If I had to pick one word to describe today, it would be FANTABULOUS. Myself and three of my girlfriends purchased tickets to see the musical Hairspray at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre when they went on sale two months ago. Unfortunately one of the girls hasn't been feeling well and had to miss out on today's adventure. I invited my younger cousin along because she's a huge Hairspray fan, and also because it would be a shame to waste the ticket (we had the best seats in the house - no lie).
The production didn't start until 2pm, so we decided to make a day of it in the French Quarter. You know, play tourist (it's fun to do that occasionally). Also, our beloved Saints were hosting the Atlanta "dirty birds" at noon, so we donned our WHO DAT gear in solidarity. Yes, we're all crazy sports people down here.
First we roamed over to Jackson Square, which is where one of the most beautiful buildings in the world (in my opinion) stands - the St. Louis Cathedral. I've mentioned the cathedral in previous posts, but today was completely different because for the FIRST TIME EVER, I was in Jackson Square when the doors were opened. As many times as I've been there in my life - which is dozens - the doors have always been locked.
Me, my cousin and girlfriends in front of St. Louis Cathedral
So, imagine my absolute delight when we realized the doors were open and we could actually go inside! I was speechless. I'm not Catholic, but you can't help but feel awestruck by the magnificence and beauty of it. I found myself having to control the urge to cry. You can feel the history when you're inside. There really aren't enough words to describe it. At that moment, I could have spent the rest of the day inside, just looking at the stained glass, statues, every nook and cranny. Unfortunately we showed up in the middle of mass, so we couldn't take pictures or roam as freely as we would have liked.
From there we strolled through the Quarter looking for someplace to eat lunch. There are little restaurants and bistros at every corner, but we settled on a place boasting to be the "Original" New Orleans Seafood Restaurant. I'm not sure how valid that declaration is, although on the menu they claimed to have been opened before the Battle of New Orleans. So, take that with a grain of salt.
My cousin and I split crabmeat au gratin with an appetizer of crab cakes. Although I've had many various versions of seafood in my life, I had never before had crabmeat au gratin. The coz' insisted I would love it, and I'll try anything once, so I went along with it. Took me a bit to adjust to the texture and mix of crab meat with cheese, but it was actually pretty good. The crab cakes were delicious. All in all it was a little heavy for a lunch, but we all enjoyed our meals.
The girls playing with Mardi Gras
masks and me with my awesome new wig!
After lunch we decided to stroll through the French Market, which is basically a collection of tables covered in everything from jewelry to purses, shirts, knicknacks, etc. Anything and everything you could want. A thosand people selling you different versions of the same things. (Think flea market with lots of cajun.)
My cousin found a Bob Marley bracelet and a new Saints t-shirt, my friend found a new Who Dat shirt and I found the most awesome wig ever made: a black and gold feathered wig - aka Saints wig (told you we were serious). We spent an hour or so browsing the tables, then stopping in shops we passed as we made our way back towards the theatre .
When we arrived at the theatre, we found our seats and waited for the show to start. When we saw "The Wedding Singer" back in July, I remember thinking no other performance could live up to that one. I was wrong.
These people did John Waters justice. The man would be proud. There was innuendo, raunchy, music and fun. Surprisingly the scene stealer was a woman who played Penny's mother/matron/warden/PE coach/principal. She was hilarious. Also, Tracy's parents were a big hit. I was actually surprised at how many children were there. The material was a little too adult for young kids. I think parents were imagining the remake of Hairspray (with Zac Efron) and forgot about John Waters' version.
Anyhoo, the musical was wonderful and we had a fabulous day. I can't wait to do it again!