I can't believe 2014 will mark my fifth year living in New Orleans. Everything seems to have flown by, from my first outlandish pronunciation of the word "lagniappe" to adapting to using the word "y'all" in normal conversation. And there have been many amazing experiences I've had throughout my time here, including having my very first taste of crawfish; throwing annual boils with my husband handling the cooking duties; riding my bike to Jazz Fest to watch Hall & Oates; and catching beads at Mardi Gras parades.
There have been some glaring omissions, however, and I'd like to remedy that as soon as possible before my "new" New Orleanian card gets tragically revoked. So for my New Year's resolutions, I'm going to mark a few things off my NOLA bucket list. After all, I'm not much into making your typical overly ambitious resolutions like "run 10 marathons" or "attain enlightenment,” but instead want to do something fun and attainable. I don't think resolutions should be a punishment, but should instead be fun. If they are fun, they're probably easier to keep. And keeping resolutions will make you feel good about yourself. Why feel bad about yourself when you inevitably stop the grueling workout schedule you mapped out for yourself? I say resolve to do only fun stuff and be happy.
Here's my happy New Orleans New Year's list … and I will blog about them as I do them as a way to make sure I get these things checked off.
1. Try the Jaques Imo's alligator cheesecake
I braved the new-to-me Gulf Coast cuisine when I moved to New Orleans and tried (and loved) crawfish, raw oysters, chargrilled oysters and alligator, but I have yet to try alligator cheesecake. My mom and dad keep asking me if I've tried it, because they see it on all those Food Network shows they compulsively watch, and I just want to be able to tell them, "Yes, I've had the alligator cheesecake."
2. Make the Zulu parade
By the time Mardi Gras Day rolls around I am so paraded out. This year, however, I'm going to pace myself because I've never actually made it to the Zulu parade and I'd love to see it and maybe even catch a coconut.
3. Be in a Mardi Gras parade
This year my wish will come true! I'll be walking in the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus parade.
4. Take the ferry
I'd love to take the ride from the Canal Street ferry to Algiers and catch the gorgeous view of the city. It's also free, so that's a plus.
5. Ride my bike down the levee
I love riding my bike and need to get it out more. I keep hearing about a bike path that goes down the levee, but I'm not really sure where it starts. I tried to ride it from the French Quarter but came to a dead end. I must be doing it wrong.
6. Make it to New Orleans Comic Con
I keep meaning to go to this but I always let it pass me by. This year, I am determined! Must. See. Norman. Reedus.
7. Prytania midnight showing
They always seem to have the coolest movies showing and they also have special screenings of "The Room" and "Rocky Horror," but my plans always fall through whenever I've meant to go. I will make it over there soon.
8. Go to the beach
I keep talking about this but have never actually done it even though beautiful beaches are only a few hours away from New Orleans. It's terrible, I know, but I usually take any vacation days I have to visit family in Ohio. Whelp, sorry family, because I'm going to the beach this year!
9. Head to the swamp
I need to make it to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve soon. My husband and I have planned to go several times, but always wait until it's way too hot to enjoy hanging out by the bayou. I've also never been on one of the swamp tours and even though I'm not a tourist anymore, I'd still love to go on one.
10. Make it outside of New Orleans
Much like not making it to the beach or the swamp, I've actually never been farther than Baton Rouge as far as Louisiana travel goes. I confess to being way too New Orleans-centric. I'd love to check out Cajun Country or perhaps a haunted plantation.
I'll keep you posted on my travels and adventures. Have a very happy New Year, everyone!