Last Laugh Is On Katrina

May 16, 2009

Congrats to the Graduate!

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We departed from the hotel just after breakfast on foot. It was about a 30 minute walk to the Superdome, but we were thankful for the exercise.

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We got there at 8:45 just before our seats were given away!

The commencement was very fitting for New Orleans – jazz, beads and fireworks. Andrew’s class is “the Katrina Class.” As soon as he had finished moving his stuff into his dorm in 2005, he turned around and evacuated for the hurricane. He didn’t see his stuff again until January! Collages all over the country took in Tulane’s students for that semester, but still, 80% of Tulane’s students came back in January. So the theme of the day was thanking this class for choosing to come back and bringing the university – and the city – back to life.

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Harry Connick Jr. was given an honorary degree!

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And Ellen says hi!!

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Her speech was fun, witty, and casual.  She said life is like Mardi Gras, but just don’t show them your boobies, show them your brain and you’ll get all the beads you need in life :) Her message was about staying true to yourself. I definitely laughed out loud several times!

She even donned a bathrobe on stage as a gift from Tulane (and an inside joke)

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I brought snacks for the group – assorted Clif bars

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Breakfast held me over well – about 3 hours before my stomach grumbled. I let hunger build for an hour and then had the Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Clif bar at noon. LOVED IT!!!!!!! It reminded me of oatmeal cookie dough! I tried nibbles of the Blueberry Crisp (could take it or leave it) and the White Chocolate Macadamia (didn’t get enough to form an opinion).

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Other folks around us where eating chicken fingers at 10am and nachos by noon! We were glad to be prepared :)

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We were also prepared for a 6 hour ceremony (yes, SIX HOURS!!!) with reading material for the second half when they called out 1,000 names!!!!!! It went on forever….

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The Clif bar held me over perfectly until 2pm brunch, when I wasn’t even that hungry.

Outside the Superdome

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We walked another 30 minutes back to the French Quarter for brunch at Brennan’s. I was thankful for a second walk to squeeze in some more activity – esp. after 6 hours of sitting!

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Check out this menu!

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I ordered a Bellini to drink. I’m not a fan of orange juice drinks or bloody marys more than a sip

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The menu was a little strange – not a single salad! The restaurant was quite expensive, and it ended up being more cost effective to get a three course pris fixe menu than just the entree, so that’s what I did.

I started with the Baked Apple in Cream – but I got the cream on the side.

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The apple was fabulous – I ate half of it and gave the rest to Matt.

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But did add some cream first

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And may have tasted the cream a few more times as soup! It was like liquid ice cream!

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There was good bread on the table, but I turned that down knowing I had some in my benedict.

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I ordered the Eggs Bayou LaFourche – poached eggs atop Cajun andouille sausage and Holland rusks topped with Hollandaise. I got the sauce on the side, and it came with a baked tomato. I ate 1 of the 4 sausage halves, 1 toast, both eggs and all of the tomato. I gave the rest away to the table for tastes (my strategy this vacation, if you haven’t noticed, is sharing and having the portions of things as I would eat at home.)

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The highlight was the Bananas Foster!! It was invented here in the 1950s –

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Matt ordered it with his menu and gave me a bite. I have to say, that caramelized banana was one of the best ever!

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For variety’s sake, I ordered the Suicide Chocolate Cake for my dessert (which was included)

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It was INCREDIBLE with dark chocolate ganache. I ate about 1/3 of the cake – mostly ganache! I could have eaten more but I knew I was approaching sickly full and passed it over to Matt’s side of the table out of reach

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I was perfectly full before this cake, but it put me over the top! But a walk through the French Quarter helped with digestion. After all, Walking Is Good For Digestion! This meal should have been called Linner because it was 5pm by the time we left!! I don’t think anyone is interested in dinner. Perhaps just something liquid or GREEN!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm

a six hour ceremony?? WOW! It must have been really exciting to see Ellen- I really like her.
Good for you for being prepared with the Clifs Bars- they never fail. :-)
That Suicide Cake looks incredible! No doubt it was fabulous!

Have a wonderful evening!


2 Brynn May 16, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Cute dress!


3 Oh She Glows May 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm

OMG 6 hours???? I would have gone stir crazy! That is SO awesome you got to see Ellen!!! :)

I feel the same way as you after our LINNER- I am in no mood for dinner!!!


4 Jen May 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Holy hell, what a perfect graduation ceremony. Celebrities up the hoo-hah and beads to boot! Looks like it was a blast!! And followed by bananas foster?! I’m SO unbelievably jealous.


5 rhodeygirl May 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm

kath you look really pretty today, like you’re glowing! have a fabulous evening!


6 Lee May 16, 2009 at 6:44 pm

6 hours? AHHH. I cannot imagine. I like your pink bag, btw.


7 Nicole May 16, 2009 at 6:44 pm

6 hours?! Holy smokes that’s a long graduation! And yay for more scrumptious looking NOLA food. I sure am jealous…


8 Sarah (Tales of Expansion) May 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm

you’ve had such luck lately with the speakers. first oprah, and now ellen. high profile graduations!

that bananas foster looks so perfect. i LOVE food that performs :-)


9 Mel May 16, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Holy cow, that is a long graduation. But the meal afterwards looks absolutely amazing!


10 Heather May 16, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Walking is definitely the best way to see the city. Plus, you get some great exercise! Sounds like the graduation was a lot of fun, but WOW! 6 hours is a LONNGGG time!

Oatmeal Raison Walnut is definitely my favorite flavor. YUM!

What a great dinner! Everything looks great. Sounds like you had a fun time!


11 Sara Kaiser May 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Kath, What hotel are you staying at?


12 Katie May 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

We were going to go to Brennan’s because it got rave reviews, until we saw the prices on the menu. It looks awesome, but we were just unwilling to pay that much for breakfast!

Still looks super yummy!


13 Bear May 16, 2009 at 7:09 pm

why is it so bad to eat nachos if you’re hungry? i mean, they chose chicken fingers and you chose “liquid ice cream” and chocolate cake. which is really the lesser of two evils?


14 Michelle Hisae May 16, 2009 at 7:27 pm

First Oprah, then Ellen?!? Lucky girl. That dinner looks decadent!


15 Emily W. May 16, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Oh man! 1000 names?! My high school graduation had 1033 students, so I couldnt understand more!! 😀

Congrats to the Grad!


16 Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm

wowzers, 6 hour ceremony!? crazy!

LOVE banana fosters 😉


17 Meredith (Pursuing Balance) May 16, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Love Ellen!!! She’s so fabulous!


18 emmy May 16, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Bananas Foster is one of my favorite things on Earth, you just reminded me that I haven’t had it in years!


19 Kath May 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm

oh man i would go and sit for 7 hours at a grad speech to listen to Ellen ANY day!
glad you’re having a wonderful time with family!


20 Priyanka May 16, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I love Ellen, it must have been so much fun to hear her! Lovely eats!


21 Stacey May 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm

OMG. I know exactly how you feel about the ceremony being sooo long! I thought the ceremony when Jason graduated would never end!

Mmm all that dessert looks delicious :)


22 Jordan May 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

I loooooove Bananas Foster! Mmmmm.


23 Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm

You’ve gotten to see the coolest people speak this year!!! Safe travels!


24 Caroline May 16, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Wow, a 6 hour ceremony is INTENSE. Love that you came prepared with two of my fave things: Real Simple mag and Clif bars!


25 amber May 16, 2009 at 11:44 pm

CUTE! I love you outfit!!


26 Lauren May 17, 2009 at 12:29 am

Congrats to the graduate! That’s really pretty crazy to think that this class was in the thick of all the craziness that happened with Katrina.

That brunch looked INCREDIBLE!!


27 Sarah (lovINmytummy) May 17, 2009 at 12:45 am

First Oprah, now Ellen! I’m curious as to who rates higher in your book now…


28 May 17, 2009 at 3:31 am

Wow, 6 hours! 😮 Holy numb feet! lol Linner looks delicious, especially the desserts!! I look forward to trying Bananas Foster in NOLA one day.



29 Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now May 17, 2009 at 5:19 am

Love your dress! It’s so cute.

So cool that Ellen was at grad!


30 Elizabeth May 17, 2009 at 5:57 am

a# 1 – You look great! I pink puffy heart your dress.
b# 2 – Thanks for the review on the oatmeal Clif – we’re in Florida this week, and that’s one of the snacks I brought for the parks… I haven’t tried it yet but am excited to :)
c # 3 – Great looking eats – as usual!


31 Lauren May 17, 2009 at 6:33 am

I remember how long the Tulane grad ceremony is from when my fiance’s sister graduated last year – wowza.

All of the food looks awesome! NOLA certainly is a place to get some tasty grub :)


32 RK May 17, 2009 at 8:08 am

Six hour graduation?! I would have gone stir crazy, but hearing Ellen speak live might make it worth it :) I love Ellen.

That Cliff bar sounds delicious – I love Oatmeal Raisin cookies and cookie dough, so it would be right up my alley.

Sounds like you had a great “Linner”. That chocolate cake looks out of this world!


33 Christina May 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

adorable dress for the graduation!! where did you get it if you dont mind me asking?


34 JENNA May 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

What fun speakers!! I would have loved toseen ellen!!! NOLA sounds like an amazing place to vistit! btw Cute ctue cute dress!


35 Patty M. May 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Brennan’s is fabulous! One of my bridal showers was held there and it is def. a favorite memory from my time in NOLA. Brunch there was always a favorite for out of town guests too.


36 susan May 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Looks lucious! The White Chocolate Macadamia Clif Bar tastes like a candy bar, IMO.

A place near us has bananas foster french toast. I’ve never been brave enough to order it, but one of these days…


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