The key to a successful trip is the least amount of sleep. A total of four hours of sleep prior to leaving is a good amount.
Take the earliest flight out. 6:30 in the morning is a good time.
This calls for a drink.
But first, welcome to New Orleans! Upon arrival you will make plans of never returning home, where it is twenty-three degrees.
The air is almost too clean here. Suspiciously clean.
At breakfast, but at all meals too, order only seafood and pork. Deep-fried. A side of grits with everything, or potatoes, or potatoes and cheese. Don’t be a dick, you are in the South now.
It is not uncommon for people to have an expansive knife collection here.
But first, a drink. The bloodiest of maries with haricots verts. No celery stalks here. This ain’t New York anymore.
Stay at an extremely stately home. Here, parlors are still a thing. So are grand pianos, family portraits, family trees and all of the wars. Already feel diminutive within its massive walls.
Drink to this.
Here, humidity and sunlight are also a thing. Let it burn.
Hydrate with beer. Treat hunger to Voodoo chips. Crystal hot sauce with everything.
Begin the morning with a shot of brandy. For breakfast, King Cake and beer. Hydrate with another beer.
Pork that is pulled, smoked, deep-fried. Never pass up an opportunity.
Never find yourself on the streets without a drink.
It is best not to study about New Orleans and Mardi Gras traditions beforehand. Expect nothing and everything and only the best will happen.
All the feminism that you have known will go to shit here. The goal here is to collect as many glass beads, lightsabers and neon-glowing knick knacks as possible. How much you can collect is directly proportional to your value. Your loot is your status symbol: pout and pop your hip as a float approaches. Adjust your face to a level that is complimentary to your angles. Women will collect more than men, this is a known fact.
Sex sells. Use it to your advantage.
Your sexuality is your greatest tool here. Women should use it abundantly; men should use it behind the guise of chivalry. Don’t be a dick.
There are no losers here, only cheesy pork fries and fire-bursting tubas. The belly-dancer is here for the men, and the men are here for the women. Women are the ultimate winners at Mardi Gras.
Drunk, middle-aged and nonchalantly racist white people will become your favorite kind of people.
If you were wondering about segregation, visit New Orleans! White, black and no other colour. For every eight miles, there will be four Asians.
Flashing titties has become a rare art form. Head over to college areas and Bourbon Street to witness coeds working viciously to keep the art from extinction.
The only Hermes here is the Olympian god.
Do not leave your flashing Frisbee at a bar. A bag of dildos and anal beads will make an appearance, but only briefly.
Drink to this.
Take a shot of something. What is it? You do not know, nor will you remember.
Bourbon Street is the Times Square of New Orleans. It is beautifully tragic, decaying gaudily and migraine-inducing.
Booze, a variation of fried potatoes and water, in this constant order: How Not To Throw Up In A Stairwell
The music here is better than in any other place. Contemplate moving to New Orleans for the music.
The appreciation for music is greater here than in any other place.
The men are bolder.
Remember beer? Your cup is empty. Let me fill it up for you.
There is a Catholic church that will stamp your arm for the privilege of unlimited bathroom usage at the very low cost of $5.
Resolve to bring your children to Mardi Gras if and when you do have children. Parents are drunk and children swing their legs from their ladder-seats. This is the best way to have a good time.
Nothing compares to Southern hospitality.
For your last meal, go to GG’s Dine-O-Rama. Ask for the Eggs Benedict Specials. Order only the Chicken Fried Pork Belly Eggs Benedict. Grits on the side.
At the airport, everything smells of cheesy pork fries. Take one last whiff; you’re going back to the land of quinoa and kale.
Leave behind your parade loot. What happens at Mardi Gras.
Even under the harshest of lights and the mélange of purple and green and gold, glittering bayous and battered homes, New Orleans is inexplicably beautiful and so full of soul.