The humidity swept me up in its dewy splendor; the cobble stones threw me off balance just enough to let me surrender to it’s Cajun ways; the Franco-bluesy music beguiled me to put my red lips on.
New Orleans was everything I thought it was going to be.
Beyond the drunken frat boys and middle American families were the deeply romantic denizens stubbornly residing in NOLA to live life as they want to live it.
I can’t pretend to understand what everyday life is like there, but I got hints from the waiter who recommended an oyster restaurant that had gone out of business, from the Captain of our swamp tour whose accent I mistook for a Bostonian only because I had never heard a true Cajun accent before, and from the midget body builder cab driver who proudly showed me his Call sheet from the New Orleans-based film “The Courier” where he had a couple of lines.
The heart of New Orleans poured out from our last night in the Apple Barrel Bar on Frenchmen Street. I had heard drumming before but this knocked me off my heels.
Granted, the group of 10 girls were now down to 7, and soon to be down to 4 – I didn’t stay nearly as long as I would have liked.
But when you see a man who has soaked through his traditional African Dashiki and the white girl banging along right in line – you know you are in a special place. When a white girl can play drums with the best of the black men – they are onto something.
It moved me like nowhere else we had been that weekend. Well, maybe there was one more thing…
The psychic in the square had something to offer as well. We all thought it would be fun to meet with a psychic since New Orleans is kind of known for them…
This is what she told me:
Three gifts I’ve received from a dead relative, the young dark-haired psychic told me. These three gifts all allowed me to see what was happening in my life – 1. vivid dreams told me the future, 2. goose bumps alerted me when something was going right or wrong and 3. deja vu to keep me on track.
She’s right – I get all three often, and I have a feeling it was from my Tia Juanita who died when I was 8. (Believe what you will – I do).
The mystical kicker was when she said I would be pregnant by the end of the year. I laughed and tossed my short blonde hair, (that’s hard to do) and told her “I have an IUD, that’s not possible.”
She stared me down, squinted her eyes and said, “Birth control doesn’t work in your family.”
Taken aback and kicked in the pit of my future baby’s resting place, I gulped. In fact, both my sister and my mother have gotten pregnant while on birth control. How did she know that?? And why am I getting goose pimples now?
Premonitions aside, the rest of the weekend wasn’t nearly so deep. Hurricanes (the drink, not the weather pattern), swamp tours, scavenger hunts and bachelorette parties will do that to you.
This was truly the best Bachelorette party I had ever attended. I’d like to say it was just the place, but it wasn’t. It was also the company.
I hadn’t laughed like that in ages. Rachel has some incredible girlfriends, and I am so proud to be one of her bridesmaids.
Bring on Austin, Texas!!
Below is a video of the last day I was there. I randomly walked down the street, and this was happening.
Vive New Orleans! (Click here if you don’t see the video below).