Sunday, April 6, 2008

CCCC '08 New Orleans - Day 4

My last two days here in New Orleans were quiet, although I still managed to get out and be busy. By Saturday morning I was really just tired and not in quite in the mood to get up when the alarm went off, and go places, but I made myself anyway, and I have to admit I'm glad I did: I'd made a reservation for a Saturday morning harbor cruise on the Steamboat Natchez Riverboat, and thought, what the heck, I need to eat, and even ordered lunch on board. Got disembarked a bit late, and it was overcast and cool, so I could have brought a light sweater, but I didn't feel cold until the bitter end. A member of the crew narrated some of the history of the buildings and boats we passed down the Mississippi River, and after about 45 minutes or an hour we just cruised along (in a very lazy sort of way), and some background music was put on instead. It shouldn't have surprised me that the Mississippi River is still so industrial, but after we passed New Orleans proper there were really nothing but boats on both banks, or floating on down past us.


Lunch was pretty good, and I'm glad I ordered it: Salad, gumbo, jambalaya, fried chicken, and bread pudding. And lots of coffee and iced tea. Plus two bars (drinks were pushed pretty hard), which I just tuned out, but at least one could wander through the steam engine room and talk to the engineer on duty. 

After a two-hour cruise and disembarking, I strolled through the French Market, up to Central Grocery, where I finally got my hands on a muffuletta sandwich, which Chris had told me about and which was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. The entire store smelled like an Italian grocery - which it was - and in hindsight I wish I had looked around a bit more, but I was a bit worried about getting back to the convention site (which was a mile and a half away and therefore going to be walked, sore feet be damned) for my session. I'm glad I double checked the time; the session started an hour earlier than I thought it did. 

The session went fine; one of the participants hadn't been able to make it, so there were only two panelists, myself, and four people in the audience; it was very informal, and we all just sat around in a circle. One of the panelists didn't really seem too interested in chatting, or even introducing himself, and as soon as the session was over he and everyone else (except the other panelist, with whom I chatted) hightailed it out of there.

And it was at that point I myself just went back to my hotel. I had been told about tours of the 9th Ward, and I had also wanted to go meander around one of the cemeteries, but I hadn't even known tours of the 9th Ward were a possibility until it was too late, and I was too tired to try to walk several more miles to look around a cemetery a few hours before nightfall. So I think those will be two things to keep on my list for the next visit.

And Sunday - well, very little happened on Sunday. I had just enough time to go to church, come back to the hotel to check out, and then get to the airport (where I had the luxury of sitting around for a few hours; fun). I had a good time in New Orleans but it's good to be home!

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