One week ago on the Charlotte airport shuttle bus, one woman asked another her destination.
“For Mardi Gras?”
“I’ll get there one day.”
Ladies and gentlemen, today is my one day! I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, so what better time to visit than at Mardi Gras. New Orleans is my new favorite city. The music, the friendly people, the food (oh, the food), the architecture, the indomitable spirit. I imagine New Orleans to be the resulting love child if New York City, Charleston and Las Vegas had a threesome.
After checking into my hotel in the heart of the French Quarter, I set out to explore a soggy Big Easy.
It literally rained on the Monday night parades so they rolled out an hour earlier than scheduled. Harry Connick Jr’s krewe Orpheus was celebrating a 20 year anniversary and invited a few friends to help celebrate.
Harry invited Nick Cannon, Gary Sinise, and former Law and Order SVU co-star Mariska Hargitay and some famous skateboarding bulldog to join in the festivities. After the parade, the fun continued at Orpheuscapade. If yours truly had $150 to spend on a ticket to a concert featuring Gary Sinise and his Lieutenant Dan Band and Harry Connick Jr she would have.
New Orleans is a city of love. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. You’re not a stranger for long here. I watched the Orpheus Krewe roll by with some new friends, an engaged couple who is planning to give beads as wedding favors to guests at their March wedding.
They found out I was a first timer and therefore made it their personal mission to load me down with beads and throws. By the end of the night, I could could barely turn my head!
Tuesday morning I treated myself to a massage (a luxurious rub down I haven’t had in about 3 years) at Loews Spa. It was much needed after being loaded down with beacoup de beads the night before.
A post-massage treat at famed Cafe du Monde for beignets. I overheard a woman at the table next to me ask of the server what he recommended. Cafe du Monde does beignets and coffee and nothing else. Cafe du Monde, where you are what you eat. I was nearly covered in the white stuff by the time I left.
A stroll to Jackson Square next door. A beautiful cathedral wrapped in a blanket of fog.
The interior of Channing Tatum’s bar/restaurant, Saints and Sinners, looked a lot like the now defunct Las Vegas Luxor CatHouse dance club. (Last weekend during the Super Bowl, fans could hang out with Mr.Tatum at his place for the low price of $1,000.) With drink in hand, I gazed down from the balcony upon all the drunk tourists stumbling along Bourbon Street.
On a side note, I only saw one pair of boobs the entire time I was there. And one young woman dropping her pants to pee in an alleyway. And a guy wearing assless chaps in a walking parade. And plenty of men in body suits leaving little to the imagination. I had to get toothpaste at the Walgreens and overheard one girl say to another that she was late for work because she had to buy body glitter. I can’t wait to one day tell my boss that I was late to work because I had to stop to buy body glitter.
By Wednesday morning, Bourbon Street was being washed of its sins with the street cleaning crew in full force. I stocked up on souvenirs to remember my first trip to New Orleans before making my way to my next adventure.
Two weeks ago I was in Fabulous Las Vegas celebrating my 30th birthday. My entourage and I went to see the Chippendales and Thunder from Down Under. It was just the half naked distraction I needed to take my mind off from turning the big 3-0.
Back home, I saw Channing Tatum’s biopic Magic Mike twice in one weekend. (It was really too hot to do much else besides sit in an air-conditioned movie theatre for 4 hours.) I picked up on some things that I missed the first time around, thanks to the movie-goers behind me who provided their own commentary throughout the film. I, on the other hand, had the courtesy to wait for after the movie to provide my own thoughts, or annoyances at the minute details:
In the first half of the day, Alex Pettyfer (the English actor I had never seen before) is sporting a beard, but by the break of dawn (combined with a fostered bond between him and Channing Tatum where he suggests the two be ”best friends”) he has less facial hair. How Adam, did you find the time for a trim between having your stripper cherry popped and getting fellated by a newly minted 21 year old? (Such charming dialogue posed by Channing: “How pregnant did you get that girl’s mouth last night?”). Someone on the production team dropped the ball with that little detail.
And another thing. He tells his sister Brooke that he won’t work at T-Mobile because he simply cannot take any job that would mandate him to wear a tie. Never mind the fact that he will later don a tie, and little else, in the “It’s Raining Men” number at the strip club being called upon as the new main man after Channing Tatum finally walks out after 6 years.
The actress who played Brooke was annoying. The camera was on her too much and I didn’t appreciate her sourpuss face while Channing was putting on his “performance”. And her laugh was obnoxious.
Is it just me, or did DJ Tobias look like Modern Family’s Manny in 30 years?
In the sequel, I would like to see more Channing Tatum and less of the other guys. Kevin Nash, I have never seen you before in my life, but if I see you at a strip club, I am walking out. Matt Bomer, I love you and all, but I just can’t shake the fact that you would rather be giving a dude a lap dance than a Tampa housewife.
All in all, it was more than just a stripper movie. It was about the seedy underbelly of stripping with the ready drugs and the ready sex. It was about the struggle to follow dreams in a tough economy. It was about comraderie and family bonds. It was about Channing Tatum’s ass in the first five minutes of the film, definitely worth $7.50…times 2.
It’s forecasted to be 100 degrees this weekend. I’ve got plans to sit in a cool movie theatre for 4 hours watching the documentary “Magic Mike”. Yes, that means I’m going twice. When it comes to Channing Tatum, once is never enough.
I haven’t yet been to the doctor but I’ve watched enough Grey’s Anatomy to self-diagnose myself with strep throat. I’m seeking medical attention today, mostly so I can get the good drugs. And if antibiotics don’t work, I’m going to see Channing Tatum in ‘The Vow’. I believe he is just what the doctor ordered. Anyone else bummed that his SNL sketches last week didn’t involve more half nudity?
If I looked like Channing Tatum, I’d want to be a stripper too!