Today is a monumental day for the entire city of New Orleans. Hell, for the whole STATE of Louisiana.
For the first time in 42 years, the New Orleans Saints will play in the Superbowl.
And I must say that whatever the turnout, I have never been more proud to be from New Orleans.
To be completely honest….
After Katrina, a part of me was glad to get away. New Orleans has a strange and interesting energy about it…always an underlying heartache and sorrow underlying the surface revelry.
Lots of alcohol (LOTS. I predict the city of Miami runs out of alcohol before we even hit halftime). Alcohol is practically a part of life in New Orleans. We drink it by the gallon, cook with it, heck, we even put it in candy and dessert.
Do I miss seeing my family whenever I want? Of course I do. Do I miss the amazing food — seafood, fried food, fresh food, Italian delights, Creole concoctions, fun bars, countless hole-in-the-wall restaurants just waiting for you to discover and fall in love with, and truly unique people. Yeah, I miss ALL of that, especially here in Castle Rock where there are exactly TWO fabulous restaurants and neither one of them will serve me a po-boy, give me a go-cup, ask me about my mom’n’dem, or let me out of there without spending at least $40 a person.
But for me, Colorado is home now. And I love love love it so. I love that it’s OK if I forget to lock my doors, that I don’t have to worry about walking alone anywhere (even at night), and that I live in a very clean, very friendly, very safe community where I know my kids can roam free. I miss the beach but adore the mountains. I miss my friends, but love that there’s Facebook. I love that our friends here think I make the best food they’ve ever tasted (even if it’s only because they’ve been eating Colorado food which frankly, sucks!)
I mean hey, if I’d never moved outside of New Orleans, I probably would have never had the motivation to teach myself to cook like a rock star. Who needs to in New Orleans? When you can go out (or order in) and spend $30-40 to feed your family food that tastes amazing and has HUGE portions to ensure you’ve got leftovers, there’s almost no need to cook at home!
And of course I wouldn’t be such a good skier if I had stayed in New Orleans. And I probably wouldn’t know what a farmer’s market was, or how good fresh, raw produce could really taste.
And I’d never know the thrill and excitement of waking up in the morning to find a fresh white blanket of snow, just waiting for me to run and jump and play in.
And I’m quite sure I’d have a much, MUCH smaller house if I lived in New Orleans. The real estate market there is just a whole different ball game than a growing town in Colorado.
Yet despite all these reasons I love Colorado, on a monumental day like today, I miss New Orleans terribly.
We’re headed to a Superbowl Party today at a friend’s house here in Castle Rock. While I’m sure there will be great food and plenty of alcohol, I’m also certain nobody will have brought a king cake or a sack of oysters, no one will have mixed up an ice chest (or a big black garbage can) of Jungle Juice, and my family and I will most certainly be the loudest ones there.
(We will likely also be the only ones to cry at the end of the game.)
There’s no place like home, and even though home is where you make it, today I am missing NOLA big-time.
So friends, I implore you — send some love and winning energy to the Big Easy today, on behalf of me.
And if you’re lucky enough to be IN New Orleans today, toast a glass for your ol’ pal Amy and gimme a WHO DAT and eat something tasty from ya mama’n’dem’s or Brocato’s or sumptin.
And listen for me…’cuz I’ll be yelling all the way over in Colorado…