No Plane, No Gain

19 Jan

So before we get started, I have a story to tell you that happened to me this weekend….Saturday night, inside this party, this thick thing pushed back on me, so I began to wonder, who tell she push back on me?  She should have never done that upon me.  I thought to myself, I can’t believe nobody ain’t tell she, really couldn’t believe no one ever warned she, me being the bad man that I am, I attacked the bumcee, and started Jonesing immediately.

Just kidding guys, this is a song, but it could happen…especially after a few drinks.  Sidebar shout out my Bajan peeps (all two of you) that read this.

 

Now, that that is out of the way, let’s carry on.  So I’ve been pretty busy the past few days.  In the last week I’ve been to 4 American cities.  The interesting fact you ask?  In 3 of them I was there less than 12 hours.  The one city I did get to spend time in was New Orleans.  While the city is typically known for its booze, boobs, & beignets, it offers its visitors much more.  I went to New Orleans to attend the National Business Aviation Association conference and to accept my scholarship.  I arrived on Monday from Nassau, to a cold and rainy New Orleans, actually a thunderstorm.

My Ride to NOLA

My Ride to NOLA

Talk about welcoming weather.  I was met by a very nice lady, whose Southern accent was both charming and difficult to understand.  She told me my accent was hard to understand.  Nice to know I wasn’t the only one struggling.  I quickly found my shuttle to the hotel and I was off (more on this shuttle business later).

Once I arrived in the hotel, a quick check of emails, and I was determined to meet up with a good buddy of mine.  Cricket lives in New Orleans so I figured what better way to see the city than to go out with one of the locals.  So we hit the town at around 9pm to find dinner and to see the city a bit (this was made a little harder by the incredible layer of fog blanketing the city).

Foggy Night on The Mississippi River.

Foggy Night on The Mississippi River.

Despite the fog (and the cold for that matter), we ventured on and had dinner at this restaurant off Canal street which was like a little hole in the wall restaurant but the food was amazing.  In my travels, I’ve always found that the best food is found in those one off restaurants.

Jumbo Gumbo!

Jumbo Gumbo!

Cajun Pasta!  Too good!

Cajun Pasta!

After dinner we walked around the different streets, and while walking, came upon a group of locals playing music in the middle of the street!  They had quite the crowd surrounding them and it was very cool to see the locals interacting with the tourists  through the melodies leaving their horns and trumpets.  We walked down Burbon Street as well which was extremely crowded even for a Monday night.

The next morning I was determined to see  a little more before the conference began, so I decided I would walk around and see what it was like during the day.  I was happy that much to my surprise, the fog that had plagued the city the night before was gone and it was a beautiful clear day, albeit still cold.  I wasn’t about to let a little bit of cold stop me however and I set out.  I was a man on a mission, it was me against the elements, I was a man…who turned right back around and went back inside the hotel.  It was freezing.  I grabbed another long sleeve shirt to wear, and then set out again.  With my hotel right on Canal Street I was in a prime area with lots to see, or so I was told anyways.  First order of business on my agenda, breakfast.  I didn’t really know where I was going so I figured I’d just walk until I ran into something.  Not too long into my journey did I happen upon a restaurant promoting a “Creole Omelette”.  There were quite a few people sitting outside, and I didn’t see anyone get up and dash to a bathroom or anything and it was also right near the Mississippi River so it didn’t really take too much arm twisting.  Much to my delight, breakfast was great.

With that I continued my walk, and went over onto the board walk and looked out over the Mississippi river where there were lots of boats and there was even a steamboat giving tours.  If I had the time I would have definitely taken a tour as its not very often one can say they went on a steam boat.  Next time for sure.

Steamboat on the Mississippi

Steamboat on the Mississippi

I walked down into town into Jackson Square where they were offering horse and carriage rides, and where they have local artists displaying pieces of art work, and some were even painting some of pieces on the spot.  There was a beautiful church, that looks like a castle, it was inspiring.

Jackson Square (Church In The Background)

Jackson Square (Church In The Background)

After that I just walked around some more and everywhere I turned, there was something to see.  It’s a very artsy town, the more I walked, the more I found.  It’s easy to get distracted because there is so much to see.  With it’s French and Spanish history, there’s a lot to see.  As I walked further into town, I came upon this part of town where there were statues scattered all about.  They were so life like, I kept waiting for one of them to move and scare the shit out of me.  Thank God it didn’t.

DSC02242 DSC02241 DSC02243 DSC02245

At this time, I figured it was time to try the world famous beignets New Orleans is known for.  I wasn’t prepared for it, mentally, emotionally, physically.  It was that good.

Cafe Du Monde! Open 24hrs. ensuring you can always get Beignets!

Cafe Du Monde! Open 24hrs. ensuring you can always get Beignets!

Powdered Sugar Heaven.

Powdered Sugar Heaven.

It was sinfully good, although eating these things is a lot easier than it looks.  Because of the amount of powdered sugar that is own them (I had like a pound of powdered sugar left after I had eaten all the donuts), taking a bite, powdered sugar flies everywhere.  Literally everywhere.  It looks as though I was baking a cake after I had finished eating them.  The birds were happy though.  Due to the excess sugar, there were anywhere from 5 to 10 little birds enjoying the sugary treat I was giving them.

I happened upon a statue from the people of France to the city of New Orleans, it was pretty cool to see!

DSC02248

As I headed back to my hotel, I saw what I can only imagine as some of the floats that were for Mardi Gras coming up in a few weeks?  I’m not sure but either way decided to snap some photos just on the off chance that I was indeed that lucky.DSC02222 DSC02221

Floats!

Floats!

I got back to the hotel and got ready for my first day of the conference.  It was great meeting new people in the industry, and seeing some of the new and innovative ideas that will be coming on stream in the next few years.  I made some great friends while I was at the conference.  The next two days were a blur, it involved shaking LOTS of hands, exchanging of business cards, negotiating amongst other things.  I was lucky to meet up with a great friend of mine Avery and she was gracious enough to pick me and another friend up and take us for dinner.  That night I’m pretty sure they put every sea creature in the Gulf of Mexico on my plate.  It was so much food.  Four days later I still feel full.

My Award.

My Award.

With that my trip was done.  I was leaving the next morning at 6 AM.  Here’s where things got interesting.  When I landed, I decided to sign up for the shuttle as it was the cheaper option between taking taxis everywhere ($40 Roundtrip between the airport and my hotel.)  They asked me what time my flight was leaving to come back home and when I said 6AM they gave me a pick up time of 3:05AM which meant I had to be up at 2:15AM so that I could shower and ensure that I was in the lobby ready to go.  I was afraid of oversleeping and missing my flight so I decided I would stay up until it was time to go.  This mission was quickly aborted at around 11pm.  I blame the hulk sized portion of dinner that I had.  Luckily I didn’t oversleep and made it on to my flight.  Apparently some time during the flight, I fell asleep and was awoken by the flight attendant in Miami.  The airplane was empty.  Apparently it had been for quite some time, she said that I looked so “peaceful” she gave me a few extra minutes.  Either way I hustled on to my next flight and made it home right before lunch time.

It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do, but C’est la vie.  I’ll be back New Orleans, and I’m bringing reinforcements!  I’ll be back next week to tell you about my recent trip to Houston!!  Take care guys.

-Jonathan

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: