A day in the French quarter with Muffuletta sandwiches + a Jazz Brunch.

A day in the French quarter with Muffuletta sandwiches + a Jazz Brunch.

Last day in New Orleans, and it is what most of the town considers a recovery day after Mardi Gras.

We were up bright and early however, for a Jazz Brunch at The Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter. After a big meal of pecan pie, grits and grillades, turtle soup, shrimp creole, bananas foster on pancakes, jambalaya and cajun corn salad, we spent the rest of the day wandering the French Quarter, checking out the French Market and picking up some food for the dinner I am cooking for Lee and Anthony tonight, as a thank you for letting us stay.
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Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.

THE BIG DAY HAS ARRIVED!!

One of my top bucket list items, it’s time for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We woke up super early to have breakfast with Anthony’s housemate Lee and his friends – sausage and eggs to fuel us for a long day of drinking, dancing, and jumping for beads.

The house is right on the parade route on St Charles, so we sat inside in the warm until the parade tracker told us it was time to head out. As the parade drew closer, more and more of Lee’s friends turned up until we had about 12 people waiting. Finally, we heard the bands marching down the street so there was a mad scramble to head outside to catch the beginning of the first (and best) parade of the day, Zulu.

It was my favourite parade of the week – awesome things were being tossed out of the floats, footballs, parasols, coconuts – there was such an excited vibe in the crowd. They had the best marching bands too – you couldn’t help but just all dance in the street.
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Lundi Gras, flying burritos + the best donuts in the world.

Lundi Gras, flying burritos + the best donuts in the world.

Late start today on Lundi Gras, as we had a big day ahead of us and a big Mardi Gras tomorrow. We had tried to go to Juan’s Flying Burrito last night but had just missed it – so the first thing we did today was head back to the creole taqueria for some crazy fusion mexican food. Last night I had thought it would be a hilarious joke to call my friend Juan (in Australia) and yell at him for his flying burrito shop being closed. He was at work at the time, and found my ridiculous tirade hysterical – so I may have had to buy him a Juan’s Flying Burrito shirt as a souvenir (yes, Juan, it is coming your way!).

I ordered the El Pastor Burrito, with slow cooked shredded pork, pineapple, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, pinto beans and yellow rice. They also have quesadillas with blue cheese and bacon, or goat cheese and adobo chicken.
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Light-up swords, parade floats and po’boys.

Light-up swords, parade floats and po’boys.

Today we spent travelling from Chicago. We woke up and packed our bags, and head out into the snow. There had been snowfall overnight, and the sidewalks were white with powder.

We jumped on the plane, and after a transfer in Atlanta, Georgia, we landed in sticky, humid New Orleans. As the packed plane touched down, people cheered and yelled; ‘See you in the French Quarter’ ‘First drink is on me!’ ‘Let’s get drunk!’

We picked up our luggage, jumped in a cab, and head towards downtown. We are couchsurfing with a cool guy called Anthony on St Charles, but due to the parades a lot of roads were closed off. We head towards the Superdome, and dropped our stuff at one of Anthony’s friends apartments and went straight down to the street.

It was a party, everywhere. We ran down to the floats, and yelled for beads and light-up things. Anthony got hit in the stomach with a bag of beads, I got hit in the face with a bunch of Who Dat! whistle necklaces (which left a huge lump on my forehead). I earned those!
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Once there was a Hushpuppy, and she lived with her daddy in the bathtub.

Once there was a Hushpuppy, and she lived with her daddy in the bathtub.

So, a few weeks back Angela mentioned that there was going to be one more Underground Cinema before I left the country. We had always intended on going, so we thought we should get tickets for this one once they were released.

Underground Cinema is a secret immersive live cinema experience: their tagline is ‘taking cinema out of the cinema.’ It is held at undisclosed locations throughout Sydney and Melbourne, and it is generally around a four hour experience where you are immersed in the world of the film, and then at the end you are taken to one of Melbourne or Sydney’s classy old theatres to watch the film itself. Every time the film is completely different, the whole production is set up for a few days only with huge locations, props, full sets, bands, tonnes of actors.. it is a guessing game throughout the night to try and determine what the film will be.

So, anyway, Angela and I were planning on going to this as our first (and my last) time. But once the information was released, we were a little skeptical. The theme was water – the dress code was gumboots. The page had a picture of a crocodile, so I was thinking along the lines of Rogue. So we decided not to go.

But something was pushing us to go still – Angela messaged again and reminded me it was my last chance, maybe we should just go and if it is bad we can leave. I agreed, we bought tickets, and that was that.

Until the day of the film. I decided to look at the event page with a closer eye, so I put on my gumboots and my rain jacket and sat down to read. Something clicked in my head – I called Angela and said ‘I think the film tonight is my favourite movie in the whole world.’ I was starting to get super excited.
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