Yes, it's Labor Day weekend and you're ruing the end of summer. With every turn of the burgers on the grill, every clinked plastic glassful of wine on a mosquito-infested lawn, you're looking ahead. The kids are going or have gone back to school; you've even bought your Halloween candy or tucked away some Christmas gifts you found on sale.
But guess what: summer's not over. You've still got three weeks to indulge in these lazy, hazy days and make a little - if not whoopie - then whynot?
From a rodeo to outlet shopping, free museum visits and slashed prices at restaurants today for COOLinary New Orleans, you can't beat the Big Easy.
Here are this examiner's top 5 things to do in town before autumn (and then some):
New Orleans COOLinary festival wraps up Aug. 31
Rose Lane Leavell (first from left) with hubby Chuck Leavell (center), Rolling Stone Keyboardist, at his 60th birthday celebration at Arnaud's Restaurant April 27, 2012. To enjoy COOLinary New Orleans, in which Arnaud's is a participant, visit by Aug. 31: www.coolinaryneworleans.com.
The Be a Tourist at Home event features several museums
New Orleans Museum Month wraps up today. Visit one of a number of them (see www.touristathomecom/new-orleans-museum-month). If you have a membership to one museum, you can visit all of them free. Here: Monet's "Houses on the Old Bridge at Vernon", 1883 by Claude Monet; Flickr, Frank Kovalchek, Nov 12, 2010, Wikimedia Commons Images
Rodeo New Orleans will offer a good time, Sept 13-14
A cowboy rides in an Arizona rodeo in this image, but in Sept. New Orleans will bring it when its own rodeo comes to town. Offering "Louisiana's largest (est.) purse" at $50,000, a good time will be had by all. For more info, visit www.rodeoneworleans.com.
Hit the Riverwalk: to gaze, to ride a steamboat, to drink/eat/be merry and shop, shop, shop
In this image from Jan. 2004 on the Riverwalk, reveler Jule Charron got into the spirit of the Sugar Bowl wearing her Louisiana State Tigers colors. New Orleans visitors to the Riverwalk can enjoy this view year-round while also hopping into the fab Outlet shops on the walk. For more info, visit http://www.riverwalkneworleans.com/.
A street car ride puts one in a festive mood year round
Enjoy a street car ride year round in the Crescent City, and by Sept. weather will be far more conducive to a good ol' time. Take the St. Charles car from Carondolet into the Garden District and just putter around, gawking at the gorgeous homes. Famed local light Anne Rice and Sandra Bullock have homes there, as does the Archie Manning family.