Apparently my infinite wisdom in college went unrecognized, even by myself. Many of my friends, hell probably all of them at some point, went to Mardi Gras and came home with beads, lots of freakin' beads. I always came up with some lame excuse about lack of funds or my parents not letting me go, to avoid the trip. But really I was IN COLLEGE, I did lots of things I couldn't afford and my parents surely would NOT have approved of, um... daily! I just never understood the need to drive all that time, stay in a rundown hotel room, drink in excess then fight the crowds only to not find a bathroom, and show my girls all for the sake of getting damned cheap plastic beads. Really, it was mostly about the crowds and the lack of adequate facilities. Because the drunken debauchery was nothing that couldn't be witnessed any night of the week in Gator Country! Not by me personally, of course.
But, I digress. What's new, right? Anyway, although Mardi Gras was not my calling, a lifetime of passing up New Orleans on our road trips to Texas made me wonder what I was missing out on. That combined with all the news of Katrina, the destruction and rebuilding of the city, in the media made me want to see it for myself. And HELL it's on the freakin way, why NOT? So hubby and I made a plan, reserved a lovely hotel room, close to the river, in a "family friendly" area of New Orleans and set out for our Spring Break adventure.
Disclaimer: I know New Orleans has a lot of history and is a favorite place for multitudes of people. I understand that there is a beauty to the city and I took more photos there than anywhere else we visited.
That said. I DO NOT like New Orleans. Been there, done that, mark it off on the list of places I've been, and move on. And in the words of my hubby, I'm sure New Orleans doesn't like me either. I am so suburbia it's painful! Give me Target, Darden restaurants, and theme parks with piped in music and I am a happy woman.
So here are the reasons Karen will not be visiting New Orleans again (there may or may not be another post later in the week detailing why I would avoid the entire state of Louisiana if possible for the rest of my life).
1. New Orleans is HOT and HUMID!
a.Yes, I am a native Floridian, I know of what I speak, however, I found it hard to breathe in New Orleans.
b. I happen to be one of those people blessed or cursed, you make the call, with naturally wavy hair. The advent of the flat iron has been a prayer come true for me. You see where this is going right? I spent valuable morning time trying to do my hair, finally I gave up, because even INSIDE in the a/c the humidity was too much for the frizzies to resist. Then I stepped outside... well hell, so much for the hair.
2. The streets are NASTY!
a. You say panhandler, I say BEGGING. I do not enjoy it.
b. Hot climates call for cool clothes and SHOES! Being a Florida girl, I love flip flops, wear them everywhere all the time. Thus I did not enjoy the dirty, stinky, wet sidewalks.
c. And uneven broken concrete is apparently a sidewalk. Literally only means walk beside the street. Again, you see where this is going? Me in flip flops, two kids, dirty streets, rushing past the panhandlers. Oh, have I forgotten to mention my utter lack of grace? Yep, I fell, my knee is still purple and hurts like HELL every time I kneel down.
3. BREAKFAST the meal you eat in the morning? Ever heard of it? Apparently there is only one place to get a decent breakfast in New Orleans, and the line to get in is around the block. Um, that was so not working for us with 2 whiny kids. They didn't enjoy New Orleans either. Which brings me to my final point.
4. FAMILY FRIENDLY MY ASS! Seriously, New Orleans, you've found your niche, cornered the market on drunken partying college students. Stick with what you know! Quit trying to drag in more tourists by saying anything about families or children, EVER!
And in the sense of fairness, it's not just you New Orleans. On the opposite side of the coin we visited my sister who has acres of beautiful land, a huge pool made with rock that looks like a pond, and a big house out in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, find nowhere on your yahoo map and turn left! She and her husband find this to be Nirvana. Me? Couldn't PAY me enough money to live out there. When we bought our house 5 years ago my requirements included a grocery store in walking distance of the house. Have I EVER walked there? NO! My hubby and kids do frequently, I do not join them. But if I HAD to I could. That is my #1 in location, location, location.
Check back tomorrow for "Spring Break edition part Dos (that's Spanish for 2) -How we ate our way through Texas".
4 - number of times the word HELL is used in this post, hmmm...