Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Orleans...a little something extra

Sometimes, like all daughters I suppose, I wonder how my parents got their little (at times embarrassing but lovable) quirks. Hardly ever abashed, always adventurous and ever so friendly my parents are unlike any parents I know from my hometown in Texas. I found out on my latest trip to their hometown, New Orleans where it all comes from. Sure, New Orleans is known for their free spirited partiers and laid back attitude but the people who live there year around must be of the more serious type.

And that's where you'd be wrong.

People from New Orleans will not hesitate to stop you on the street to comment on your jacket or ask you the time (or on Mardi Gras weekend, what day it is) and from that first encounter you'll find out their name, what street they live on, figure out you shared a teacher in grade school, and probably end up going to get a drink with them.

My parents decided to take my new husband and I on a trip to New Orleans as a wedding gift and that's where I saw my parents in a new light (my husbands eyes) and I realized New Orleans is part of their personality, part of their soul and always will be. In New Orleans, my parents aren't embarrassing, loud, or crazy, rather their just quite normal. One of the locals. They took us down memory lane, showing us the old cemetery where both of them have family members, showed us the houses they grew up in, took us to the Southern Decadence (Gay Mardi Gras) Parades (where they quickly made friends), and even took us to the infamous Pat O'Brien's (where my mom and her girlfriends went for a celebratory drink after finishing law school and where high school students from my dad's high school still go to listen to the live pianist). New Orleans isn't just a place they once lived, but rather what shaped them to become the people they are today.

I had a great time eating all the sinful food (mmmm beignets), shopping in the oldest market in the US, and just walking around the french quarter with my hubby and parents. I even had a shop keeper use the word "lagniappe" with me when I was buying old french chandelier crystals from the 1850s! It's the word I used to name my jewelry business (Lanyapi) that means "a little something extra". And that's the spirit that sums up New Orleans for me...where people give you a little something extra!

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