Last week I was in New Orleans for work. I arrived on Ash Wednesday, the day after Fat Tuesday. Some might say arriving in the Big Easy the day after Mardis Gras is the best day to be in New Orleans, others might say the worst. Regardless it was a few days to be out of the office with a little time in between meetings and conferencing to see some sites. Visiting a city where you have already been is exciting in a different way–you are not so focused on seeing it all, but rather getting to revisit places you liked before and anything new is just an added bonus.
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans you know that its known for the food. So after the conference ended, and after eating a lot of heavy food, I decided to throw on my running shoes and head downtown. The weather was finally warming up a bit to the low 60’s and I was anxious to get some fresh air. It was a bustling, and yet relaxing, short jog along the Mississippi Riverfront. Tourists were meandering along taking in the sites and the locals–mainly what I would describe as the homeless, young, gypsies were relaxing along the water’s edge (namely smoking a few joints, but not bothering anyone). My run did not last long though, because you see I had a motive for this run.
There was a purpose to my 0.6 mile run…get some fresh air and make my way faster to the beignets, that is French donuts sold at the famous Café du Monde! After waiting in line for about 15 minutes I was set…I had a delicious cup of café au lait and three beignets caked in powered sugar. It was nice to sit there and enjoy one of life’s little pleasures.
To “walk off” my donuts, I took a walk through the French Quarter which was quite lovely. I took some pictures of balconies and door frames that were still decorated for Mardis Gras. Then I made my way down Bourbon Street which was craziness at 4:30 in the afternoon! I had almost forgotten how much of a culture shock it was to walk down the street, completely sober amidst a sea of rowdy drunkenness. Live music was blasting from a few bars (I even went into one just to listen for a moment, see video below along with another from a jazz bar the night before).
I got some pretty interesting comments too from people asking, “How many miles did you run?” and “Wow, people usually don’t exercise around here.” So I felt a little ridiculous traipsing through that part of town looking all fit (little did they know I had just scarfed down those donuts), but hey it made for good blog fodder.
All in all, running for beignets was worth it. What do you run for?