Sunday, June 22, 2014

OPERATION NOLA

I can't believe June is almost over!! 
How did that happen? 
My summer break is officially half way over...
somebody make it stop! 

As promised in my previous posts, my latest mission for summer break has been "OPERATION NOLA." 
I love NOLA {NOLA = New Orleans, LA}  
The quaint hidden cafes. The old world charm. The architecture. The oaks.
 The streetcars.  The food.  
     
You never know what surprises you'll stumble upon.....like this cat we recently spied napping in the window of an art gallery....


You don't see that everyday. Anything goes in this strange and wondrous city. 

I've spent the end of May and much of the month of June in New Orleans for 2 reasons.

First, we spent an action packed weekend celebrating my oldest nephew's wedding. It was the most unique and fun-loving wedding I'd ever attended.  We'd been waiting for this wedding to happen for a long time.  
Aren't they a beautiful sight? 

The ceremony and reception was so lovely, complete with a “make your own bananas foster” bar?  My son, Riley, couldn’t eat at all the next day because of an overdose of bananas foster, a dish created in New Orleans in 1951.  If you haven't experienced the magic of bananas foster, you must click here because you're missing out. 
(if you follow me on instagram you already know what a major foodie I am :)


Cooked bananas. Ice cream. Brown sugar & rum. 
Essentially, it is heaven in a bowl.
But I digress.

The ceremony, the reception, the food, the family, the drinks, the music- all fabulous! Look at us in the photo booth trying to be cool...


Oh here's more attempts at coolness..
It was just fun :)

 As the reception wound down, a jazz band joined the festivities and paraded around the reception hall while we all "second lined."  If you're not familiar with what this means you can learn more about it here. Basically, it's a group of revelers parading through the streets- or in the this case the room- usually with parasols {that's southern for umbrella} and hankies- behind a brass, jazz band. 
It's most commonly done for funerals and weddings.  

When the jazz band paraded out of the reception venue, we thought it was over.  WRONG!  They headed into the streets of the infamous French Quarter - and so did we!  The NOPD shone their blue lights and cleared the streets so that we could second line down Bourbon Street!  The bride and groom danced with their parasols while we paraded behind them- sticking with the tradition of waving our handkerchiefs as we marched.  

It was around midnight by this time and French Quarter tourists parted the streets so we could pass. They snapped photos and boogied along with us.  

Stumbling onto a second line in New Orleans is always exciting - it’s not something you see everyday- like a parade just sprung out of nowhere!  

Next we pranced down Canal street, one of the busiest streets in New Orleans, once again stopping traffic.  It ended with us congregated at a busy intersection that the jazz band filled with music while we watched the new couple dance a little more.  You can see them in the video.   It.  was.  so.  much.  fun.  
I can’t even explain. What a great memory for my nephew and his new wife!

video


After the celebration, my husband and I hit the streets of the French Quarter with our extended family members. After all, the whole air conditioning system at the 4 star hotel where we were staying was broken and it was much cooler on the streets. 

Now a broken AC might not mean much in other areas of the country but LET ME JUST TELL YOU, New Orleans in the summer is like living in a mouth.  
Hot.  Wet.  Stinky.  
AC is a necessity- not a luxury.  When we gave up and rolled into our hot, muggy room somewhere close to morning, we slept atop the covers and wished for daylight so we could haul out of there! GAH!! 

But we were not done with New Orleans.  
Back and forth.  Back and forth.  We keep going. 
You see, my oldest son will be attending graduate school there in August, so we commenced the housing hunt well in advance. 
He had done that whole "live in squalor with roommates in crummy apartments and falling down houses thing" during his undergrad years and he'd finally outgrown that and was ready to return to quiet, peaceful, grown up, civilized living. 
Hooray! 
 Well, we very quickly found out that NOLA real estate is something very similar to Manhattan real estate. OH MY!! 
Since Hurricane Katrina soaked much of the city, housing is a hot commodity, especially in the most popular, beautiful and safe areas. 
We quickly learned that for a small fortune, you can rent or buy a rotted, rusted shack of sorts or a small room in a mega mansion subdivided 8 ways that has seen much better days. 
Forget washers and dryers.  Those are apparently rare in NOLA.  Forget parking.  
Forget even central AC.
It’s been a challenge to say the least. 

So back and forth we ride down Interstate 10 to New Orleans to look (hopefully) at more dwellings.  My son isn’t picky; he’d live in a cardboard box and call it an adventure, but this momma wants him tucked away safe and sound in this notorious city- which happens to be at or near the top of every list for danger/crime/murder.  (gulp)

We eventually decided that perhaps we’d buy one of the tiny shotgun houses that color New Orleans.  It would be an investment and a place for us to stay for the weekends we spend in the Big Easy, and we would be the perfect landlords for our son. That’s not easy, y’all! When little houses hit the market, they’re snapped up in a day or two.  
I feel like I’m in an episode of House Hunters.  Not in a good way.

Back we ride on Monday to look at a handful of more shotguns.  Don’t know what a shotgun house is?  So classic New Orleans... 


Read about them, their history and how they got their name here.
In the meantime, wish us luck with the house hunt!! 
OPERATION NOLA continues.

-Mia

2 comments:

  1. That looks and sounds like SOOO much fun!! Good luck on house hunting--never much fun unless you have amazing luck and Providence attached to you!

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