I was a New Orleans virgin…until now.
We made the long road trip down to New Orleans for a week (never, I repeat NEVER go to New Orleans for a week, your body will hate you) to celebrate Jazz Fest with an amazing group of friends. Day one through four were great, I started to slow down on day five, and by days six and seven I had the “New Orleans flu.”
I’ve never eaten so much incredible food in my life. Each meal we had was better than the last accompanied by craft cocktails and loads of bourbon. I have to admit that one of my favorites was freshly shucked oysters on the side of the street though. I had my first Hurricane on Bourbon Street, we sat down for a proper tea service, indulged in a 12-course meal (you have to go to Square Root if you’re in NOLA), danced to street performers, shopped at Rubensteins (strictly for the name) and made memories that will last forever. But one memory will trump them all: I got engaged!
On April 30, we headed out from our bed and breakfast to the fairgrounds for Jazz Fest. I was looking forward to Beck and Stevie Wonder later that day but sadly wouldn’t get to see either of them due to the incoming storm. The radar showed impending doom but we didn’t retreat at first. We witnessed a twerk contest during Big Freedia and then stood in the pouring rain with water up to our ankles and umbrellas in the air watching Dr. John. We could hear thunder in the distance but were hoping for the best.
Before Dr. John was done, the thunder and lightning rolled in. Considering we were sitting ducks in standing water, part of our group decided it was time to leave. We started to head out of the festival and the storm intensified with pouring rain, wind, thunder and lightning. We started running to try and catch a cab while I began to have nervous laughter. I think all of the beers and Bloody Marys finally caught up with me because at the age of 31, I peed my pants just as we made it out of the festival. But hey, it’s New Orleans, and it’s storming…aren’t those reasons enough for such a thing?
After many failed attempts, we convinced an off-duty cab to drive us back to the bed and breakfast where we showered and met back up for dinner. After an uneventful dinner, we went back to the bed and breakfast to figure out our next move before the concerts we had on the agenda for the evening.
I sat on the front porch playing Candy Crush waiting for everyone to come up with a game plan. As I was sitting there alone, Ryan came out and nonchalantly said, “So, do you want to get married?” I barely even looked up from my phone and responded with, “What?” I had been not-so-subtly hinting at wanting to get engaged over the past several months by sending pictures of rings, reminding him we had been together for almost five years. I’m such a peach.
He showed me a ring box and asked me again. I just looked at him in disbelief. Surely this wasn’t real and he was playing a joke on me. I figured I had to put in at least another year or two until he would be ready for this. “Are you being serious? Is this a joke?”
He assured me this wasn’t a joke, this was the real deal. I still didn’t believe him. “Are you for real?!” I think I asked this same question about five times in a row expecting him to say it was a prank.
He made me answer him, and of course my answer was yes. Just as this had happened, two of our friends walked up. Ryan hadn’t told anyone he was going to do this so they were in just as much disbelief as I was. We met up with the rest of our crew and shared the news, agreeing to keep it a secret until we got back to Indy. The rest of the night was a blur because I still couldn’t believe I was engaged. Further more, I got engaged on the same day that I peed my pants as a grown adult. We did celebrate with some JELLO shot syringes on Bourbon Street before the concert that night, as one does in New Orleans I suppose.
The rest of the week was full of even more good food and crazy nights with our crew. My body started to fail on me and I spent the last two nights sleeping in our hotel room (shout out to the Ace Hotel for one of the best rooms to stay holed up in while on vacation, I only wish I could have taken advantage of the pool and gym). We made sure to get an engagement picture in the hotel photo booth, because I can’t say no to a photo booth if it’s in my vicinity.
I’m not sure how Jazz Fest 2017 can top this trip…maybe we’ll have to have a surprise wedding!