Monday, July 23, 2012

The Birthday RunDown !!!

If you know me, then you know that in my head my birthday is a national holiday! Every year I suffer a slight panic attack while planning the details of my celebration…yet still, I always find myself trying to outdo the year before. Let me just say now, my friends are the BEST! To put up with my bday emotional rollercoaster and muster up the excitement of celebrating my birthday every year takes exceptional friendship tolerance, no wonder I feel pressure to make it grand so they enjoy it too!


For this birthday I decided I to take my first REAL road trip a la MegaBus…I was excited to get the troops together (14 deep) for the roll out.  Many of you are no stranger to the cool, double decker intercity bus service, but it’s still pretty new in Atlanta. Now I don’t do road trips (nor cruises for that matter)…I’m all about efficiency and like to get where I’m going as quickly as possible, but with all the weddings, 30th bdays celebrations I have this year (and the fact that I’m attempting to be more fiscally responsible)… I figured why not give the old MegaBus a whirl. I found a RT ticket for $10 (10.50 when you add the service charge) and knew it was a sign from God that I needed to order my steps to Bourbon Street!!!  In my usual style I sent out an Evite because my friends just LOVE loathe getting the 10 million reminders ;-)


I decided this social experiment should be a quick run so I opted for 2 days/ 1 night.  All aboard! With the birthday girl and 12 strong our bus left at 11:59pm Friday, July 13th and ready we were. My other 2 friends drove up from Baton Rouge just for me, do you see why I gotta love my friends??! Of course we packed wisely, ALCOHOL and FOOD were in tow!! In hindsight, it would have been nice to have a blanket or pillow, but nooo I guess we figured the alcohol would provide some kind of heat.

After, two stops in random ass parking lots of Alabama (Mobile/Montgomery), lots of bus turbulence (pot holes) and a temp setting of about 20 below zero we finally arrive in New Orleans. We quickly got to our hotels (InterContinental on St.Charles and Marriott on Canal St. both great spots), dropped our bags and hit the streets for breakfast.
I’ll just cut to the chase (food and drAnk) and save you a lot of fillers…also I was sworn to the “What happens in Vegas... (also applies to New Orleans) so some details will go to the grave ;-)

Mothers- Not the fanciest place, but the food was amazing! I had a crawfish etoufee omelette with cheese grits (more like a slice of cheese on grits) and the best biscuit ever… to wash it down a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice…I started out slow while a few of my buddies opted for Mother’s famous Bloody Mary...yummm!

J’s Seafood Dock (French Market, Stall #25)- raw oysters, fried crawfish and fried shrimp all done to perfection…the food was amazing, but the family that runs it is the real catch! We hung out talking to Justin (the son of the owners) while he shucked oysters for at least 2 hours. He gave us a history lesson in the difference between Cajun and Creole culture...very interesting! Justin will be featured on the Travel channel’s show “Trippin” later this fall…you have to look out for it…this kid has a ton of personality ;-)

Loretta’s Pralines (French Market, Stall #9)- what seemed like the longest walk of my life led by Lauren determined to get LORETTA’S Pralines (pronounced- PRAW-LEEN) did turn out to be well worth it…these sugary treats were worth the near diabetic coma

Johnny Ps- Shrimp Po Boy was like the size of my arm…amazing!!!!!

Acme – Chargrilled Oysters #nuff said…I literally licked the oyster shell clean of the remnant parmesan cheese and garlic seasoning. Everything was amazing to include my a slice of banana foster cheesecake for the bday girl ;-)

Bourbon Street – PURE DEBAUCHERY… Please take time with the hand grenades it is not JUICE and it will lay you on your ass. Bourbon Street has a constant stench of vomit and filth (for obvious reasons)…but nonetheless its fun! Oh, and for those asking…you can get beads all year round so you don’t have to wait til Mardi Gras to hear people screaming from balconies “ show your *** “


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Praline Connection – My childhood buddy Kanna who lives in NOLA joined us for lunch at this authentic Creole joint…the food was amazeballs! My crawfish Etoufee was greeeaaat and the cornbread…although it's made from corn was one word, BANANAS!

CafĂ© du Monde- this was my first beignet and OMGOSHHHHHH was it amazing… hot fluffy yumminess!

Popeye's- Yes, because I mean can you really go to Louisiana and not try it…needless to say…it’s the same everywhere…and I think I can thank Popeye's for the zit that’s taking up real estate between my eyebrows right now. 

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Before you know it we were hopping our (5lb heavier) asses back on MegaBus Sunday night for the trek back to Atlanta. Only this time, we were hungover and exhausted. The ride felt 2x longer than coming and the frigid temp was maddening. It didn't help that we also had a bus driver from hell that threatened to call the police if we didn’t get in single file line…to this my bestie pulled out her recorder and was about to channel Rosa Parks, but I begged her not to because I just wanted to get the eff home!! I rang in my birthday somewhere between Mississippi and Alabama…a first and a last I’m sure!  We got back to Atlanta at 7a on my birthday…dog tired with bad breath. Overall, this trip was a 10…14 friends and the streets of New Orleans…what more do you need!  

Becauseeeee I’m extra…I just had to have one more bday celebration…check the pix below from my bday happy hour at the uber trendy Sweet Auburn Lounge.Time to plan my epic 3-0. Oh the pressure begins!  

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