by Barb, at the New Orleans Marriott
My husband, Bill, and I came to New Orleans early to take advantage of the hotel conference rate to do a little touristing.
First News: We have a time and a place for the Cozy Meetup at Bouchercon– 12:00 noon Friday in the large lobby bar at the Marriott. Meet at the tables outside the Starbucks entrance. Bouchercon is so big, the point of the meetup is to provide cozy authors and fans with a rallying point to make sure we get to see one another other. People may drop by before they go to lunch, or may form lunch groups there, or may grab something from Starbucks, Urban Kitchen, or the Lobby Bar at the Marriott and hang out. We’re low-keying it. It is the Big Easy after all. We’d love to see you. All the Wicked Cozys will be there except Jessica Estevao who will be with us on a stick. Please pass the invite along to any cozy authors or readers who’ll be in New Orleans.
In other news: It is hot here. But then, you are prepared for that. It’s not so much the heat, which is high 80s during the day and only goes down to the high 70s at night, but the humidity, which is a skibbletybillion percent.
The hotel is wonderful! Great location right at the edge of the French Quarter with terrific restaurants close by. (Which is important. Remember that heat thing.) The meeting rooms are right in the hotel (again, good, the heat thing) and look fantastic. The best news–the bar is ginormous. Kudos to the Bouchercon organizers!
The elevators are high tech and weird. They’re not really that weird, but let’s face it, you’ve been operating elevators the same way since you were tall enough to press the buttons, so a new way takes some getting used to.
It’s hard to judge what the hotel will be like with a big conference in it. From what I can see, most of the guests over the weekend are here for
- A bachelor party
- A bachelorette party
- Are Oakland Raiders fans here for the game
- Are New Orleans Saints fans here for the game.
(Just watched the end of the game with an enthusiastic crowd in the big lobby bar. I have to say for a game I could have cared less about, that was pretty exciting.)
Couple on the elevator, both wearing shirts that say, “Larry’s Rockin’ New Orleans 41st Birthday!”
Bill to the guy: “Are you Larry?”
Woman (vehement): “No, No, no, no. Oh no. No way.”
Man (annoyed): “He said, ‘Are you Larry?’ not ‘Are you married?'”
Woman and Bill (simultaneous): “Ohhhh…”
What we’ve been doing: We took a Greyline tour to get an overview of the city. We like to do that we first get somewhere and in this case, particularly, so Bill knows where he wants to explore farther and take photos while I’m at the conference. Also, AC on the bus.
Saturday night a friend of Bill’s who lives here invited us to a concert called “From NOLA with Love,” local musicians coming together to raise funds for flood victims in Baton Rouge and its environs. We saw six fantastic bands, each one better than the one before it, and it was touching to the point of choking up as the musicians talked about doing for Baton Rouge as Baton Rouge had done for them eleven years ago.
Sunday we took a riverboat ride, had brunch and listened to Dixie Land. Very touristy, but I realized I hadn’t been on the Mississippi in thirty years. It was wonderful to see a busy, working waterfront. Also, AC in the dining room and cooling river breezes on deck.
Other than that, we’ve walked around a lot and we haven’t had a bad meal, including the Cuban sandwich Bill bought me off a truck at the concert.
Can’t wait to see you all! I’ll be the one with hat-head, sun goop in her hair, and perspiring. But then, so will you!
[All photos in this post are by Bill Carito. If you like them and want to see more, you can friend him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bcarito and follow him on Instagram at billcarito and bill.carito.colorphotos.]