Where would you most like to be stationed? When we asked our audience at Military.com’s the Spouse Experience in New Orleans to tell us about the best duty station ever, most of them picked somewhere in Europe or Hawaii.
No one picked Louisiana as the #1 most desirable location. Shocking, I know.
But they did come up with a list of all the lessons they learned in Louisiana. A whole lot of love for The Pelican State (and The Big Easy) came seeping through. What else do you think Louisiana has to offer?
2.Everyone is related to everyone else.Expect to hear your civilian neighbors wonder, “Who’s your mama?” Or, “Where’s your people?” Then again, they might not ask you that since they can tell you aren’t a local just by looking at you.
3.Drive Thru Daiquiri shops are for real.The frozen drive-thru daiquiri shop by the side of the road is not a figment of your imagination, Yankee Girl. You can find more than 20 flavors of daiquiris in some shops. As long as the straw doesn’t penetrate the lid, you aren’t breaking any open container law in your car.
4.Every celebration deserves a parade.No one loves a parade like the people in Louisiana. It isn’t just Mardi Gras crewes, St. Patrick’s Day parades or Second Line parades. Even the little things deserve a parade, like my personal favorite, the Fava Bean parade.
5. One word: KatrinaYou might have forgotten that Hurricane Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damaged in 2005. But no one in Louisiana can forget. Some things take time. So much time.
6. 'Not there no more.'When talking about local businesses, the post-storm phrase that rings through so many conversations is “not there no more” or “ain’t there no more.” It is a constant reminder of all that is still lost.
7. A great place to love plaid skirts.An amazing number of Catholic schools thrive in Louisiana—especially same sex high schools.
8. Take Mardi Gras off, but be sure to work on Veterans Day.Expect the schools to take a break to celebrate Mardi Gras and all it’s wonders. But school is definitely in on Veterans Day.
9. No one cooks like Louisianans.Go ahead and blend West African, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Amerindian cuisine and you may come up with something like Louisiana Creole cuisine. Etouffee, maque choux, beignet, gumbo and Sazerac are magic words. Do enjoy the mudbugs, but skip the King Cake. That's just for the locals.
10. Once a Saints Fan, Always a Saints Fan. Win or lose. Who dat!
U.S. Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Valentine