27 May 2009

NOLA i | Arrival

Jesse and I have officially been to the Big Easy. We went to New Orleans two weeks ago for a wedding. It was the first time I remember traveling for a wedding (Heather & Nick got married in Vegas) and the first time Jesse had been to a wedding with me. We planned the trip five or six months ago, back when Jesse had a job and when I first found flights for $300. Circumstances changed, but tickets were purchased and away we went.

The wedding was on a Friday evening. We arrived early that morning, ready to see the French Quarter. We only had two full days, so we decided against rushing to a lot of places. I admit the majority of what I know about New Orleans comes from Hurricane Katrina. I didn't know much aside from Mardi Gras before then and I haven't heard much positive since. So I was excited to see the city and love it, to find the charm and the history, and to make new memories with friends. And I'm pleased to report most of that happened.

We passed the Superdome on the way to the hotel and I almost didn't recognize it. It's whole, and looks certainly sturdy enough to withstand strong winds. The weather was pleasant and the area around the dome was clean. Still, I kept thinking there were people inside, or that there was no electricity, or that it was falling apart. Clearly I'm a victim of my own trade.

We stayed at the same hotel as the bridal party, (W French Quarter) and I highly recommend it. It's tucked along a quaint street and opens into a modern complex. I liked the layout, the colors, and the window that actually opened to the outside. If I do go back to New Orleans, I'd stay there in a heartbeat - assuming I could afford it.

First stop on our journey: the bride's room. Tab had hair and make up going before 9AM. The stylist was there with his own chair. The schedule was up and the bridesmaids were waiting. There was a 27 page itinerary, mimosas, bagels and muffins.

Jesse and I greeted the party then went to our room. I think the estrogen was starting to make him woozy. There was no real break from that though (we stayed in a room with three other girls), and he had to cope. We checked in with our roommates and while they slept off the rehearsal dinner, Jesse and I hit the quarter.