Report from New Orleans

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.

New Orleans BoucherconFirst 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.

bouchercon-meetup-with-place

Processed with Snapseed.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!

Processed with Snapseed.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

  1. A bachelor party
  2. A bachelorette party
  3. Are Oakland Raiders fans here for the game
  4. 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.)

Processed with Snapseed.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.

Processed with Snapseed.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.

Processed with Snapseed.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.]

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36 thoughts on “Report from New Orleans

  1. Two days and counting down the minutes. Thanks for the updates on location (and restaurants!). And I really want to see one of the cemeteries (I did once, many years ago, but I wasn’t quite the cemetery fanatic then as I am now). See you very soon!

  2. Looks like you had a couple of fun days already. i arrived in NOLA and agree the humidity is wicked. On a culinary walking tour in the FQ this morning before it gets too oppressive. I am not staying at the Marriott but thanks for the hotel intel. See you at Bouchercon.

  3. There is always a slew of celebrations no matter what time of year you are visiting NOLA. When I was a DM I had a store in NOLA. I didn’t figure I would see too much action since the mall I was going to was low traffic and nowhere near the quarter, the hotel I stayed out was the same. I was six months pregnant rolling in my suitcase at the end of a 12 hour day into the lobby where there was a bumping party, in a la Quinta no less! The girl at the front desk couldn’t find my room for the chaos, I was first sent to a room where there was of course a bumping party, and was not my room. All that being said, I love New Orleans, the history, the unique culture, there is no where more inspiring to me to write than the French quarter.

  4. Jealous! So very jealous. Yes, of the touristy things you’ve done and the up coming Bouchercon. Wish I could do both.

    But seriously? Upper 80’s is hot? Today will be the first day in months that it will be well below upper 80’s here. (Of course, the humidity is a whole other animal, but that makes me rant meaningless, so we won’t go there.)

  5. Nice report, Barb. I’ll see you on Wednesday. I’ve been checking the weather forecast; the hubby confirmed my decision to pack shorts for any after-conference activities. With the heat and humidity finally dropping here in Pittsburgh, I’m not looking forward to that aspect. But it is Bouchercon and New Orleans, so I can’t complain too much, right?

  6. I was feeling some major jealousy pangs until I got to the humidity part of your essay! Blech- it was so humid here last week- I was miserable.

    But I’m still jealous and will live vicariously through the Wickeds- and I am planning on going next year to Toronto (I think!!).

  7. “Skippitdlybillion” or however you spell it, is my new favorite word. See you in Wednesday! And join me in the fun activity of watching my hair expand each day from the huge-midity. By Sunday, it will look like I’ve sprouted a Manzanita bush on my head.

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