This is my favorite place.
How does one even begin to talk about The Rock Boat?
First off, let me explain just exactly WHAT The Rock Boat is. TRB is a 4 day cruise of non-stop musical madness at sea.Complete with 32 bands on board, theme nights, and artist hosted-activities…it’s basically the best 4 days of your life. Seriously.
When I last left you, I was flying from Indianapolis to New Orleans. This year, TRB was deporting from NoLa and I was so stoked. I had been there before, but only for a few short hours before getting on a plane, so I was excited to have a few days to explore and see the REAL New Orleans.
When I landed, I took a shuttle from the airport to the hotel where Joy, Megan, and Maribel were waiting. It took almost 2 hours. And I was exhausted. I just wanted to change and eat and sleep.
Changing and eating happened. But then we hit Bourbon Street to see what kind of shenanigans we could find. We wandered. The friends boozed. We ended up at Howling At the Moon, a dueling piano bar. Piano bars are bomb. We were crushing hard on this extremely attractive boy performing. He was a lovechild of John Mayer, Will Anderson from Parachute & Goose from the Sk6ers. Go find this kid and tell him I’ll have children with him.
Close to midnight, I was ready to turn it in for the night.
The next morning, we woke up pretty early and rented a car. We decided to drive around and see what we could see. We ended up in the Garden District. Holy crap, those house are amazing!
We also passed a gorgeous library, and I screamed and made everyone go. This is the most beautiful library I’ve ever stepped foot in. If I was ever relocating to NoLa I’d work here in a heartbeat. I. am. so. jealous. my. library. isn’t. this. awesome.
That evening, we headed out for dinner and to wander Bourbon again.
At some point between all this, we stopped at Cafe Du Monde because I HAD to try a beignet and Cafe Au Lait. Um, delicious.
I just don’t recommend eating all 3 beignets they give you. You WILL go to bed with an upset stomach. TUMS, to the rescue! Or, pretend you’re going to eat the remainder of the powdered sugar at the bottom of the bag, because your friends aren’t nice and will hit your bag and THIS will happen…
The following morning Megan and I got up early once again to return the rental car and then to head out and do some good in the world. Sixthman, the company that puts on The Rock Boat (and other theme cruises, check them out), set up a service project with the St. Bernard Program. We were going to go help rebuild houses. Amazing.
We arrived right as orientation was beginning, so all the “easy” tasks were taken. Megan and I ended up on Andy (Sixthman CEO) and Mike’s (one of the coolest Sixthman employees) team. DRY WALLING. Oh, shiz. I’ve never even used a electric drill in my life.
Each team was bussed over to a different house. It was sad. Most of the neighborhoods were still condemned from Hurricane Katrina.
Let me tell you. Dry walling is not easy. But I now know how to do it! This was also one of the most rewarding days of my life. The woman’s house we worked on came in halfway during our day and thanked us. She is amazing. I can’t believe how high her spirits are after all she’s been through. After relocating back to New Orleans from Texas after a year from Katrina, she continually lost everything she owned, while supporting her two children in college. From $16,000 in construction fraud over the past 5 years, to people coming in and stealing her belongings…this woman has had it rough. “It’s like Christmas when I come in here everyday. It’s the first time I’ve seen walls in my house in 6 years.” My heart breaks.
After a long, fulfilling day, we headed back onto the bus to return to our side of NoLa. But first…a party? We were at a stop light, and Andy yells, “Who wants a beer?!” Everyone on the bus cheers…and Andy and Mike run off the bus, and into the gas station at the stop light! They come back, empty handed. “False alarm. They don’t have beer!”
Next signal light, no beer. A couple of yells at Siri, “Where can I find some fucking beer, Siri?!” No Luck. Finally the bad ass bus driver stops at a grocery store and the Sixthman Crew comes back successful. Amazing. The entire bus was cracking up. As if the day couldn’t get any better…it did that night.
The evening before the boat leaves, there is always a pre-party. This year, in honor of being in NoLa, we had our own parade. Oh, hell yes! We wandered down several blocks, being lead by our own band, screaming and waving TRB flags.
So much fun. The craziest moment was when I turned around at the end of it, and RUSSELL BRAND was standing there. In our parade!! I almost ran after him, but some girls beat me to it and I didn’t want to be a creep. HA.
After the Brand sighting, we headed to a pre-party show. We only stayed for the first band though, because we were all pretty tired at this point.
FINALLY. It was boarding day! That post coming soon!