Today I’ve decided to write about New Orleans. I love New Orleans. I was inspired to choose this topic today because I watched the movie Girls Trip this weekend (twice). I was desperate to escape my unhappy life, so I put some red filler over my bad highlight job and settled in for my vicarious weekend in NOLA with my long-lost besties.

Girls Trip is about a group of women who are friends from college reuniting in New Orleans for the first time in many years. It is HILARIOUS! The leads are Regina Hall, Queen Latifa, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Tiffany Haddish (my current fav). I do love the friendship plot, naturally, but following them on their adventures through NOLA is what really does it for me.

There’s a scene where Tiffany Haddish buys a 150-year-old bottle of Absinthe from some weird guy on the street and they all go crazy after drinking it. That scene makes me laugh so hard I cry. Other classics include the girls making fun of Jada’s outfit, the dance off in the club, learning how to Grapefruit, and the zip line incident. Classic. Crazy. Wild. This film truly makes you feel like you are part of their escapades around the city.

New Orleans is my spot. I remember I was fixated on LA for awhile and everyone kept telling me to go to NOLA instead. When I finally did, I realized they were right. Something there just pulled me right in. Maybe it was the idea that I lived a past life as a notions Madam in Storyville, or the live jazz music on every street, or the novelty of the to go cup. It could be the fact that everything in haunted and everything has a story. The history is crazy. Just the list of infamous characters alone! And of course, we cannot forget the architecture. There is truly nothing better in this world than balcony dining. Speaking of balcony dining, the food never stops being amazing.

This was just the first trip I made. My second trip was when I really came to love the people. They were so hospitable and friendly. Everywhere I went, I felt like I made a new friend. They helped me when I was lost, gave me suggestions for things to do and places to go, told me incredible stories of survival, and really made me feel at home in their world. I admired their strength and ability to come together to rebuild their community. I admire their ability to find hope and joy in life again after so much death and disaster and pain.

I got a taste of Mardi Gras this year and I just can’t forget. I had so much fun, even when I regretted the amount of alcohol I drank. I loved the parades, especially when they were on foot. I loved the idea of joining a Krewe and building a float and getting all dressed up for the ball. I love the masks and the feathers and the beads and the dresses and the costumes and everything! I love everything! It’s bright and colorful and wild and FREE!

Yes, it’s true, it’s safe to say New Orleans has captured my heart. I can’t get it out of my mind. I still have a very strong desire to live there. It’s possible, even necessary, with the trajectory of my career. Obviously the next few months are up in the air, but after that… maybe… just maybe… that empty balcony apartment could be mine…

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