We’ve travelled to many lands far and wide, but today we venture into the deepest, darkest parts of… New Orleans! Throw on your beads and mask cause things are about to get cray-cray around here. How crazy you ask? We’re talking take an episode of True Blood and turn it up to 11 crazy!
Eat Amazing Food
Alligator, gumbo, po-boy (sandwich stuffed with oysters and shrimp), crayfish… you name it, you can probably find it among N’Orleans eclectic restaurants. The place is also famous for hot sauces, so make sure to pick up a couple bottles that will make steam shoot out of your friend’s heads. Remember, chef Emeril Lagasse was heavily influenced by the New Orleans style, so it must be good. BAM!
On these tours, you will see some beautiful landscapes, wonderful architecture and learn the amazing history of the families that built and owned the properties. Perhaps you’ll even pick up on some of the Cajun/Creole ways and language or sit back and enjoy some fresh squeezed lemonade as you rock back and forth, fanning yourself, and complaining of the intolerable heat.
Home to the birth of Jazz, as well as perhaps the most famous musician to ever scat, Louis Armstrong, you can bet any visit to ‘The Big Easy’ would be highlighted by live music performed in any of the city’s hottest venues. There is even jazz concerts at funerals in these parts. Visitors can also choose from a number of annual festivals to get their groove on, including the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Bayou Boogaloo, and Satchmo SummerFest. Or they can stroll down to venues such as Preservation Hall, to catch some of the top jazz musicians our time.
Show Your $&%@^#*
Even if you’re not there at Mardi Gras, there’s nothing wrong with flashing some skin… you might even be rewarded with beads, providing you got curves like Mrs. Sip! If you get taken away in cuffs, never fear, that’s just part of the foreplay! Apparently, nudity can be exchanged for other “trinkets” as well. While I wonder if the trinkets would have any value whatsoever, I’m up for some scientific investigation!
Air Boat Adventure
A favourite activity of one Sterling Archer, thanks to his obsession with Burt Reynolds and the movie Gator, these tours take guests through the waters outside the city, where they can view wildlife such as alligators, snakes, turtles, and a number of species of birds. If you want to take things at a slower pace, you can take a slower swamp boat tour or even a Mississippi River steamboat.
A Trip through History
For the history buffs out there, New Orleans provides a number of outlets to get your learning on. There’s Jackson Square (named after President Andrew Jackson), the site of the Battle of New Orleans during the Civil War, and the World War II Museum, among others. N’Orleans was founded in 1718, so that has given the place plenty of time to become marinated with history.
Bourbon Street Pub Crawl
It would fulfill a dream of mine to have a Mint Julep (today’s feature drink) at a Bourbon Street bar. New Orleans is also responsible for a number of other cocktail inventions, such as the Sazerac, the Obituary Cocktail, and the Ramos Gin Fizz. Joints like The Old Absinthe House and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop will have you throwing your doubloons around until the wee hours of the morning. Best of all, public drinking is allowed (if not encouraged) in the quarter.
Cemeteries and Haunted Tours
In New Orleans, bodies are buried in above ground graves and tombs because of the high water table and increased probability of flooding. That, coupled with the city’s long history, including activity in the Civil War, and prevalence of occult culture (voodoo, etc.), makes for an interesting tour. The original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland was based on a New Orleans style antebellum home, so surely the real thing would be just as creepy!
I have a soft spot in my heart for the New Orleans sports scene, given that they’ve lost as many teams as my hometown of Vancouver and seem to always be looking over their shoulder as franchises threaten relocation. Your options consist of the Saints (NFL) and Pelicans (NBA) on the professional level, but there is also a myriad of college action to choose from in a variety of disciplines.
Drink #231: Mint Julep
- Muddle Mint Leaves
- 2 oz Bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
- 2 tsp Turbinado Simple Syrup
- Garnish with Mint Sprig
I’ve only been to New Orleans once when I was 13, so I’m due for a return trip when I can actually get into bars. Mrs. Sip is there right this very minute and having a great time… lucky girl!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is a slow sipper drink thanks to the high concentration of liquor and really no mixers, other than Simple Syrup. My choice of Black Cherry Bourbon was nice for a unique flavour on the spirit side of things.