lol Ishy, i'm on the mIssissippi gulf coast, not in NOLA. but close enough
Cingular and Verizon are the 2 major cell providers here. perosnally i prefer Verizon over the later, but both will give you good serivce and decent PAYGO plans.
NOLA is fun to visit, but you can see everything in a day tbh. i'd actually adivse against goign during Madi Gras to NOLA though. the place stinks to high heaven, is way too crowded, way over priced and you're more likely to get mugged or injured then have a good time imo. now if your in a big group, thats different; but it's not exactly the safest or cleanest city in the USA. i mean, it's pretty much like that all year round, because the French Quarter is party centeral at night, but it's 100% worse duing this time of year. you can get the Madi-gras experience without the ruff stuff here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast just as well as in NOLA
(same goes if the Saints or a College game is playing in NOLA)
still, while the major party day and parade day is always on Fat Tuesday, the party generally starts the first week of Feb and lasts into early March with Parades and Balls and Drinking.
also, while NOLA may be the starting point for Blues int he USA, it's shifted to more jazzz/Cajun/Blues mix. Kentucky might be a good place to check out Blues here in the states as well as NOLA. and Birmingham, Alabama. if you do go to NOLA, i'd highly suggest taking a day to go to Baton Rouge as well; it's absolutley beautiful there.
if you do visit the South, make sure to come between the months of Dec - April, unless yoru used to a tropical humid climate. i wouldn't visit during Hurricane season (which picks up in July but starts as early as May) or in the summer months (May - Sept) as the heat/humidity will make touring very uncomfy. its a wet climate here, so when it's cold (typically in the 50's or 60's but can get as low as 20's and teens) it's a very wet cold so you feel it for sure. Feb, March and early April are the best weather months imo the Humidity is low, the flowers are just blooming and your get 70's with a good breeze off the gulf.
personally, i'd suggest trying for October (whcih is after Hurricane season) for Halloween and Voodoo/Hoodoo feast. they have some wicked tours aroudn this time adn imo its a better celebration that Madigras because it's centered more aroudn the history of the city.
for places to see in NOLA, here are some off the top of my head
- walk the French Qurter (more importantly bourbon Street). i'd advise doign this during the day, unless in a big group with a native to show you around. at ngiht, the freaks and swinlders come out, it can get rather scary honestly.
- go to Pat O'Briens and get yerself a drink called a Hurricane, trust me on this, they're delicious and you only need 1 (or 2 if your a heavy drinker) to get you good and drunk. get the Red colored one, it's like a fruit punch icee and has about 7 different types of liquors. plus the glass cup is a suvenior *nods*
- go to Cafe Du Monde and get yourself a beignets or 3 with a coffee. try to avoid the place around Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner times as the line will be outragously long. but it's worth it
- make sure ot try a SnowBall as well, which is like a Snow Cone but with finer shaved ice an loads more syrups. JuJu's, Hansens and Caseys are the top choices; research SnowBalls on Guy's "Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives" (off Food Network) web site for the place he went to as well. theres a creamary he went to that looked oustanding in another episode.
- St. Louis Cathedral is a very beautiful church to walk in and look around. theres also the Autobon Zoo and a bunch of Museums. the park is infront of the Cathedral, this is were most of your street performers and such hang out.
- also check out Marie Laveau Voodoo shop, shes the infamous Voodoo queen of NOLA.
if you come in the fall, try to swing going to a Saints Game *nods* tickets are more expensive since winning the superbowl, but may god its a great place to be to watch foot ball and the fans are pretty cool in comparison to some other teams.