My 10th Mardi Gras trip began on Wednesday, just 3 days after I flew home from my 22nd trip to New Orleans while there for the Dad 2.0 Summit. While staying for the days in between would have been fun, my law practice and my health demanded that I spend 2.5 days at home and in the office. I landed in time to register for my trial lawyers’ conference and attend a happy hour plus dinner at Pigeon & Prince, which provided great food and great conversations with lawyers from Alabama who, like me, love the Tide and were at the national championship game a few weeks ago. Afterward, I thought I was meeting up with some friends at Cat’s Meow, but instead I found that I was at Cat’s Meow with a bunch of strangers, so I was not enticed to sing karaoke on my first evening in New Orleans, and instead I decided to start walking back to the JW Marriott, but I saw a place I’d heard of called The Dungeon and went in there for long enough to figure out I didn’t necessarily wish to stay there, as my attire and sobriety did not fit in, so I headed back to the hotel, so that I could rise early and attend my conference, which was an odd thing to do in New Orleans, but I was glad I did on Thursday morning.
For lunch on Thursday, I went with my North Carolinian friend Sean (and a couple of his Tarheel friends) to Toups Meatery, which was meaty and awesome. That afternoon, we went to the patio at Pat O’Brien’s, like we trial lawyers have done the previous 8 years I’ve attended this conference, and it was great to enjoy the nice weather, live brass band, and atmosphere once again (complete with fire fountain!).
That night, my friend from the Air Force, Lauren, got a bunch of us reservations at Emeril’s Delmonico for another excellent dinner on the parade route, so we got to experience the scenery, company, and the food while enjoying a piano player and lots of impromptu singalongs during dessert. After dinner, we went to LOA for a couple hours, the Ritz club level lounge, Pat O’s again, and Cat’s Meow (where I sang my favorite Poison cover) before hitting the hay about 3:30am.
The next morning (Friday) after class, we had charbroiled oysters at Drago’s, which was so delicious I needed 2 dozen to myself. Then I went by Jean Lafitte National Historic Park to get a cancellation for my national parks passport book, followed by Napoleon House (where it was imperative to have a Pimm’s Cup or 2), the Chart Room, Tropical Isle (so Sean could have his first hand grenade), and then our conference balcony party at Galatoire’s (followed by dinner at the restaurant below)–a great way to spend Friday night before Mardi Gras.
Later that evening, I went to the Gold Mine and Cat’s Meow with some new friends before turning in about 2am.
On Saturday, I decided I’d had all the trial classes I could stand and struck out by myself into the French Quarter, having lunch at Coop’s Place before watching the Iris and Tucks parades before riding to the airport for a 4pm flight home. I did, of course, make time for meeting new friends on Bourbon Street and getting plenty of beads for the children to toss into our Mardi Gras tree before hitting the Delta Sky Club, however.
As so ended another trip to New Orleans, likely my last one for a while, as next year’s conference is going to be a week earlier than its usual weekend-before-Fat-Tuesday date, and I’ll be in San Antonio for the 2019 Dad 2.0, so I’m glad I went twice this year! That said, I will certainly strive to find another occasion to revisit my favorite dining destination as soon as possible, whether that be at Mardi Gras or another weekend in ’19.
Next family trip – Maui !