Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Orleans: Do I Need a Passport For This Place?

Rather than 2013 New Year's Resolutions - I was set on making some 2013 decisions.  Chief amongst them were buying a car, cleaning out my closet, and buying a winter coat for the first time in 6 years.  I've also been toying with whether or not we keep up this blog.  It's been 5 years and a great run.  With the return to the US I wonder if people are still interested, or maybe, are we still interesting?

That said it's still been a pretty wild ride these last few months.  Coming home, contrary to popular belief, has been much harder than leaving and this adjustment is really taking some time.  So, I've concluded that we'd keep up the blog as long as there was still something to say.  Supporters, detractors, questions and comments are welcome!

2013 started off with a bang, or maybe just the collective sound of the debauchery of Bourbon Street!  Matt and I were simply delighted to help our friends John and Lynze celebrate their nuptials in the Big Easy for a NYE wedding that was simply spectacular.  The fun we had was really driven in part by two factors.  Firstly, New Orleans is awesome!  It was my first time visiting and I took to the French Quarter like white on rice - or maybe powdered sugar on a beignet?  The sights, the sounds,, were all fantastic.  The city has such a deep history with so many different cultural influences that I felt I could have been visiting another country.  I found it a real gem.

The other factor was that the wedding guest list including all our friends from Dubai as well as sissy Lisa and BFF Fiona, so the pure giddiness of seeing everyone for the first time in 6 months to a year was pretty darn exciting!

Here's just a little of what we got into:
Fair enough...I think all the pretty ones were at the wedding!
Did Lisa mention her new dream job in marketing?  (The Google thing is just a cover).
We laughed for 3 days straight.
The rehearsal dinner held at Mardi Gras world was our first shrimp boil.  Enough food for an army.
Mr. Incredible stares down the bride and groom.
Matt and John welcome Knot Standard's third business partner.
I can find an elephant anywhere.
Too bad the 49ers didn't have Matt on the team.
Friendship is like strumming the perfect chord.  *Cheesy*!
We even lured the father of the bride into the action.
Some QT with the future Mrs. Ballay!
The lovely church - still decorated for Christmas.
The most memorable part of the evening was hands down the 'second line' from the church to the reception.
Don't know what a second line is?
Second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. The "main line" or "first line" is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." The second line's style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called "second lining." It has been called "the quintessential New Orleans art form.

And now for some fab pictures from the reception:

Don't let their refined nature fool you.  Earlier all these boys were swamp boating! 
Basile trying to bring wall street fashion to the Bayou.
Beers for breakfast for these boys.
Some of the local scenery.
Ever the humanitarian Matt tries to keep a baby alligator warm...
...and Basile attempts a snack.
Hard to believe a major city is just a short drive away.
See you later alligator - hope to be back in Nawlins soon!

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