I misplaced my camera a while back. I say misplaced instead of lost because I know it’s in my apartment, somewhere. In the months since it went missing, I’ve relied even more heavily on other people for photos.
Well, both Elisa and I were camera-less for last weekend’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans… but this is what I would have shown you, had I the means.
- An overcast, windy day
We arrived at the festival an hour after it started on Friday. Mission one: Food. (We both had crawfish etouffe and cheap, flavorless, domestic beer. I quickly learned that Jazz Fest is all about the food.) Mission two: Set up camp. The main stage wasn’t terribly crowded, perhaps because the sky promised rain. A less crowded festival and breezes to keep us cool made for a glorious afternoon.
- A dork with a book
The sky finally delivered just before Stevie Wonder’s set. Everyone scrambled for their ponchos when it began sprinkling, then pulled them off when it cleared up, only to scramble again 10 minutes later. The rain was persistent, forcing me to protect my book from the weather and read through my translucent orange poncho. (Yeah, that’s right. I said I was forced. Putting the book away was not an option!) Someone out there actually has a picture of this… the people next to us found me pretty amusing, I suppose.
- A dancing hippie (or a few thousand dancing hippies)
While I was racing toward the final pages of Paper Towns, Elisa threw back her hood and danced in the falling rain. Neighboring dancers even invited her to join them. I suspect she might have had as much fun as I did reading my book!
- The best festival moment, ever
As Stevie finally launched into “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (thank you, California Raisins, for introducing me to this song so many years ago!), the sky responded with equal abandon. Rain poured on what remained of the crowd, and the New Orleans Fairgrounds became a beautiful, muddy dance party. (I was still reading, for a few songs longer anyway.)
- The aftermath
The rain returned early the next morning (not that I know from personal experience–I slept through the storm!). By the time we returned to the festival, it was a barely-controlled mud pit. We spread a beach mat below our chairs, prepared to throw it out at the end of the day. We’re smart girls–appropriate shoes and appropriate attire meant that the only mud on us was from our fellow spectators stepping on instead of around us.
- The look on my face when I realized Community Coffee uses powdered creamer
- Two sleepy girls
A day in the sun, surrounded by Parrotheads, makes for two smelly, exhausted girls. I was so disgusting when we returned to our hostess’ house that I sat on the floor instead of furniture while I awaited my turn to shower. But exhaustion didn’t keep us from making a late night fast food run…
- A gorgeous day for eating outside
We skipped the final day of the festival, instead sleeping in and taking a lazy Sunday morning. I met an old friend who lives nearby for lunch. We sat on the restaurant’s deck, with a view of the water a block away. It was the kind of day when you never want to go inside again.
- A dork with a deck of cards
Yeah, I played solitaire on the (passenger side) floorboard of my car during the drive home. And I lost. Every time.
- Two happy girls
Road trips with friends have to be one of my favorite things. I could do without gas prices and travel time, but without them, would we have six hours of Beatles, multiple boxes of Nerds and more enthusiastic laughter than I can recount? Doubtful.
I may not have anything physical to show for a long weekend away, but I have memories, music and friends. Sometimes, misplacing your camera isn’t so bad.