Last night was like a lesser degree of Mardi Gras. Little did we know, our stay would align with the French Quarter Festival. We walked down Bourbon street (shown above), as we searched for this quaint wine bar I had identified. Once we turned away from the main street, it was like we stepped into another world. We accidentally passed the bar, and as we did, an older man told us to be careful. As we turned around to enter the bar, his response was along the lines of “oh, you’re where you need to be, everything will be ok.”
With a room right on Bourbon Street, and single-pane windows, it was like trying to sleep during a house party. It’s like a dirtier version of Vegas without the comfort of a sound-proof hotel. Once the partying stopped, thunder that sounded like banging dumpsters began. The only prospect of this was that it would clear the people out below. To say we were slightly unprepared for any rain would be an understatement. I was planning for 75-80 degree weather, trying to figure out how to comply with 78%+ humidity.
With a storm cast over the city, and a sleepless night, I had no prospect of running. There was no way we could even walk to our conference a half mile away without becoming completely drenched and miserable.
So we waited it out, experiencing unusual forms of hospitality. I think all of the workers are pretty much tired of people since they haven’t had a rest. From Mardi Gras to Spring Break to the Final Four game to the French Quarter Festival, the city has been impacted with constant guests. We were rejected from the hotel restaurant, but we also rejected the $15 buffet, from what I could see, consisted of crusted up eggs. We found a nearby eatery, The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant, that happened to be featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (although I’m not really a big fan of the show anymore, I always figure it’s a good sign it’s a hidden gem). Our breakfast was interrupted with soulful belts of song from one of the waitresses. The whole thing (place, scenery, people) just felt like the quintessential New Orleans breakfast.
To say the least, it has been an interesting trip so far! Luckily tonight we’ve been moved to an interior queen-sized room that is so peaceful and aesthetically more pleasing (more blue and less burnt orange). PLUS it’s quiet!