This week I am grateful for
New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. My Grandparents are from Lafayette, Louisiana and I used to spend every summer down there. Some of my fondest childhood memories lie in the swamps of Louisiana.
I fell in love with the city of New Orleans as a young girl. I was drawn to the architecture (which was so very different from the suburbs of DC where I grew up) and the vibe of the city. The huge live oak trees fascinated me. We sure didn’t have trees like that where I grew up. Life was a little bit slower and more decadent. I loved it and still do.
Naturally, I ended up moving to New Orleans as an adult. Unfortunately, my timing was less than stellar (or perfect depending on your perspective) because I happened to move down there 2 weeks before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. I chose to stick it out and moved back shortly after the storm. The city was in shambles, but life seemed to just come together for me despite all the devastation. I found an awesome job at a great salon, I met someone who changed my life for the better and challenged me to find my full potential, and I made some great friends. It truly was an amazing time in my life.
The first Mardi Gras after Katrina was my first Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It was a really rare and special Mardi Gras. The city was licking it’s wounds, which were raw and enormous, however the celebration of Mardi Gras seemed to be just what was needed to boost morale and remind everyone why they love the Crescent City. I took Friday-Tuesday off from work and immersed myself in Mardi Gras festivities. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had.
Today is the Friday before Fat Tuesday and I can’t help but feel nostalgic for that first Mardi Gras after the storm. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss that city. Sometimes I wish I never left. New Orleans is a hot mess, but I love it anyway – flaws and all. One day, I’ll go back down for Mardi Gras and show my daughter my favorite city. For now, I will be there in spirit.
Laissez le bon temps rouler!