I have been lucky enough since 2008 to attend the National Orientation Directors Association Conference each year. This conference is an opportunity to attend educational sessions, network and reconnect with folks, and explore a fabulous city.
In the past it has been hosted in Boston, MA (where I did batting practice in Fenway Park).
Anaheim, CA (I chatted it up with Mickey Mouse and stuck my toes in the sand at Laguna Beach).
St. Louis, MO (I traveled up the Arch and toured Busch Stadium…which now makes me want to throw up because of the stupid World Series)
And this year the conference was held in Tha Big Easy… New Orleans, LA. (soooo close to Tyler, Texas 🙂 )
J. Jo and I left on our adventure Saturday (Rick had been at the conference since Thursday since he’s a big deal). I just adore airports. There’s just something about spending too much money on overpriced magazines, gum and coffee while people watching that makes me smile. That and meeting the most interesting people on planes. Oh, and Skymalls. I LOVE Skymalls.
Traveling with J.Jo was awesome. I think we spent 90% of our time laughing (and by laughing, we both cackle. Like really loud cackling…with snorts. We’re an odd pair).
Even though our plane was delayed for an hour or so we finally made it to New Orleans. It was lovely to be back on Central Standard time. Our shuttle bus driver was a character to say the least. Here are a few of his nuggets of knowledge:
Bus Driver: “…Nawlins is the adult Disneyland…it’s crazy this time of year. Almost more crazy than Mardi Gras. But there are only two rules that’ll keep you out of jail in NOLA during Halloween: Don’t fight and find a proper bathroom.”
Bus Driver: (points at a restaurant) “..the oysters there are incredible. Ladies (referring to me and J.Jo), if you just want to try them and not buy a whole plate, just find a man who already has them and go take one off of his plate. Just flash a little smile and a little cleavage and you’re good to go. You can get whatever you want if you do that.”
Anyways, if you know anything about the VT NSP office, you know that we focus 95% of our energy and scheduling around food. As soon as we connected with Rick at the hotel we were off to eat seafood. And it was heavenly. Then we made a trip to Bourbon Street to witness the craziness.
It was just 10pm and I saw some things that I’d be OK with never seeing again. We started walking through the crowd back down Bourbon St. to our hotel. Out of no where in the middle of a crowd I was stopped by an older gentleman dressed as Santa Claus:
Mr. Claus: *points his finger in my face* “You! You’re a bad girl. Yeah, I can see it in your eyes, you bad girl.”
Me: *speechless, eyes wide, mouth open, shock, dumbfounded*
Usually, I can come up with a witty comment or something, but I was floored. Needless to say, this gave the crew I hung out with plenty of ammo for the remainder of the trip.
Me: “I’m hungry.”
Member of my crew: “Yeah you are, you bad girl.”
Me: “I don’t think I could survive Bourbon Street by myself.”
Member of my crew: “Yeah you could. Cause you’re a bad girl.”
Multiply this times ten and you have my experience in NOLA.
Anyway…I have lots more to share…but this post is getting long and my hands are getting tired. I usually tend to avoid studying/writing papers/ doing anything productive by blogging (or training for a marathon t-minus 6 days) so Part deux will be up soon 🙂