By Kim Smelter| New Girl in NOLA
As my country crossover pal Nelly would say, “It’s getting hot in herre.”
That’s right. We had some nice breezy days there for a while, but summer is definitely here, with all the humidity and bugs that will keep us indoors for months.
Well, New Orleans, I don’t like to stay inside all that much, so I make a point to spend as much time outside as I can bear, especially near or in a body of water. If you don’t have a pool like me (although I’m seriously considering getting a blow-up one this summer), don’t fret because there are other options for getting wet and wild. That is, if you dare to be a redneck 😉
River tubing is something I was very familiar with growing up, but river tubing in Louisiana is quite a different experience. Here, you opt for spring break-style party points and jello shots. And, almost everyone I saw had at least 5 tattoos. Also, you are encouraged (strongly) to rent a tube just for your cooler. It’s relaxing , it’s fun and it’s an excuse to spend the day drinking on the water. What’s not to love??
I’ve been to two tubing excursions since I’ve been a New Girl in Nola. The first was on the Bogue Chitto River with Wayne’s World Tubing. My friends chartered a school bus (yes, they were that serious), we packed several coolers and we made a pit stop for some Lunchables and Jerky for the ride (you know: sustenance). We hit the water for a solid 6 hours. Yes, it can take that long if you choose the spring breakers’ path. It was sloppy but fun, and, boy, did I sleep like a baby that night.
The second tubing adventure was over Memorial Day weekend, when a smaller group of my friends made a little detour on the way back from Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge. We went to Denham Springs and spent the day floating down the Amite River via Tiki Tubing. A little more relaxed this time around, but it had the same amount of redneckin! Almost too much. My poor friend from New York survived and was a stronger person afterward, of course.
TIPS for the TUBER:
– Bring a non-styrofoam cooler with canned beer. No glass.
– Make sure to add some food in that cooler. A Lunchable doesn’t exactly cut it.
– Wayne’s World is cash only: $15 for the tube & $5 for the cooler tube.
– Tiki Tubing takes credit cards: $19 for the tube, $8 for the cooler tube
– Wear sunscreen! Unless you want to look like a boiled lobster. Mmmm … lobster.
– If you can, try to bring some sort of music/boombox to take this river party to the next level. One impressive dude made his boombox out of a Coleman cooler. I envied his craftsmanship.
– Remember to keep your belly up! Sit down in your tube with your butt in the water. If you lay down, you may get scratched by those pesky sticks and rocks in the shallow parts.
– Keep your float forward (your toes forward) otherwise you may just find yourself in a pile of sticks.
– Last but not least, have a boobin tubin good time!
Kim Smelter moved to New Orleans in 2011 from New York City. She regularly blogs at NewGirlinNOLA.wordpress.com.