Oh my goodness, this place was hot, and I don’t mean just in the sense of live music, let’s party, in your face, good times hot, I mean 126 degrees in the center of town hot! Add to that, I love big crowds, throbbing dance music and crazy people, my husband…not so much. This is the scenario you must picture when I tell you the story of our trip to New Orleans with children.
The kids were young, Josh had just turned 15 and Chris was 13, yet I still saw them as babies. It was our first vacation somewhere other than Port Aransas and we set out to cover New Orleans, Biloxi, Lucedale and Vicksburg in one week. We wanted the kids to see what New Orleans was all about, the people, the history, the music, the food…well, they got all that and a whole lot more. We wanted them to get some culture but what they got was an eyeful, and we were seriously doubting ourselves as fit parents by the end of that trip.
Luckily, we did not go during Mardi Gras, we went in the middle of the summer and I cannot tell you how bad the city smells at that time. Think stinky trash meets dried puke from last year’s Mardi Gras meets hot port-a-potty, and you’ll be pretty close. The heat made it unimaginable and dragging two impressionable boys around sin city seems so wrong right now yet it seemed like a cool adventure at the time. We visited the cemetery- not my idea- but they enjoyed it. Cemeteries creep me out, this one was ok during the day. It was interesting to see that no one is buried below the ground, due to the high sea level. The boys thought it was cool and marveled at how big some of the tombs were. We took lots of pictures and I think even they realized the historical significance of that place.
Later, after experiencing some delicious beignets and coffee, we ventured into Jackson Square and saw live music, magic and a “freak” show that I will never forget. Of course, my boys thought the freak was awesome and seeing it may have had a profound effect on Josh, he really got into it the way some kids want to run away and join the circus. I think he still views what that guy was doing as a viable way to earn a living. Which it is not, unless you’re a drug addicted homeless person looking for your next meal. Anyway, they ate it up and wanted to see more but we had to move on. Next stop was Pat Obrien’s so Mama could get a Hurricane…oh Lordy what a mistake that was! Alcohol and heat do not mix.
Let me remind you, it was 126 degrees-however we were not aware of that until,we were back at the hotel-and I believe I consumed one and a half hurricanes and they just about dragged me back to the hotel (I still say it’s because it was so hot) and once there I laid down on the bed in the cool air condition and that revived me a bit. Later on Dave and I visited the casino and the boys were actually good, hanging out in the room playing video games and watching tv. What is comical is that when we were walking around Bourbon Street, Josh was wary of the people coming up to his dad and acting like they knew him, or the street performers painted silver and standing still as statues, yet the “freaky” guy in Jackson Square didn’t seem to bother him at all! Kids. Go figure. Chris was more like me-eyes wide open, taking it all in…some things he should not have seen at his tender age (strolling past open bars and viewing half naked ladies within) but his Dad just took it in stride. He figured it would have been much worse had it been night time and just kept walking and trying to get their attention redirected to something more…historical.
All in all, it was a very memorable trip, we had a lot of fun despite the heat and I cannot wait to go back again. We tried at some point to go to the aquarium, but the line was too long, it was Africa hot, and we decided it would have to wait until next time. Of course, there hasn’t been a next time since the hurricane ravaged New Orleans, some day we will go back-maybe even this summer, but you can bet, it will be an adults-only kind of trip this time!
(PS-I’ve torn the house apart looking for our pictures and found only the Vicksburg pics and one other from New Orleans, I will have to add the pictures later, sorry)
(PPS-Joshua had a life-changing event, but that actually happened in Vicksburg on our way home-remind me to tell that story some day 😉) Never mind, he said no way could I tell that one. Oh well. 😂