Monday, February 28, 2011

A Weekend in NOLA

This past weekend I flew down to New Orleans for a fun weekend in between my University of Kentucky and Carnegie Mellon visits. I had never even been to Louisiana before, let alone New Orleans, so when my friend Luke mentioned meeting up there, I didn't hesitate to make travel arrangements!

On Friday, we didn't do too much. When we both got into town, we went out for dinner and caught a night parade in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me to take any pictures!

Saturday was the day where I really got to see New Orleans. Luke's cousins live in Algiers Point on the West Bank, across the river from downtown. We went over to their house, then took the ferry to downtown New Orleans. Here's a picture of downtown from the ferry.

Exploring the city was so much fun, and the weather was perfect. Here's a picture of Royal Street on a gorgeous 75 degree afternoon.

Of course we had to check out Pat O'Brien's, a New Orleans bar that can brag about selling eight million dollars worth of Hurricane mixed drinks each year.

Here is a picture of the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral.

I was amazed by how many street performers there were. We saw magicians, a transformer, jugglers, bands, everything. This dancing group, shown below, has become so popular that this location is their territory. They had the most wild moves, including flipping over 7 volunteers from the crowd.

Here is another street performer, who actually does not perform at all. He just sits. And sits. And sits. And eventually he gets up and moves to another location where he sits. And sits. And sits. He won't even move when people disturb him or do inappropriate things to him. The photo below is a bit R-rated because of a generous gift from a likely intoxicated tourist.

Here's a picture of Bourbon Street, taken mid-afternoon. I was amazed by how many people managed to be drunk at that hour of the day!

After exploring downtown for a bit, we caught a cab out to the Garden District, a beautiful neighborhood in New Orleans. The houses in the Garden District are old, refurbished, and amazingly beautiful. I also got to see a traditional New Orleans cemetery, shown below.

Here's a picture of Luke and I in the Garden District.

After a delicious French dinner at Coquette, followed by gelatti, Luke and I headed back downtown to catch one of the evening parades. We ended up seeing three parades while we were in New Orleans, and I don't know why I didn't think of taking pictures during the day parade we saw. I think I was too busy trying to catch beads! Since my camera doesn't do well with bright, moving objects at night, I didn't get the best picture, but here is a picture of one of the floats.

Here's an even lower quality photo of an Elvis-themed float in the parade.

All in all, I'd say it was the perfect weekend. I had so much fun experiencing New Orleans in its early stages of Mardi Gras madness.

This week I am in Pittsburgh for a second visit to Carnegie Mellon University. My week started off pretty rough, with flight delays that caused me to miss Standards, CC, and chapter meeting. Then, I lost my luggage for the first time all year. Luckily enough, it was found and delivered to the CMU Kappa house at 8 o'clock this morning.

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