Today was a muuuuuuch better day, comfort-wise, than the last two. I’m sure some rest had something to do with it, but the thing that made the most difference was the temperature. I think it got to 66 or so today, which was an enormous improvement over the 40s we’ve been trudging through. However, I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pelting my hotel window, and when I looked outside, it appeared we were in a hurricane (how appropriate for me). It legitimately downpoured for most of the morning, but I was determined a little rain (or a lot of it) wasn’t going to spoil my fun.
My first stop of the day was to Katie’s Restaurant, which is nowhere near my hotel, but which serves bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and sangria. I walked in, gave my name, and was lucky enough to score a spot indoors to wait. While I waited, I looked over the menu so I was ready to go when I finally got a table. I opted for the bottomless drinks (duh) and the crawfish beignet, simply because I’ve never knowingly eaten crawfish before.
Y’all. Y’ALL. This might be the single best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. I ate it in complete amazement – the “beignet” (not really a donut-beignet, but more like a pita consistency) consisted of chunks of crawfish, lots of ooey gooey cheese, jalapenos, onions, and a jalapeno aioli sauce. It was stupid-good. Like, I’m afraid this meal has ruined the rest of the trip for me because I can’t possibly conceive how something can taste better. Even bacon wouldn’t improve this (though I’d love to test that theory). It was amazing. As for the drinks, the mimosas were crazy-strong and the bloody mary was delicious. One of my favorite things about NOLA is that you can take your drink to go, so once I finished my beignet and I started to feel a little tipsy, I simply paid and took my second mimosa with me on the walk back to the hotel. On the way there, a homeless guy commented on the drink, so I let him have it… he was pretty psyched and by that point the drinks had started to hit me HARD. I barely made it to my hotel room before I passed out in bed and took an hours-long nap. For those keeping track at home, that’s 1.25 mimosas and 1 bloody mary… and I was toasted. So much for all that practice I thought I was doing back home.
My hotel is beside the Superdome, so in between restless drunk naps, I heard people cheering and cars honking. Around 2:30 or 3, I finally kicked my butt out of bed and went downstairs to partake in the action. I walked around a while and then it was obvious that the game had let out – suddenly the area around the hotel was teeming with folks in Saints and Jets gear with lots of chants of “Who dat?,” “Get Spade,” and whatever else they were saying. I followed a Jets fan down the street and he came upon someone else wearing a Jets shirt and their exchange was simply, “Yeah, we still suck.” “Yeah.”
Eventually I made my way to a place called Luke’s for some oysters. I’d done my research and it turns out they have 75 cent raw oysters from 3-6. At this point it had been a while since brunch, but I knew dinner was a few hours off, so I stopped in for a snack.
I ordered a dozen raw oysters, and while I was still a little drunk (honestly, what did they put in those drinks this morning?!), something didn’t look right. So I did some quick math and realized that they gave me at least a dozen and a half oysters. Before touching them, I brought it to the attention of the shucker, and he winked and told me it was all good. So my dozen oysters turned into a dozen and a half and I was only charged for a dozen. Cheapest oyster snack ever (and most delicious)!
The next part of the day was the part I’d been waiting for – I attended a Christmas concert at St Louis Cathedral (picture above). Before today, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a line of people several blocks long, waiting to get into church. The guy behind me said to his girlfriend, “This must be the hottest club in town tonight,” which made me giggle… but it was true. I’ve never seen so many people pack a church before.
The plan was supposed to be that I went to the concert in the church and then went outside to Jackson Square for Christmas caroling – apparently that’s a thing. However, before the concert ended, the conductor announced that the caroling was being brought indoors due to the rain… so really, most of us just stayed put and they let more people in.
By the time the caroling started, the church was packed to the gills. Standing room only, all the way around – people were smushed sitting shoulder to shoulder, while there were still more people crowding in the aisles. Someone came around and passed out songbooks so that everyone could sing along – the idea is that everyone is welcome, regardless of religious affiliation (and let’s be real – how many C&E-ers really know all the words to Good King Wenceslas?). We sang 18 songs, and it was clear which ones were the most popular – the church erupted for Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Angels We Have Heard On High (really just the Gloria in excelsis Deo part), and Deck the Halls. Even for a non-religious person like myself, it was quite an experience and I’m glad I spent my evening in church.
I made three more stops before I called it a night. The first was to Pat O’Brien’s since I was so close to it – I had “Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s” on my to-do list for this trip. So I paid $9, took one sip out on the street, and nearly spit it out. Apparently hurricanes (the drinks) are not my jam. Or maybe my body was still protesting the mimosas and bloody mary from this morning? Either way, I carried it back to the hotel room, drained the ice out of it, and put it in the fridge. Maybe I’ll like it tomorrow? If not, oh well.
The next-to-last stop was at The Company Burger, for a burger and onion rings. It was good, but wayyyy too salty for my liking. Still, the onion rings were very crispy and I liked that. And finally, my last stop was Rouse’s Market, a local grocery chain, so I could buy more seltzer water. I’m super-dehydrated and I just can’t get enough water here. Did I somehow skip over Louisiana and transport myself to the desert?
Tomorrow is another jam-packed day, the highlight of which might just be visiting the local Red Cross. I passed it today on my way to breakfast, so at least I know where it is… I’m just hoping it’s not pouring down rain tomorrow so I don’t look like a drowned rat when I get there. 🙂
Hope you all had a great weekend!