While I'm not from southern Louisiana, I've been visiting nearly my entire life and went to LSU. Accepted at the University of Texas and planning to attend, I visited my cousin in Baton Rouge and fell in love with the town. The people. The culture. Yes, culture.....it's an entirely unique way of life.
Parishes instead of counties.
Food unlike any other place I've ever been.
I once heard that you can travel throughout the state of Louisiana and find a festival somewhere for every single day of the year. I believe it.
My nostalgic heart is giddy for the city of New Orleans as I watch all of the press on the Saints headed to the Super Bowl. I want to be there and celebrate with them. What an amazing accomplishment this close to Hurricane Katrina.....when the city was devastated and is still gaining strength and stability after such a tragedy.
My Aunt Mary sent me the following......and I can identify with almost all of these!
You know you're from Louisiana when...
-Your sunglasses fog up when you step outside, even in December.
-You reinforce your attic to store Mardi Gras beads.
-You don't look twice when you see pink flamingos in yards of nice subdivisions during Mardi Gras.
-You save newspapers, not for recycling but for tablecloths at crawfish boils.
-Your ancestors are buried above the ground.
-You drink Community Coffee, have tried Starbucks, but don't see what all the fuss is about.
-You take a bite of five-alarm chili and reach for the Tabasco.
-Every once in a while, you have waterfront property .
-You sit down to eat boiled crawfish and your host says, 'Don't eat the dead ones', and you know what he means.
-You don't learn until high school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
-You push little old ladies out of the way to catch Mardi Gras beads.
-Little old ladies push YOU out of the way to catch Mardi Gras beads.
-You believe that purple, green , and gold look good together.
-Your last name isn't pronounced the way it's spelled.
-You know what a nutria is but you still pick it to represent your baseball team.
-Your town is low on the education chart, high on the obesity chart and you don't care because you're No. 1 on the party chart.
-Your house payment is less than your utility bill.
-You know that Tchoupitoulas is a street and not a disease.
-Your grandparents are called 'Mam-Maw' and 'Paw-Paw.'
-Your Santa Claus rides an alligator and your favorite Saint is a football player.
-You cringe every time you hear an actor with a Southern or Cajun accent in a 'New Orleans-based' movie or TV show.
-You have to reset your clocks after every thunderstorm.
-You're walking in the French Quarter with a plastic cup of beer.
-When it starts to rain, you cover your beer instead of your head.
-You've eaten at one or more of these restaurants, AND know how to pronounce them: Prejeans, Tu Jac's, Gallatoire's, Ralph & Kacoo's, Brunet's, or Mulatte's.
-You eat dinner out and spend the entire meal talking about all the other good places you've eaten.
-You call home just to find out what your momma'nem are having for supper tonight.
Isn't that fun? I loved it.
And, I love crawfish. LOVE it. Blake and I have thrown a crawfish boil for almost every Mardi Gras over the past 7ish years. Can't find any live, however. Anyone want to ship us about 20 pounds? The Midwesterners keep looking at me strangely when I inquire at the meat counter.
Blake is making up for it, though, with requests for gameday and then Fat Tuesday, shortly after. Crawfish eutoufee and dirty rice and yum......I'm hungry already!
Mary also sent this article, which includes an open letter from the city of New Orleans to Miami. It's absolutely precious. And, ends with:
OK. Let's review:
Order more beer. Throw me something, mister. Suck da heads. Wear da dress. Stand up. Get crunk. Hug it out. Protect your eardrums. Pass the Kleenex. Hoist the trophy.
See you at the victory party.
The Who Dat Nation
I love those crazy Cajuns.
So, have you been? Anyone brave Mardi Gras? The best of all best.....New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?