Butterfly kisses, and how I kind of sort of almost died in New Orleans…twice

I love Southwest. Even when I screw up my flight reservation, I can change it lickity split for a few extra bucks, a middle-of-the-night arrival time, and a “happy fun” layover in L.A. I also love that I can stalk their rates obsessively, buy when I think it’s super low, and then change my flight when the price drops even lower. All I have to do is use those remaining funds to fly somewhere else.

Southwest free drink coupons and a bloody Mary

I especially love that Southwest regularly sends me free drink coupons.

So, it was no surprise that when December rolled around, Brian and I had a few Southwest credits that were on the verge of expiration. “Where shall we go?” I probed. I suggested a cozy cabin somewhere in the northeast or a relaxing trip somewhere chill.

“How about New Orleans?” my introverted husband of nearly 3 months suggested. We planned a trip to coincide with our 3-month anniversary (if that were even a real thing) shortly before Christmas for funsies to New Orleans. A quick Friday to Sunday weekend of indulgence. We’d eat too much, drink too much, and come home ready to face the holidays.

Unfortunately, when you live in Chicago, the best-laid winter plans get shot down because Jack Frost is kind of an asshole.


Our flight was canceled early that morning, on account of the projected snowmageddon that never came.
Luckily, we were able to cancel the New Orleans hotel we booked through TripAdvisor. Southwest offered us the opportunity to reschedule our flight anytime in the two weeks that followed our planned trip for no extra cost, and we found a better price for the same hotel the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“Do you want to stay for New Year’s Eve?” the aforementioned introvert suggested…

“You would hate that, Brian. Even I would hate that. I did it once. Never. Again.”

So we planned to leave the Tuesday after Christmas on a 4-hour flight with a Kansas City layover.

Upon our noon-ish arrival, I was riding the Chrissy travel high, and Brian was…well…

Done. Checked out. “Sayonara, wife. You’re on your own.”

We ate some snacks, and then he went to the hotel for the rest of the evening where I’m pretty sure he slept for 18 hours. I wandered. I shopped. I ate more food. I hunted Pokemon.

Chargrilled Oysters

Sweet baby cheeses, these oysters, though.

I almost got abducted and died.

Well. Not really. But when a homeless-ish man walks up near you and yells in an attempt to scare the shit out of you, you feel like you might die. Even if you’re barely 15 feet off the main drag of Bourbon Street, just around the corner from your hotel. I started walking faster, while still trying to find an elusive Pokemon because priorities. I ran my hip right into a bicycle and could hear the man’s laughter echoing after me. I crossed the street, turned around, and walked right back to my hotel room faster than you can say Pikachu. I did not pass go. I did not collect $200.

St. Louis Cathedral from Jackson Square

When I was 19 and insane, I woke up at the crack of dawn and attended mass at the church after being out until 4 am the night before. Now, I’m content to snap a pic from Jackson Square.

The next day, Brian was up for a little bit more adventure. We ate breakfast, took a carriage tour through the French Quarter (which was actually super interesting), wandered the French Market, ate turtle soup and bananas foster at Brennan’s, and created our own special little NOLA bar crawl, eating and drinking from bar to bar to bar.

Brian and Chrissy posing by candlelight

Cozying up in the dark at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, which has no artificial light (except the Christmas twinkle lights, because Christmas).

We made our way from Bourbon Street to Frenchman Street and back again, consuming all the booze.

Drunk Brian holding a cup with his mouth.

I may have gotten Brian a smidge on the drunk side. This is a rare occurrence, so it was worth every second I was alone the next morning. Well…except when the homeless man almost stole my phone.

So when Brian wasn’t down for breakfast the next morning, I didn’t fault him. Again, I made my way out into the city on my own, wandering, eating, shopping, hunting Pokemon, hatching eggs, eating eggs…you know…me time.

I was headed to a restaurant I wanted to try, and as I walked up, the staff was shooing the homeless men away from their opening doors. I walked toward the main entrance just as one of the homeless men reached out to me and slapped my phone so hard, I thought it was a goner. I squealed and ran ahead, clutching my phone tight, the sound of laughter again trailing behind me. My heart was racing as I feared for my safety for only the second time that week. And this time, it was broad daylight in the middle of Jackson Square. Apparently, I’m not so good at traveling on my own.

Breakfast in New Orleans

Two biscuit halves topped with crawfish cakes, poached eggs, and crawfish etoufee…and a side of the cheesiest grits on the planet.

After breakfast, I went back to the hotel room and jumped on the bed to wake Brian up. I brought him a breakfast sandwich and told him it was time for adventure.

He was not in the mood for adventure.

So I took him to the bug museum. And all of a sudden his spirits were sky high. Yes. I did say bug museum. New Orleans, home of the Po’ Boy, Muffaletta, Hurricane, Hand Grenade and the best damn crawfish on the planet, is also home to a rather fancy insectarium where you can sample chocolate chirp cookies for free (Noooo thank you).

Personally, I found it a little disturbing, but I took solace knowing my museum tour would end with a trip through the butterfly garden. Plus, Brian was in heaven.


Two hours later, we finally made it to the butterfly garden, where everything was peaceful and serene until a gaggle of small children hurdled through the room, stepping on butterflies and wreaking havoc. Brian raced to the outer edge of the space, and I found the most interesting thing in the room. A pair of turtles…making sweet sweet love to one another.

I could tell you more about the trip, but nothing we did really tops two turtles banging.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Innocence is in the Eye of the Beholder…Especially in New Orleans

Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Memories to Make You Laugh! Today, we’re using a quote prompt instead of an idea.

“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Innocence. When did I lose my innocence? I bet you’re thinking about virginity right now…but I’m not.

  • I’m thinking about the time I went to the dance club, even though I wasn’t supposed to and had to sneak into the house.
  • Or the time I went away to college and started drinking heavily.
  • But maybe the real downward spiral of my innocence truly was my first trip to The Big Easy.

What Happens in N’awlins…

I was 19. At a conference in New Orleans. Pre-Katrina. With more than 2,000 college kids. My fraternity brothers. (Co-ed service fraternity, thank you very much.) The week between Christmas and New Years Day. Unsupervised vacation for the first time in my life. It was glorious. Here are my top three less than innocent moments from that trip.

New Orleans Bourbon Street

5. Experiencing Bourbon Street in all it’s boozy glory. Now I was in my sophomore year of college, so I was no stranger to liquor…But I definitely indulged in all sorts of deliciously potent concoctions. That I got at bars. And not from older friends. Yes, blog friends, I snuck my 19 year old self into several bars, and ordered booze without being carded at others.

4.  Acquiring beads. Hear me out. This was a little unorthodox…but it happened. Instead of the traditional way of earning beads (which I may or may not have done…), my girlfriend and I set up a team effort to help our favorite shy guy out. Now, this was a guy who stayed in a room full of 4 very open ladies who believed You’re a brother…you don’t count…as we walked around in our underwear. And he would run to the window and stare out politely, waiting for us to cover our lady bits. So Mel ran the camera while I yelled down to the lady that our dear gentlemanly friend chose. “Hey! You! You down there with the green shirt! Show us your titties!” And then Mel would pop out from behind our pal and snap a shot with his camera. And then he gave us beads.

1. My first viewing of man bits. And then my second viewing of man bits. Yep. There were dudes just as willing to show their junk as ladies showing their tatas. And one of my newfound lady friends was ALL over that shit. And yes. I was a sophomore in college who had never seen man bits. And so, innocent little Chrissy fell down a little rabbit hole of crazy.

New Orleans Karaoke

For more Monday Memories, or just because they are awesome, check out It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad.

 Tell me about a loss of innocence memory that YOU have (and no, I REALLY don’t want to hear about how you, you know…lost IT…unless it’s hilarious. Then you can share with the class.)

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: I’m Going to be Skinny Again This Year

Skinny this year

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!