I don’t normally particularly like to do things. Well, I like to do things … as long as things include cooking in sweatpants or reading books in the bathtub or hanging out with friends and/or family somewhere cozy. But outdoorsy things … loud, crowded, social things … traveling … I don’t really seek out things like that. 

However, five days of complete COVID-19 isolation followed by another five days of very limited interaction with the outside world made me pretty stir-crazy and led me to start contemplating what I want to do now that I’m cleared for official re-entry. 

Here are the main things I’m looking forward to right now:

  1. Crawfish boils. This is probably my favorite springtime ritual. I’ve already been to one boil that my neighbors held over Mardi Gras, but I’ve got a few more on the horizon, and I’m extra-excited now that my sense of smell and taste are returning. (Although truth be told, my favorite things to eat are the sides and not the crawfish.)
  2. Jazz Fest. I love Mardi Gras and had a great time at parades this year (even though that’s almost certainly where I caught COVID), but I’ve always been more of a Jazz Fest girl. Locals Thursday is just about the perfect speed for me. I don’t plan around any one artist – I just go with an open mind, an empty stomach, and a ton of sunscreen and see where the day takes me.
  3. Strawberry season. We eat strawberries year-round in my house, but there is no denying the fact that Ponchatoula strawberries in April are far, far superior to anything you can buy anywhere else at any other time. (Likewise, Abita Strawberry is now available year-round, but I swear it tastes better in the springtime. Especially at a crawfish boil.) The Strawberry Festival is too overwhelming for me, but I do plan to take the kids strawberry-picking soon.
  4. Beach days. I have friends coming to visit with their three kids from St. Louis later this month and they want to get a chance to build sand castles and swim. Although I can’t promise them an especially pretty beach, I do love a quick jaunt to Bay St. Louis or Pass Christian. It’s a nice bite-sized escape.
  5. Bayou walks. I’m not ever going to like kayaking or hiking in the mountains or jogging. BUT once the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, an evening stroll around Bayou St. John with a few friends and a Mardi Gras cup of wine is the ideal way to pass an hour or so. 

COVID was obviously not fun. 0 stars; do not recommend. I was tired and achy and coughing with no appetite and no ability to leave my bedroom. I realized just how much I take my general good health for granted. On the other side of sickness, though, emerging into springtime in New Orleans, I’m very grateful to have come out healthy once again, in the best city in the world.