The comment heard the most this weekend was, “What happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans”. The funny thing is, not all that much went on…or at least these people are better at keeping secrets than I am.
Apparently, someone forgot to tell one of our counterparts that New Orleans was a bit risqué. Seems she couldn’t come to grips with body shots, which I personally find pretty cool. I was a little irritated because 1) these people were on their own time, 2) they were not doing anything illegal, and 3) it’s freakin’ New Orleans. What do you think happens on Bourbon Street? Church Socials? Not hardly.
One of the cooler parts of the trip was the ride down. We took The City of New Orleans train from Jackson to New Orleans and it was a blast. I wish train travel was utilized more often because I love to ride the train. We had plenty of room, the employees were courteous and friendly, and we got to see some cool stuff. I actually saw two alligators in the bayou around Lake Ponchetrain. It was just cool. Eating in the dining car was a lot of fun, too. A word of caution though. When pouring your soda into a glass, be sure to lift both off the table. If not, you’ll end up spilling it all over the table, which will cause the server to chastise you, the head waitress to laugh at you, and all the old people around you to snicker. Doing it twice will make you even more embarrassed and people will be sure to notice all the other crap you spill throughout the weekend.
I didn’t go out Sunday night because I had a headache that almost made me barf. It was incredible. Imagine someone sticking a railroad spike through your eyebrow and out the back of your head. Then imagine them heating it, and tapping on it every once in a while to remind you that it’s still there. That’s about what it felt like. I was in bed about 8:30. In case you think I’m exaggerating, I’ll have you know that I left a piece of chocolate cake 90% intact. Turns out I missed some cool stuff like girl-on-girl body shots, cage dancing, and other assorted “what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans” kinds of things. Stupid railroad spike.
We spent all day Monday in presentations, some of which were good, and some of which made me want to pluck out my eyelids. And can someone please tell me why there’s always that one guy who has to argue a trivial point like he’s in front of the Supreme Court? These guys should be put in a national registry and banned from all company meetings. Gee whiz, if there had been a hammer in that room, someone would have beaten this dork senseless. As it turns out, he was wrong and finally shut up.
Monday afternoon, several of us headed down Decatur and hung out at an open-air bar. The little jazz combo was really good and even took requests. Thankfully, they didn’t know “Muskrat Love”, which is one of the guy’s favorite songs. We had a few drinks and some awesome crawfish. They had a great flavor and weren’t too hot. Then, it was off to NOLA, one of Emeril’s restaurants.
This was the most fun I’d had in a while. The atmosphere was very good, the Apple martinis were excellent (I refuse to call them Apple-tini’s), and my friends and I had a blast. The crotchety, hard-of-hearing, gotta-complain-to-the-manager, old farts next to us might have had a different experience. They were trying to conduct some ‘business’ in a loud restaurant with brick walls that caused the sound to bounce around like a rubber ball. Needless to say, our ‘antics’ didn’t sit very well with them. Our waiter earned an extra-generous tip when he said, “You’re paying money the same as they are. You have your fun and let them have theirs”. In spite of the old coots, we still had a lot of fun.
Let me be honest here, Dear Reader. This was, by far, some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. I got the NOLA Shellfish Stew, and although I was expecting something more like a cioppino, it was still very good. We all shared what we ordered and not one of the entrees was anything less than excellent. I highly recommend NOLA to anyone heading to New Orleans. Just don’t tell them I sent you. I’m not sure I can go back.
I wish I had some stories of drunken debauchery and illicit fornication, but alas, it was a fairly tame trip. Maybe next time.