alarm for another hour of blissful sleep that felt like ten minutes, and spent my time scrambling through the morning, which spilled over to the rest off the day. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. If I could tell my twenty-something self anything, it would be to enjoy your energy, because in your thirties, you will need a vacation from your vacation.
And thus, I leave you with the most relaxing view in all of Seattle: the one taken while sharing a toast with my best friend on his balcony a few hours before his wedding. The view is a little different than two years ago, and you can see all the new development going up. But for now, I choose to believe that in a year or two, he will still have the same view. And hopefully my next photo of it will be of sunset.