Work and Mardi Gras...NOLA Bound!

I had a chance to go back to the city of New Orleans and work back in March. I had not been there in several years, pre hurricane actually, and was rather excited about going back. What I was not excited about was driving a box truck down there from Indiana and all the hassles that go with a truck. Not to mention we had back to back events right in the middle of Mardi Gras. It created so many extra headaches and delays. My frustration level was at a very high level.

I did notice on this trip that the city was cleaner than I remember. And there were a lot less panhandlers. Both are good things. But for Mardi Gras time, it seemed rather tame compared to what I have witness in the past. Though it was very cold and rainy most of the week and I did the majority of my drinking during the day on my down time and far away from the French Quarter where I was working. However, if people want to expose themselves to the populous for cheap beads then I say let 'em. I will always take a look at boobs.

view from my room at Roosevelt Hotel
The first work week was at the historic Roosevelt Hotel, which is just a couple of blocks from Bourbon street. It was a long week for the two man crew. But we, as always, preserved and made the client happy with the AV portion of the event.  I love the architecture of this hotel, but it a pain in the ass to work in for a conference. And the capper of it was the last night, after we loaded the truck and was ready to drive it back to the convention center parking area, the streets were shut down due to the parade. It was after 1am before I was able to move the box truck.

I had a few days off before the next event moved in. Unfortunately I could not find any reasonable hotels downtown being the big weekend before Mardi Gras. I reserved a room up in Metarie and stayed there for the weekend. I did make a trip to the French Quarter on Saturday to met up with a friend who came into town for the weekend. Nothing like drinking at 9am! When you are hitting up the Absinthe Bar before noon, you know it will be an interesting day.

My friend Burke had never been to NOLA. So we walked around, drank, and ate all day. Caught a part of parade too. But as more people flocked around and darkness neared, I felt it was time for me to head back north to my hotel.

During these down days I managed to make it to some unique spots like the Avenue Pub (a famous craft beer bar), Stein's Market & Deli (great deli sammys & very good bottled beer selection), Jackson Square, all around the French Quarter popping in and out of bars.

one of the daily parades
 The second week saw us down at the Riverside Hilton. So much easier to have the truck on site and not have to fight through traffic. Especially since load in was on Fat Tuesday. Again, another long week but successful event. Even managed to get out the hotel a couple of nights to find some more eateries. Happy clients are great for business but even more than that our company (I can say that because Markey's is now employee owned) wants to form partnerships with every one we work for. Enough of the business plug.

I've always loved Creole style cooking and ate plenty of it on this trip. Now we had to take another off day in order drive back to Indiana. We camped out in Slidell at a hotel and did not do much of anything. The journey home was long and eventually filled with snow. I am hating this winter.

the muddy waters of the Mississippi
New Orleans is a fascinating and unique city in America. A person is bound to be charmed by what it has to offer. If only I could have spend a little more time exploring. Guess it's a good thing I will heading back next month for Wrestlemania.

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Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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