Jazzfest in New Orleans was a different kind of festival than I had been to in the past. I barely saw anyone on hallucinogenics and no one was holding up mushrooms as they walked by you. It was organized with different music tents labeled gospel, jazz, blues and several others and we even used a schedule to decide which shows to hear. I barely saw any dreadlocks and no patchwork pants. There weren't any hippies selling grilled cheese for a dollar, but instead tons and tons of food stands selling everything wonderfully fattening in the world! It was also different because I remember all of it..
Respect aside, I am glad I didn't stay up to hang out on Bourbon Street. I had heard stories and I knew it was a crazy place, but I was not prepared for what I saw when I stepped foot on the infamous street. Did I step right on it? No. There was a layer of vomit and liquid covering the floor. Did I see my sister get 'hit' with beads being flung at her? Yes. Did we turn off to take the path more traveled (by normal people) immediately? Yes, but not before creating a mental image album that won't leave me for awhile.
The festival itself was AMAZING! I had such a fantastic time hopping around from tent to tent filled with incredible talent. There were big names like Simon and Garfunkel, Allman Brothers and My Morning Jacket, but every single act, big or small, was better than the next. The food- fried shrimp po boys, delicious donut beignets, jambalaya, etoufee- was incredible! Nothing could get me down, not even the green line staining my forehead for 24 hours from the cheap green flowered lei my sister gave me! Because at a festival, you're never the weirdest person there!!
Beyond the festival, there were music acts at all hours in all the bars and on all the street corners of the French quarter. One of my favorite moments of the whole trip was the last night on the way to dinner. The four of us were starving and exhausted when we came across a smalltime band of misfits playing some great dancing music on the sidewalk. We joined the neighborhood drunks and danced, danced, danced- avoiding touching them as best we could. It was wonderful! (Even when that homeless woman hit me)