The Big Easy. NOLA. Nawlins. New Orleans.Call it what you will.... I will call it fabulous. I was there Friday 8th-Tuesday 12th for the American Educational Research Conference (AERA).
I had never been before and I am definitely planning on going back. Quite honestly... the city had me won over when I got off the plane at 8:30 in the morning and it was 75 degrees and sunny. I had to buy sunscreen to keep from getting a sunburn as I walked around the French Quarter.
I taught class on Thursday, went home, packed a bag, drove to Portland and flew overnight to get to NOLA. As I arrived, It was too early to check into my hotel, but time for the conference to start so I freshened up, checked my bag with the front desk and caught the shuttle to the French Quarter. Once there, I started to grasp just how big this conference really is... and it is the closest I will get to being herded like cattle. From the time I walked in the door, there were people directing me to escalators, from escalators to registration, and back out the door. I got the program (AKA the phone book) and a name badge and was standing back on the street in under 10 minutes. Now what?
Seriously, the program was about the same size as the Greater New Orleans Phone Book. I took a photo just so you would believe me. I spent a good bit of time plotting my plan of attack to see everything I wanted to see (and stalk all of the people I cite!). I may have been overly ambitious because I made myself some pretty long days. It was great.
I found Bourbon Street.
I went to Cafe Du Monde. Sipped some Cafe Au Lait and enjoy a delicious beignet:) just for my friend Claire. It was amazing. I also had pecan flavored coffee on Canal Street!
I walked around the French Quarter and had drinks with James Anderson. We bought Hand Grenades (strongest drinks in the Quarter) from this little hole-in-the-wall shop. Good times.
I Saw Jackson Square Park with its old cathedral. The "French Quarter Festival" was going on so there was live music and crowds. It was great.