New Orleans is the Big Easy. It's also the Crescent City. And, it is also the City that Care Forgot. I like New Orleans. It's like Disneyland without the strollers. Plus you can buy a beer and walk around Bourbon Street with it without violating any open container laws. The south is a very civilized place that way.
Anyway, I like New Orleans and you can imagine my joy when I found out I was being sent there to attend a marketing workshop. No, not there, I screamed when they told me. It was like being sent to your room as a kid...the place where all your toys were...some punishment. I had to mask my joy or they'll realize their mistake.
So tomorrow I fly to New Orleans on Delta Airlines. And hopefully I'll get an aisle seat next to someone who doesn't speak English and won't engage me in a conversation about honeyroasted peanuts, isn't a Customer of Size who can't get the armrest down and isn't a toddler who thinks it is funny to pull my armhairs during the entire flight.
With any luck, I may get upgraded to First Class and avoid the humilation Delta puts you through in coach of having to buy a $12 sandwich and chips. Though the last time I rode First Class on Delta I got the seat by the bulkhead and had to endure the guy next to me taking off his shoes and sticking his feet up on the wall throughout the flight. I don't think he quite understood the "Class" part of First Class. Though I don't think anyone in First Class actually has paid full price for the ticket. It's generally full of people who finally saved enough frequent flyer miles to pretend that they fly First Class as a matter of course. But I digress.
I'm not afraid of flying, but I am really not looking forward to two hours in the airport waiting in security lines that may or may not include a free prostate exam. And I don't relish the five hour flight that will include a first run movie edited for the in-flight audience (translated to mean no gratuitous nudity, profanity or mindless violence...so what is the point of watching). And I'm not thrilled about jockeying for a position at the luggage carousel to elbow an old lady with a walker out of my way to grab my bag before it decides to take another spin around the carousel for fun. Finally, I'm not looking forward to the shuttle ride to the hotel sitting next to Marvin, the wannabe tour guide who will undoubtably shout in my ear so everyone in the back of the van can hear him when he points out the Mardi Gra float museum, Lake Pontchartrain and the Wal Mart and instructs us godless people who live "north of the lake" on the correct way to pronounce "Nawlins."
I am looking forward to the hotel. I've always like the luxury of staying in a hotel. When I was a kid, we always camped. I was a teenager before I got to stay in a hotel. And it was many years before I got to stay in a hotel that you didn't park your car at the door. So, I've always got a weird kind of rush when I enter a new hotel room for the first time. I used to really get a kick out of being the first person to break the paper ring around the toilet seat that read, "Sanitized for your protection." I miss those paper rings.
Anyway, hopefully in between workshops about strategic marketing and managing your brand, I'll be able to soak in some of the flavor of the French Quarter. Because it really is a special city that everyone should see once. Jim Jarmusch (the writer/director) said once that it was one of the only cities outside of New York that was a country unto itself.
And if I can figure out Internet access while I'm there, I'll try and blog. If not, I'll blog when I get back. In the meantime, "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"