And from the warmth of New Orleans, I’ve come back to Cleveland. Snow on the ground, a nasty cold, and some trying work assignments. Welcome home! Although at this point I think we can call New Orleans my other home — this was my fourth trip this year alone!
The original plan was to go back to Ireland, and one of my dorky reasons was that Simple Minds were kicking off a tour (shut-up, I like the stuff that came out before this song!) since I hadn’t seen them live since I was about 12 years-old. Well, that wasn’t going to work out, so I told my husband, “oh, why don’t we just go back to New Orleans and you can see Super Sunday?” totally forgetting that St. Patrick’s Day was the same weekend. But that worked out well! In all honesty, if you can’t afford a trip to Europe or Africa or the Caribbean — just go to New Orleans. It’s practically another country anyway, and you’ll get that exotic vibe without the need of a passport.
This time my friends Keith and Veronica came with me from Cleveland. I have a feeling I never shut-up about the place so they had to come check it out for themselves. They miss it already, too. My fellow NOLABounder, Jen Dubin, put it correctly in saying you get a homesick feeling about the city once you are gone, even if you have never lived there. There is still so much of the city I haven’t seen, but I still feel like it is my backyard in a way, and it appeals to my pagan sensibilities on several levels. I may not be able to move there for good, but going there several times a year almost makes up for it.
Here is another photo-heavy post for you. I omitted a lot of the parade pictures because most of it was kind of a ‘you had to be there’ situation, but I think you’ll catch the drift. Speaking of catching, I’m really awesome at catching throws from floats, with my left hand. I was also lucky enough to have a private tour of St. Louis #1 by an old friend of Ben’s from Michigan; he now owns two cemeteries in Mississippi, so he knew his stuff and was quite passionate about it! Some fun facts I learned? You can stack 127 bodies in those tombs, it is the most environmental way (vs. cremation or a coffin), and about 60% of mortuary students in the US, are goth!
It was great meeting Eric T. Styles of Quarter Rat fame, and even though I didn’t meet Big Freedia, thanks to Eric I did meet Big Sexy (and I will spare you a photo of him). Sat in on an open mic nite at The House of Blues for some comedy and support my pal Jake (oddly a lot of Ohio people at that one too, and John Mayer stopped by!). Caught up with Stan Gill who is another fellow NOLABounder that has now moved to New Orleans from Los Angeles, and we even attended an App Development panel together that, of course, Chris Boyd steered. All in all, I caught up with as many people as I could and so it went. As I said to my mom when she asked how the trip was, “oh it was the usual”. Six days is never enough.
I sort of jinxed myself by bragging about it on Twitter, but because the city is so flat, I went an entire 4.5 days without my cane! Muscles in my hip got worked over for the first time in over two years, and it hurt! But halfway through day four, I couldn’t deal with the knee and back pain. But hey, it is a start!