Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Orleans Day 1

I thought I’d never get to New Orleans. My flight from Orange County to Houston was diverted to Austin because of weather. They let us off the plane, but said not to go far because we’d be boarding again soon. They promised an update every 15 minutes. This went on for 5 hours! But finally we reboarded, took off, and in Houston I did a sprint through the airport and made the last flight to NOLA. I am staying at the Royal Sonesta right on Bourbon street and the party was still going strong when I got here at 2 am. I did not appreciate my alarm going off at 6 am, but I really wanted to get a workout in because I knew the day would be full of good food. I hadn’t gotten a chance to scope out the running possibilities because of my late arrival, so I suffered in the hot, crowded, hotel gym. Apparently fitness isn’t high on people’s list when they’re staying on Bourbon street. Then I headed down to the ballroom for breakfast and meetings. It was super interesting to finally meet all my coworkers who I have been interacting with virtually for a year. I had the totally wrong image of so many of them. It makes me wonder how different my virtual self is from my actual self. Our lunch activity was right up my alley. They brought in executive chefs from the area and we did a cooking lesson/challenge. There were 3 different courses, BBQ shrimp, crab chowder, and jumblyiah. For each course there were 3 teams making that course. My team made crab chowder. The chefs gave us the basic instructions and then we were on our own to personalize the dish. At the end, the 4 partners who own the company, chose a winner. Our chowder ended up coming in second. It was so fun to walk around and see what everyone was doing and taste the different options. It was also a little terrifying to see what restaurant chefs put in the food I would consider healthy. The shrimp had 2 lbs of butter in the BBQ sauce!!
After the culinary challenge, I headed off to city park with a group to volunteer. I always look for a non touristy way to see the city, and this seemed perfect. A group of us worked for a few hours painting at the little amusement park. City park is a wonderful public space. It’s enormous- 4 times the size of Central park, and gets no funding from the city, so they rely heavily on volunteers. It was a beautiful spot, with a thick canopy of moss covered trees. Walking among the closed carnival rides was like being in a little fairy land. During our time we managed to prime and paint the whole game building a bright, cherry red. Having done my good deed for the day, we headed back to the French Quarter to change for dinner. Dinner and the cocktail reception were at Patty O’s, on a roof deck over-looking the river. We got to see the sun set and watch the variety of boats move along the river. A great end to a great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment