Visiting Lafayette, Louisiana AND Dancing in New Orleans.
Trish and I drove to New Orleans for a long weekend, stopping at my friend W.T.’s in Lafayette on Thursday night. He is the world’s best host. We didn’t get there until 10:00 pm, and he had made us red beans and rice for a late dinner and kept it warm.
Lafayette is a beautiful and wealthy Cajun city, with lots of zydeco music. We stayed through the night and breakfast the next morning and were tempted to return on Sunday for the music there but knew we would be overwhelmed with wonderful choices when we got to New Orleans. Amusingly enough, our hosts in Lafayette and New Orleans both said that his/her city was MUCH better for us than the other city. We loved both of them!
I sold my car last May in Minneapolis and hope never to have to own another one, unless it’s a communal car. I rented and drove a car in Austin for a week last October when I was visiting. I drove Trish’s car part of the way to Lafayette, in the rain, in rush hour traffic, in Houston. Quite a change from the bus in Mexico!
We took our time driving from Lafayette to New Orleans, taking the long way on River Road, past the plantations. Please see Trish’s photos on my Diana’s Adventures and Intentional Community Visits Facebook Wall.
We arrived at Tegan’s house in New Orleans late afternoon on Friday. She lives in a nice middle class, mixed race neighborhood. If you are going to visit New Orleans, plan to stay at Tegan’s. I can give you contact information on airbnb if you write to me.
I was going to be a good girl/writer and find a urban intentional community in New Orleans to tell you about but there were so many things to do in New Orleans that I didn’t find the time unfortunately. It would have taken a lot of time and energy, which I felt would be better used to dance, which I needed after the dearth of dancing in Mexico and Guatemala.
Friday night Trish and I walked up and down Bourbon Street. I danced at every bar with a dance floor and good music; must have been 10 or 12 of them. We started with Swing Music, dancing with the singer in the band. Then blues, rock, others I can’t remember and ended with dancing to two hip-hop bands (Trish’s fav). We made lots of new friends and had a blast. We stumbled back to the street car and back to Tegan’s for much needed sleep.
Saturday was the big St. Patrick’s Day parade, which didn’t impress me much because of the redundancy of the marchers (2016 St. Patrick’s Day; I’ll be in Ireland!). You stand there, and they throw stuff at you, for you to collect. I’m not interested in stuff. I gave my stuff away. I did put on some green beads but gave them away. Trish and I watched them cleaning the street after the parade. It was disgusting to see all the stuff, which was now garbage.
It was interesting to see the marchers who came from Chicago and Milwaukee. I was hoping for dancing men in kilts, but there were few dancers or drama in the parade.
Saturday night Trish and I went dancing on Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter. This is the area for insiders (less tourists and many less drunks) who want to hear real New Orleans Blues/Jazz. We danced at a few of the best places, then went outside to check the action in the street. Perfect timing! There was a band of perhaps 10 musicians who were just starting to march down the street. I joined them, leading the dancers, and had a great time!
Sunday we went to the French Market and then to a parade of Mardi Gras “Indians”. Apparently the African-Americans in New Orleans weren’t allowed to participate in Mardi Gras parades as black people, so chose to be Indians. The history of Mardi Gras is very complex and would have to be related by a native.
We ate sushi for dinner, very welcome after too much Cajun food. I would have loved to have gone dancing that night. The spirit was willing but the feet were protesting.
We drove back to Austin yesterday. Today I am doing travel planning, so stay tuned…..