New Orleans. There’s no city quite like it. The sights, the sounds, and yes, even the smells make this city a one-of-a-kind experience.
Over the years, I’ve adopted this city as my home away from home. Near monthly road trips keep me up on the local events and the latest trip for our kick-off to Mardi Gras.
This year Krewe du Vieux was an especially good time. Krewe du Vieux is one of the earliest parades on the New Orleans Carnival calendar, and is noted for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing some of the best brass and jazz bands in the Big Easy. It’s not for the faint of heart, though. Some of the floats even made me blush. But it’s all in good fun.
If parades are not your thing, there’s still all the food, history, architecture, music, art, and so much more. Take a guided tour on a horse-drawn carriage and learn a bit about the Big Easy that you didn’t know.
But the best way to see New Orleans is to just walk through the city, talking to the locals. And they will talk. They love to share stories of their lives. What they’ve lost; what they’ve gained. We met several people who lost everything in Katrina, only to plant their roots right back where they were. It was amazing to see the devastation from the hurricane, which left nothing but the front porch steps of some houses, and then see ground-breaking on new construction on that same plot of land.
Life finds a way.
Today is Mardi Gras, and even now Cajuns, Catholics and Carnival enthusiasts are filling the streets of Nawlins with purple, green and gold revelry. I can’t be there for today‘s festivities, but our office really enjoyed the King Cake I brought back in honor of this grand holiday. And to you, mes amis, I wish you a happy Mardi Gras. I hope you've received many holiday party invitations to celebrate Fat Tuesday in grand style. In the meantime, please enjoy my holiday photo card du jour (attractive people pictured at right), a Mardi Gras lagniappe just for reading my blog.
I love everything that is New Orleans. Maybe it’s just more laid-back. Or perhaps I’m more laid-back when I’m there, ambling along Jackson Square, or feasting on beignets at Café du Monde. New Orleans is the fleur de lis, the crème de la crème, the city that invites us to “laissez les bons temps rouler.” It’s a wonderful host, and I’m forever in love with its graciousness and Southern extravagance.
Whatever holiday or whimsical reason I can find, I count down the days until my next trip, which is right around the corner. St. Patrick’s Day. Another parade. Another reason to celebrate.
Look for me! I’ll be the one in green.
~ By Fred "'Ello Gov-na" Krischke