My fraternity brother – we’ll call him Nature Boy – is getting married this summer, and in preparation for the big event, a bunch of his friends flew down to New Orleans for a bachelor party. This was my third trip to New Orleans, and I’ve had a good time the two previous times, so I was expecting a fun weekend.
After a half day at work on Thursday, I Metroed down to Reagan National Airport for my flight. Departing DC was no problem, but I had to change planes in Charlotte, and the heavy rain there caused some issues. First, we were delayed in landing. And naturally, my connecting flight was delayed as well. But for the first time ever, my two flights had adjacent gates. Of course this would only happen when I had plenty of time between flights. Whenever I don’t have much time, the gates are inevitably at opposite ends of the airport.
The plane finally took off and arrived at Louis Armstrong airport. I took the $15 Airport Shuttle to the hotel, which may have been a mistake as the ride took forever. Since the driver has to stop at several hotels, he has to take a very indirect route. Fifty-five minutes after leaving, I finally arrived at the W Hotel. The W hotel is nice. Maybe a little too “trendy” in its design, but very nice nonetheless. There were three of us staying in the room, so we had planned on getting a cot, but we learned that the W did not provide cots as the room design didn’t allow for them. This would come into play later.
I ran out to meet the rest of the part for dinner at Cochon. Another fraternity brother – Bird – was celebrating his thirtieth birthday, but refused some expensive shots that were purchased. This brought great shame upon him. After dinner, since it was a bachelor party, we of course had to go to a more “adult” establishment on Bourbon Street. Some people who go to these types of places like receiving a lot of attention from the employees. I generally do not, since I don’t want to feel obligated to give them money (Yes, I know that sounds cheap). I found that a wedding ring is a great deterrent. I just hold up my finger and tell them that I’m not allowed to interact with them, and they should pay more attention to the bachelor. They quickly write me off as a lost cause and go elsewhere.
I learned a few things that night. Apparently $40 buys you a half hour conversation. No, this is not a euphemism. $40 was spent for a girl to sit next to Nature Boy for thirty minutes and simply talk to him. The person who supplied the money was not happy about this. I helpfully asked if he would also pay me $40 to talk to him. He didn’t find this funny. I also learned that one of my friends has a fetish for girls with fangs. It kind of makes sense considering what he did one night back in January 2000.
Bored of these adult establishments, I walked around Bourbon Street for awhile, and then retreated back to the hotel to go to sleep. No need to burn myself out on the first night. Unfortunately, our third roommate – known as Mongoose – stayed out late, and was absolutely wasted when he arrived at the room. After stumbling around and crashing into furniture, he collapsed into the double bed next to me and proceeded to keep me up for most of the night. How did he accomplish this? By rolling onto me several times. By loudly snoring in my ear. By kicking me. By rolling around in a circle. By inexplicably moaning. At one point, I got so frustrated that I tried to smother him with a pillow, but he was able to throw it off. I probably should have just stabbed him.
At 9 AM I finally gave up trying to sleep, and decided to be productive. I went to the hotel’s gym facility, had a great workout, and then swam in the pool for awhile. Since my roommates were still not up, I walked through the Riverwalk shopping mall, where I bought some stuff and had lunch. Feeling energized, I ventured into Harrah’s to try my hand at Blackjack. Long time readers will know that I haven’t won at Blackjack in years, but since Harrah’s was the site of my best gambling day ever back in 2004, I figured that if my luck would ever change, this would be the place.
I won my first two hands, and felt optimistic. The optimism didn’t last long as there was a dealer change, and the new dealer didn’t seem to want me to succeed because he kept dealing me fourteen and himself twenty. Knowing how my luck goes, I decided to get out of there before I lost too much money.
By this time, many others had woken up and were ready to get lunch. I wasn’t hungry, but I went with them to get some Po’Boys and beignets. I split with the rest of the group to walk around the French Market where I bought some $5 sunglasses (I lose or break sunglasses easily, so I try to avoid paying a lot for them) and a T-shirt.
For dinner that night, we had a private room at Emeril’s Delmonico. It was probably a good thing that we had a private room considering some of the alleys that conversation dipped into. I think the wait staff enjoyed us though as they said they’ve seen and heard much worse. Delmonico lived up to its reputation as the food was excellent. Expensive, but excellent. We hopped a cab to Bourbon Street and hit Tropical Isle. The signature drink there is the hand grenade. I had been dragging a bit, but as soon as I had the hand grenade, I mysteriously had a lot of energy. Tropical Isle is awesome as they have pop-a-shot basketball, air hockey, and foozball, as well as music played by a crappy Buffet cover band.
At this point, one member of the group decided that we should leave the “touristy” Bourbon street, and walk to a bar where locals hang out. We walked for a long time (Past the set of the upcoming movie Jonah Hex) and finally arrived, but the bar we went to was definitely not worth the effort. We did talk to some very pleasant locals though, so it wasn’t a complete waste. Giving up on that place, we returned to Bourbon Street where he hit the famous Pat O’Brian’s. I was in an especially good mood, partially thanks to our awesome waitress Chris. I started taking pictures with everyone, and then started making the random people who took the pictures get in the picture. I was talking to everyone I could find, but in hindsight, I may not have been quite as charming as I thought I was. But I didn’t care, because I was having too much fun.
Me, Bird, and another friend – Bear – decided this would be an excellent time to go to Harrahs for more gambling. We were really excited heading into Harrahs. We were convinced that because we were so excited, we would win, be super happy for each other and have the BEST TIME EVER. Despite Bear’s awful Blackjack skills which almost caused someone at the table to punch him (He hit on 14 against a 5!), I was doing well. The other two got cleaned out, but after accounting for my losses earlier in the day, I was up $10. I had won at Blackjack! I had actually won! I was so elated. I realized that maybe the key to winning is being absolutely wasted. So next time I want to gamble, I guess I have to get loaded first.
Seeing that it was 4:30 AM Central Time, I decided that it was probably time to go to bed. After all, I had another full day ahead.