Monday, February 01, 2010

Ode To Southern Louisiana

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,'s an entirely unique way of life.

Different laws.

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.

Faithfully yours,

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?

Do tell!


Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

I have never been to Mardi Gras, but I think it would be fun to experience it just once. I do love jazz also, so I think it would be fun to go to hear the music.

Jodee said...

I have never been to Louisiana, however, my hubs recently took a business trip there and he had a BLAST! In fact, he had so much fun that he forgot to call home most nights! He loves the food too!

Mama Sue said...

I have never been but my room mate in college was from New Orlean and she didn't think I could handle it!

FROGGITY! said...

Laissez les bons temps rouler, Casey!! Well, you know how I feel about this post: LOVE IT!

I plan on hitting as many parades as possible ... church is letting out early on the Sun before MG so we can all go over to the preacher's house (on a parade route) to have cocktails, food, and beads!

I knew I lived in NOLA for sure when I looked down at my jog stroller and it had cups of beer in the cupholders and beads/throws in the storage bin below it... :)

The whole town is electric with excitement about the super bowl. Never seen so many jerseys in my life. I am pumped.

I love this town. It just fits in perfectly with the party in my head... Oh, and don't forget: Lainey and LL are destined to be LSU students and friends someday! :)

starnes family said...

Froggity - for sure! Hopefully they'll be sorority sisters. I'm OK with KD. :)

Jennifer said...

LOVE THIS POST! So glad you chose LSU over UT. You're one smart girl!

I'm a LA girl born & bread!

LA is just like no other place on earth. Like you said, the food, the people, the culture, the architecture, the landscape. I ask my husband everyday if we can move back! Maybe one day!

And maybe Addie & Lainey will be at LSU at the same time! They could walk the halls of Miller Mansion together!

cookinglady said...

Mardi Gras is an experience in itself you just have to go. The jazz is always good.

The food is to die for. This is one trip you just have to take and don't go alone.

I'm a new Friday Follower and really enjoy your blog. I will visit again.

Lauren W said...

I've been to Mardi Gras and many crawfish boils! I have stayed deep in the heart of cajun country at sleepy bed and breakfasts I woke to the sound of cicadas. Love it in LA. The real LA, by the way.

Cate O'Malley said...

I've never been to New Orleans, but totally on my bucket list. One of these days...

Rebekah Williams said...

These are great! My parents lived in New Orleans when my brother was born. I always enjoy visiting and feeling that culture--like being in another country.

Go Saints!

Holly Lefevre said...

That is a great list. My SIL went to Tulane for med school and lived there until just before Katrina hit and my FIL teaches at LSU! We have not been back in a few years though. It is a different place. I love the French Quarter (not the smell though) and have fond memories of coffee and beignets (did I spell that right?) at Cafe du Monde.


Dee Stephens said...

You know my answer..
love the #1 on the PARTY CHART! When we were at LSU that was the way it was.. not so much anymore!
BTW - you can go to a festival every weekend somewhere in Louisiana. There's a book on it.. I had it when I worked at WBRZ

timmonstimes said...

We road tripped from Lubbock to Destin, Florida for Spring Break one year while I was in college. After a week's worth of partying, we decided that spending our last weekend in New Orleans on the way home would be a nice way to break up the drive. Wow, what a city!

Looking back, it was a good idea so I can say I've been there but not such a smart way to "end" Spring Break. It was the best part of our week!

Sara said...

Never been to Mardi Gras, but have celebrated Halloween in NOLA. And that was quite an experience!! I can't even imagine what Mardi Gras must be like.
I definitely want to go back some time soon. My parents best friend is from Baton Rouge and he tells all kinds of stories. I love to hear him talk about all of the culture and history of LA. So fun!!

My brother is heading down to New Orleans on WED b/c GMA is doing a live broadcast from there on Friday. Be sure and watch!

Moni said...

Um, hello? Have I braved Mardi Gras? One of the best road trips I ever took was coming to visit you at LSU during freshman year. I told my mom that we wouldn't drive down to Mardi Gras, but was later busted when showing her a picture of you and me holding very large beers in front of a barracade that said "NOPD." Was that the time that we forgot where the car was parked? I know I have been out in New Orleans a few times with you...all good times, all until the sun came up, all memories I will cherish forever :)

donatelli98 said...

Love Nola and all of the history - my favorite parts: Cafe Du Monde beignets (sooo freakin good), being able to carry my adult beverage anywhere and everywhere and the food - po boys and crawfish boils - so good! Would love to go back and visit again sometime soon.

Coco said...

You are Texan. Sorry to disapoint.

FROGGITY! said...

don't listen to coco, being a louisiana girl has nothing to do with where you were born and raised!! it's all in your heart (insert cheesy lifetime music and my finger down my throat because i even cheesed myself out there...) haha

yes, sorority sisters! i am open to any. i have no preference, but i will write a rec! :)

merrilee said...

Been to New Orleans once in college, and the memory is rather hazy(I guess that's the point). Would love to go back with Darin for a romantic weekend. Fascinated by the culture, food, architecture, and southern charm. Plus, you have to cheer for a team with Reggie Bush--GO SAINTS!!

Anonymous said...

i have never been to new orleans (or louisiana for that matter) but long to go. even if only for the food...Lord, I'd gain fifty pounds down there!

Merry Mack said...

I have been and surprisingly have vivid memories of the whole thing. Greatest ever! My mom is from Orange, which is the last city before LA. I would love to go to Jazz fest. I want to go back. I can make a killer gumbo. I have passed out on a couch at Pat O's. I also LOVE the food. Drew Brees graduated from the HS where I teach and they made shirts to honor his Super Bowl performance. The $ goes to his foundation to help rebuild New Orleans. I can't wait to see us all in them on Friday.

Kristen said...

I was in New Orleans once... with my church youth group in 10th grade for a national youth gathering... I loved it and would love to go back. I think being there for Mardi Gras would be so much fun.
As for the laws... ugh!! Different is an understatement. I've just come to know, now, that when we learn about rules of law in class, we have the minority and majority rule to memorize for tests... and oh yeah.... Louisiana follows something entirely off in left field so know that too. Grrrrr!!

Sarah said...

The king cakes all around town right now are black, white, and gold! Thanks for leaving a comment on my post the other day!! This is better than the anticipation of Christmas morning!!

Leiah said...

I'm not sure how I found you today but maybe Homesick Cajun? I'm a Texas transplant living in LA now and LOVING it! Get this - there is no parade tonight in NOLA due to sleet...sleet? More like proof Hell has frozen over -- Who Dat! I told Homesick Cajun I went to Lafayette this weekend just to get a Saints King Cake from Meche's. And of course, we had some good boudin too...yum! BTW - I'm following you now too.

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