Friday, February 12, 2010

A Big Week in the Big Easy

Unless you were under a rock then you know that last Sunday the New Orleans Saints won the Superbowl....and I will admit to being totally clueless to the fact that there would be the most ridiculous parade on Tuesday! I had a business conference to attend on Wednesday and Thursday so I got into New Orleans on Tuesday right around 4pm. Roads were closed, crowds were in the open street and the 20 minute trip from the airport to my hotel took over 2 and a half hours!

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When I finally arrived in the neighborhood of the Convention Center, the shuttle bus had to drop me off down by the Riverwalk with my suitcase where I had to manouver through the celebrating masses for another half an hour! Here's the view from my room of the crowds in the street:

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Once I checked in, I picked up a burger from Dino's Bar and Grill and then holed up in my room getting ready for the next day. All day Wednesday I attended conferences and workshops- I won't bore you with the details!

At the end of the day, a group of us decided to take the trolley and head over to the French Quarter.

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We had dinner at Embers which had some really delicious Cajun dishes. I split the Cajun platter with a friend which was good- it was way too big for one person! The Margaritas, however, are the perfect size! And, if you're lucky like we were, Elvis might even drop by!

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Across the street from Embers is the Cat's Meow...a perfect way to burn calories while making a total fool of yourself. We had a blast belting out the hits:

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We ended up walking all the way back to the hotel, since we couldn't figure out where to get the trolley, but not before a quick stop at Harrah's for penny slots.

Thursday morning's news and newspapers had tons of stories about the weather. My American Airlines flight was scheduled at around 7 in the evening, so I figured I would be safe. Wrong: just as I was checking out of the hotel to finish the last day of the conference I got a text alert that my flight had been canceled. I immediately sprung into action trying to get another flight. I had to miss the rest of the conference and dash to the airport to check-in for my new Southwest flight. After a 2 hour delay we finally got to board the plane....at which point they announced the plane was too heavy and they needed to remove some passengers. When they started calling names, I was praying so hard not be removed! Fortunately, it wasn't done based on weight (haha!) but by the last be checked in. So, getting to the airport nice and early paid off! I made it home and was thrilled to see my wonderful husband and son had braved the record-breaking snow amounts to pick me up from the airport.

So, you'll be wondering how my tech went during this trip- I'm glad to report, perfectly. Before my trip I loaded up my iPod with a bunch of movies which I watched during my time in the airports and on the flight. My Blackberry Onyx had battery life to spare each day and I was glad to have the improved camera to use CardScan to take shots of business cards. In the evening I was able to use my HP Mini to do some surfing and make some Skype calls.
The one thing I was really happy about during this trip was having 2 separate mobile devices. I didn't have to worry about running out of battery life as I was watching movies on my iPod, as I still had my Blackberry to make calls on.
Its great to be home, but it felt really good to be in a city during such a time of celebration. Here's a memorial of Hurricane Katrina that was outside my hotel:

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