I've never in my life been a part of history.
Until this past Sunday.
Hey, Emma. Where were you when the New Orleans Saints went to and then won their first Superbowl in the history of the team?
I was standing on Bourbon Street with what quickly became tens of thousands of my closest friends.
I'm thinking of inviting them all over for dinner Saturday night.
Wait. Let me amend that. I was standing under a balcony on Bourbon Street when the clock ran out and the win became official. Apparently the people up there were each holding one of the street's famous jumbo-sized cocktails, because in a matter of 0.05 seconds I was covered in liquor. Mostly beer, but I think I smelled a little rum and tequila on the fur lining of my sweater the next day.
And all day I was wondering why so many people were walking around carrying umbrellas. I thought they knew something about the weather I didn't know. Well, I guess they sort of did.
New Orleans Newbie Life Lesson #42: Don't stand under a balcony when something exciting happens on Bourbon Street.
Life Lesson #43: If you must stand under a balcony, be prepared not only for a gin-shower, but to be pelted in the head repeatedly by fistfuls of beads. Ow!
Yeah, apparently those umbrellas work double-duty as shields, too.
Speaking of beads, Man explained to me that only the tourists can't catch them. A seasoned New Orleanian can simply raise their hand and the beads seem to somehow float like graceful little plastic birds into their palms. Perhaps it's generation upon generation of bead-catching blood running through their veins, but I think it's an evolutionary defense mechanism like the spots on a leopard. If you don't catch them, they end up in your eye. Or hitting you in the face. Or knocking the cell phone out of your hand, causing you to scramble in a panic to get it up before one of your 30,000 new friends steps on it.
Don't be fooled. That kid's got quite the throwin' arm on her!
So it became my mission to catch as many beads as possible. Not only as an attempt to make myself official, but to keep myself from sporting a black eye at breakfast the next morning. I kept my guard up, kept my eyes on the balconies and I'm happy to report I caught every bead that sailed my way.
PROLOGUE: Despite all my kvetching about NOLA's in-general terrible eating habits, I must confess that I sat here writing this blog with a big fat piece of leftover King Cake for breakfast. I'm back on the diet tomorrow. I swear!
PROLOGUE II: I've moved on to the leftover guacamole and Tostitos. God help me, why did we bring this stuff home with us?