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Old 02-28-2009, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,843 posts, read 54,857,697 times
Reputation: 22812

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Well, well, well... they say when you've nothing good to say to shut up... perhaps I should stop right here. It's hard to express an opinion without "offending" a good number of people. Let's say I consider this trip an enormous waste of money. The only upside to it would be the purchase of newly found appreciation for AZ and the lesson that sometimes you should listen to your husband when he tells you he'd never go somewhere... And as most of you know I'm a fan of city life and vibrant and lively downtowns. Most places I've ever visited I would've loved to live in if it weren't for a horrible weather or a very high cost of living. This city I would've loved to leave at any given time and will never set foot there again.

I survived my first and last Mardi Gras, which I suppose is an accomplishment in its own right. Only got a little sick at the end, which is something likely to happen on winter trips. Saw some flashing of body parts by either gender on Bourbon. A half-naked girl was talking with a cop, so I suppose that's not acceptable. A painted body (just the upper part) does qualify as clothing, though.

So, let me try to find something good. The hotel bed was great and I spent quite a bit of time in it going - you idiot could've bought just as and more luxurious bed to have for years to come instead of this dumb "vacation." Some of the floats are really elaborate and interesting. I think the floats of the Rex parade are the best. Might be because since they were the only ones I could see up close and personal, but there's definitely a substantial difference between them and some of the more minor parades. Zulu's good, too. Got a coconut! There's something about the secrecy and history of Mardi Gras that gives me a bad vibe, too... Gotta do some research on it. I might've participated in something I really didn't care to... The kings are really "kings" and they live in million-dollar houses in the middle of the Garden District, which would be the only somewhat acceptable place to live if you are to live there.

The food as far as I'm concerned is a joke for the most part. Of course, I have to put a disclaimer I'm a picky eater and not really into "sophisticated," "imaginative," "fusion" or whatever you wanna call it weird food. This one I didn't try anyway. The seafood I wasn't impressed with at all and I love seafood. Again, seafood assumes food coming from a "sea"... not a muddy river. When you bread stuff it can be just about anything... breaded cat wouldn't be much different, I'd imagine... Tried alligator. It tastes sorta like frog legs I used to like in the past, but that was before having huge shrimp and lobster and I'm not that big of a fan anymore. I thought the boiled crawfish was disgusting... other people were eating it... I mean, it's not like it's not fresh... it certainly is... just doesn't taste good. When it's breaded it's edible and one concoction of it (like crab cakes) was even yummy - probably because other ingredients actually concealed its taste.

The beignets at Cafe Du Monde didn't disappoint. They were very similar to the things my Mom used to make; only that hers were waaaayy better. She could've made a fortune somewhere other than our kitchen. The smell all over the city is hardly conducive to working up an appetite, though. The last day when I was already sick I was close to literally throwing up... Yet, everybody tries to be polite... no mentioning it, no covered noses... it's like having a big elephant in a room and ignoring it... I'd imagine the locals who've never left the state may very well think it's the norm, but it only takes a bit of travel to discover it's not!

I guess I didn't manage to avoid negative examples. I'll just keep my little travel report buried here in this chat thread. Couldn't avoid some keywords that will come up in searches, but hey... I wish somebody had told me what this highly overrated place is really like beforehand. I had this romantic notion of it that has nothing to do with reality. And the reality has nothing to do with Mardi Gras or Katrina because the areas I was in were never flooded and I spent a few days outside of Mardi Gras.

 
Old 02-28-2009, 11:00 AM
 
13,779 posts, read 17,028,088 times
Reputation: 7254
I am so sorry...was it too commercialized for you? It was getting like that the last time I went years ago.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post
Well, well, well... they say when you've nothing good to say to shut up... perhaps I should stop right here. It's hard to express an opinion without "offending" a good number of people. Let's say I consider this trip an enormous waste of money. The only upside to it would be the purchase of newly found appreciation for AZ and the lesson that sometimes you should listen to your husband when he tells you he'd never go somewhere... And as most of you know I'm a fan of city life and vibrant and lively downtowns. Most places I've ever visited I would've loved to live in if it weren't for a horrible weather or a very high cost of living. This city I would've loved to leave at any given time and will never set foot there again.

I survived my first and last Mardi Gras, which I suppose is an accomplishment in its own right. Only got a little sick at the end, which is something likely to happen on winter trips. Saw some flashing of body parts by either gender on Bourbon. A half-naked girl was talking with a cop, so I suppose that's not acceptable. A painted body (just the upper part) does qualify as clothing, though.

So, let me try to find something good. The hotel bed was great and I spent quite a bit of time in it going - you idiot could've bought just as and more luxurious bed to have for years to come instead of this dumb "vacation." Some of the floats are really elaborate and interesting. I think the floats of the Rex parade are the best. Might be because since they were the only ones I could see up close and personal, but there's definitely a substantial difference between them and some of the more minor parades. Zulu's good, too. Got a coconut! There's something about the secrecy and history of Mardi Gras that gives me a bad vibe, too... Gotta do some research on it. I might've participated in something I really didn't care to... The kings are really "kings" and they live in million-dollar houses in the middle of the Garden District, which would be the only somewhat acceptable place to live if you are to live there.

The food as far as I'm concerned is a joke for the most part. Of course, I have to put a disclaimer I'm a picky eater and not really into "sophisticated," "imaginative," "fusion" or whatever you wanna call it weird food. This one I didn't try anyway. The seafood I wasn't impressed with at all and I love seafood. Again, seafood assumes food coming from a "sea"... not a muddy river. When you bread stuff it can be just about anything... breaded cat wouldn't be much different, I'd imagine... Tried alligator. It tastes sorta like frog legs I used to like in the past, but that was before having huge shrimp and lobster and I'm not that big of a fan anymore. I thought the boiled crawfish was disgusting... other people were eating it... I mean, it's not like it's not fresh... it certainly is... just doesn't taste good. When it's breaded it's edible and one concoction of it (like crab cakes) was even yummy - probably because other ingredients actually concealed its taste.

The beignets at Cafe Du Monde didn't disappoint. They were very similar to the things my Mom used to make; only that hers were waaaayy better. She could've made a fortune somewhere other than our kitchen. The smell all over the city is hardly conducive to working up an appetite, though. The last day when I was already sick I was close to literally throwing up... Yet, everybody tries to be polite... no mentioning it, no covered noses... it's like having a big elephant in a room and ignoring it... I'd imagine the locals who've never left the state may very well think it's the norm, but it only takes a bit of travel to discover it's not!

I guess I didn't manage to avoid negative examples. I'll just keep my little travel report buried here in this chat thread. Couldn't avoid some keywords that will come up in searches, but hey... I wish somebody had told me what this highly overrated place is really like beforehand. I had this romantic notion of it that has nothing to do with reality. And the reality has nothing to do with Mardi Gras or Katrina because the areas I was in were never flooded and I spent a few days outside of Mardi Gras.
 
Old 02-28-2009, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Tennessee bound...someday
2,516 posts, read 3,011,659 times
Reputation: 7062
Geez, Sierra, that's too bad. I love New Orleans & have always had a great time there. But I'm not a huge fan of Mardi Gras.
Did it once - for only 24 hours - that was enough. But I'm still glad I got to see it.

What about the music? Were you able to catch any live bands inside the bars? Did you tour any of the voodoo back streets, ghost tours or cathedrals?
I found them entertaining - not buyin most of it - but still was fun. Did you go to the casino? I haven't tried that yet.

Well...like you said, the flip side is you love your home even more now!

So where will your next vacation be?
 
Old 02-28-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,843 posts, read 54,857,697 times
Reputation: 22812
Quote:
Originally Posted by piperspal View Post
Geez, Sierra, that's too bad. I love New Orleans & have always had a great time there. But I'm not a huge fan of Mardi Gras.
Did it once - for only 24 hours - that was enough. But I'm still glad I got to see it.

What about the music? Were you able to catch any live bands inside the bars? Did you tour any of the voodoo back streets, ghost tours or cathedrals?
I found them entertaining - not buyin most of it - but still was fun. Did you go to the casino? I haven't tried that yet.
Well, I guess Mardi Gras is something to be seen once in a lifetime... I'm not really into jazz, but I did hear some music obviously. As far as museums go, I went to the Cabildo, the cathedral, the Presbytere, the 1850's house, and The Ursuline monastery. Peeked through some other old houses/bars now. Was gonna go to the voodoo museum, but figured visiting a few stores is probably enough. It's not like I will understand it or frankly care to... Took the ferry across the river to Algiers - at a very unfortunate time: Zulu was arriving at the same time, so the ferry back was delayed by more than a 1/2 hour. Took a tour of the Garden District and walked around Magazine St. Would've been better off taking a swamp tour and trying to see a gator instead of wasting my time on Magazine. Well, a gator was available for purchasing in one store for cool 15K! Yeah, I went to see the casino, namely its restrooms. NO is just such a stinky place I can't get past it. And even they banned smoking. Holy cow, it's way more hazardous to breathe the damn air there!

You know, I suppose cities are somewhat like people - some you have a connection with; some you don't. I haven't been to Paris. Most people rave about it; many find it dirty and the people rude... One should see for himself because nobody trusts others' judgment. Even if somebody had told me what NO is really like (like my ex did) I would've thought they were nitpicky, prejudiced, you name it... Obviously you can't see stench on pictures...

Quote:
Well...like you said, the flip side is you love your home even more now!
Yeah, my home might not be in the best place, but God knows there's a lot worse!

Quote:
So where will your next vacation be?
I think short of Boston/New England and perhaps Quebec/Montreal I'm about done with the cities on this continent. Always wanted to see Miami, but somehow have the feeling it will probably be another NO... Sooo, I'll probably focus on plopping my rear mainly on the Mexican beaches - Riviera Maya mostly and perhaps Puerto Vallarta, with some occasional stint in Europe. Beach is definitely next! I guess I'm getting older and that combined with the sucking traveling in general and smoking bans these days will make me more of a homebody. I'm certainly not going anywhere in the winter anymore unless it's South America. Only that the thought of 14-15 hour flights gives me the creeps...
 
Old 02-28-2009, 12:31 PM
 
13,779 posts, read 17,028,088 times
Reputation: 7254
^^ I'll be in Boston in September!!! Staying at the IV Beacon...maybe I'll see ya' there!
 
Old 02-28-2009, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,843 posts, read 54,857,697 times
Reputation: 22812
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstewart View Post
^^ I'll be in Boston in September!!! Staying at the IV Beacon...maybe I'll see ya' there!
Anything special going on in Sep?
 
Old 02-28-2009, 01:41 PM
 
13,779 posts, read 17,028,088 times
Reputation: 7254
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post
Anything special going on in Sep?
Every few years some college friends and I get back to Boston, go to a football game and try to get in a Red Sox game but the sox aren't playing at home when we are there...We go out to eat, shop, and just reminisce...it's a blast!
 
Old 02-28-2009, 01:44 PM
 
Location: So Cal
25,203 posts, read 19,037,836 times
Reputation: 23686
I need to go out and do some errands and I'm trying to work up the strength.

Just feel like lazing around the ol' casa.
 
Old 02-28-2009, 01:48 PM
 
13,779 posts, read 17,028,088 times
Reputation: 7254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
I need to go out and do some errands and I'm trying to work up the strength.

Just feel like lazing around the ol' casa.
Haha!! I don't have any today!!! I went nutty last weekend doing them
 
Old 02-28-2009, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,843 posts, read 54,857,697 times
Reputation: 22812
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstewart View Post
Every few years some college friends and I get back to Boston, go to a football game and try to get in a Red Sox game but the sox aren't playing at home when we are there...We go out to eat, shop, and just reminisce...it's a blast!
That's nice - getting together with ol' GFs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstewart View Post
Haha!! I don't have any today!!! I went nutty last weekend doing them
I'm lazing around, too. Besides, I don't feel very good. Before I left I said it was too bad I left my house somewhat dirty and it wouldn't be pleasant to come back to a dirty place. After my "lovely" experiences my house looks spotless, smells like fresh roses, and will look clean for another month to come with no cleaning at all! Everything's a matter of perception! Maybe I should take a nap and sweat off some more of this cold.

I just found out NO's mayor calls cleanliness Disney-like!

Mayor Ray Nagin's sanitation director has sent a letter to the owner of the company that collects trash and sweep streets in downtown neighborhoods telling the firm to stop providing "Disney-like" additions to its basic daily garbage collections on Jan. 31.

Mayor Ray Nagin's sanitation chief orders halt to 'Disney-like' cleaning in French Quarter - Breaking News from New Orleans - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com

Judging by this article and people's opinions that's the cleanest this place has ever been! And it was winter! Can't even begin to picture what summer smells like!
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