Yesterday was a beautiful day in New Orleans. It was mostly sunny and in the 70s outside. Too bad I did not step outside the hotel until after dark, and then it was just to go across the street to eat dinner. Guess what I had?
The reason I stayed in the hotel all day is that the fun trip was over, and it was time for our annual Board meeting. In the morning, trip attendees joined us to give us input on how the trip went and suggest places to go next. It was great to hear how much fun people had and how smoothly everything went. It was a HARD slog planning this trip, but in the end, the trip planners (with a lot of help by the Board President) got it done.
I’m very glad I am not a professional trip planner, and tip my hat to my friends who are!
Yes, yes, I’m still in New Orleans with the Friends of La Leche League on their bonding trip. Today was the day of less history and more typical tourist stuff. However, I managed to have fun.
In the morning, people mingled and bonded until time to walk (if you were fit) to the Steamboat Natchez, which is the only steam-powered paddle-wheeler in use in New Orleans.
There, we were treated/blasted to an actual steam calliope concert. It was fun to watch the steam coming out for each note.
On the boat, we had a brunch, which was adequate, and good jazz music (though one DOES weary of “When the Saints Go Marching In” around here). Since you couldn’t see a dang thing during the meal, I got out of the dining room as fast as I could to see the river.
When I was a teenager in a tourist destination (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area), I sure didn’t like tourists. They showed up and drove strangely, got horrible sunburns, and asked ignorant questions. Grr. They filled “our” restaurants.
I currently spent half my time in another tourist destination, where natives carefully avoid downtown or our beautiful parks during certain times of the year, since so many people show up to party and have fun at festivals. We grumble, but know the economy needs it.
Right now I’m the tourist in New Orleans. I have done tourist activities like bus tours that crowd the streets, and walking tours that crowd the sidewalks. I sure wouldn’t want to live where my house is photographed by people like Suna all day long. Certainly living in the French Quarter would require a special patience.
I see tourists wandering around getting blitzed and screeching about things, and they are contributing to the economy, I guess.
Then I see our group asking question after question to learn more about the area. I see us making connections in local shops (I bought yarn!). This is good tourism, as far as I’m concerned.
Not much soul searching to report today, though I think some of my colleagues tried to get me to do so. That’s even AFTER I said I am really doing well and coping with whatever challenges may come up. Oh well. What did I do today?
Mostly I looked at a lot of buildings and some darned impressive old oak trees. Our trip planners did us all a favor by setting up a bus tour of Greater New Orleans this morning, which makes it a lot easier to figure out what we’ll want to do in our free time tomorrow.
Our tour bus driver is usually a swamp tour driver, so I enjoyed listening to him try to remember all his NOLA facts and figure out how traffic has changed.
I was so busy focusing on the prospect of getting all peopled out, that I didn’t think about where I was going! I think that is for the best, because I got to enjoy pleasant surprises on my whole trip.
The minute I got to the New Orleans airport I remembered it just opened yesterday! It had that sorta plasticky “new airport” smell, and it was all shiny. There were zillions of windows everywhere (including the women’s room, which needed more stalls).
And of all things, the baggage claim was pleasant as heck! I loved the mosaics on the walls and the lovely planters with benches all around them.
I waited an hour for a colleague to arrive, and it was really fun. Sadly, the taxi/Uber situation is not so good, and as the day wore on it got harder and harder for people to get transportation out. Luckily, we only had to wait ten or fifteen minutes.
I’m sitting in the Austin airport again. This time I’m also going somewhere fun, but not for relaxation. I’m traveling to New Orleans to participate in semi-annual Friends of La Leche League trip. Since I’m on the Board, my role will be to help make the trip fun for the participants.
I have to go back to my Super Introvert mode that I used to get in at the large conferences, where I had to be on and available 24/7. Usually I handle conferences by getting a room to myself. But, this is a nonprofit, so we share!
It’s fun sharing rooms with old friends. You catch up, tell funny stories, etc. I just hope note that we are all older, we will sleep some.
This is a group of wonderful people, and I am hoping everyone’s issues and infirmities don’t prevent everyone from having fun. And I hope I don’t collapse from being my busy LLL persona for 5 days. I’m not the same person I used to be.
Luckily I’m in a great mood and looking forward to some fun and good. Yes, I will eat a beignet! Moderation in everything.