Of all things, I ran into Writing Center Director Patricia at the terminal; we had booked the same flight, even though of course we weren't sitting together. I did sit next to a very nice (and very chatty) publishing rep, though, and then proceeded to run into two former Stony Brook University acquaintances while waiting for the airport-hotel shuttle. It was fairly surreal, actually. I made it to the hotel, took a shower, decompressed, and was very glad to see that the Wi-Fi that was advertised as available in all rooms was, in fact, available. All good things so far.
I wandered down to the convention site, picked up a schedule, and went off in search of Harry and Meridith, and found neither. Eventually I heard from Harry, who was, in fact, not at the convention site, but at his hotel back in the direction from which I had come, so I wandered into the French Quarter, got mildly lost, got very sweaty (so much for the shower), and found him in a wonderfully air-conditioned hotel, coaching one of his doctoral students with her presentation. Eventually (after a good long time) we got in touch with Meridith and various other doctoral students (including an adjunct from my undergraduate days; she's now a doctoral student at St. John's University), and made our way to Remoulade, which was around the corner, and, I have to say, a truly wonderful establishment. I wound up with a combination called "a taste of the bayou," which came with crawfish pie, a half an hour of jambalaya (which was just excellent), and turtle soup (which I had in place of jambalaya).
Eventually everyone wandered off, and just Harry, Elizabeth, and I were left. Harry and Elizabeth decided to find a drink around the corner, and invited me to come along, but I was more in the mood to take a walk. Actually, what I wanted to do was to take a nighttime walk along the Mississippi River, but by this time it was about 10 p.m. and I didn't really want to be wandering around in potentially dangerous neighborhoods alone. I think maybe that's something to do another night, when it's a bit earlier.
Tomorrow: The convention geekery officially begins!