Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Big Easy?

More like The Big Stress.

Wow, I haven't posted in a while. Sorry. I am really busy, getting all ready for some traveling. I am going to a conference in New Orleans. So my brain is a little preoccupied. My hotel reservations got all messed up, and I've been emailing and on the phone non-stop. It's stressful, because everything is all set, except for my hotel. And I have a lot of stuff to do before I'm ready to leave in 2 days. Plus, you know, it's December.

Argh. The older I get, the more stressful December gets for me. I miss being a kid, and only having to worry about writing down my Christmas list for Santa and then just counting down the days via the Advent calendar. Now, as an adult, I have to find good presents, spend the money to get them, work on travel arrangements, attend boring parties, stress about the weather, figure out when to wrap the presents, worry about mailing and delivery dates, deal with mall insanity for those last-minute gifts, donate to the right charities, coordinate with siblings to see who is getting Mom what.......*sigh*

I'm not complaining -- I like the holiday season. It puts me in a good mood, and I have generosity and love for all mankind oozing from my pores. Yeah, it's kind of disgusting. Almost makes me barf. But it's the good kind of barfing.

So yeah, I like this time of year, I just don't like the stress and the crowds. I woke up this morning and thought, "OMG! Only 20 days left? How will I get it all done, especially when I'm going to be out of town for 5 days?!"

And I'm sorry, but going to a work conference this weekend is really bad timing. Why would any organization set up an annual conference in December?? What, people don't have things do do during December?? Like we are all sitting around on our asses or something? This was obviously a man's idea. A boring, friendless man without children. That is the only type of person who would think it's a good idea. He was oblivious to baking, shopping, decorating, parties, travel and other holiday-related stress. Perhaps he was angry at the world for making him spend the holidays alone every year? I don't know. But 3,000 of us have to put our holiday planning on hold for a few days while we soak up the flavor of The Big Easy. Too bad we will be stuck in ultra-boring meetings most of the time.

Oh well. At least this year, I get to go to New Orleans, which is WAY cooler than last year's Orlando. The Crescent City has history, culture, good food and is easily explored on foot -- the only thing Orlando has going for it World. And I'm not 7 years old.

I am leaving on Friday and won't be back until Tuesday. Now, now, stop crying. I'll be back before you know it. As long as I make it out alive from the airports. Ugh. I can feel my stomach cramping up, just thinking about airports. I love love love to fly, once I get on the plane. But airports? They stress me the f**k out. Anyone want to donate a Xanax? I'd be much obliged.

CN was sweet enough to offer to take care of Sammy & Toby for me. Aw. And he's taking me to/from the airport. He's such a good boyfriend, huh? *cheers for CN*

Oh, speaking of CN, I need to post about this past weekend. *makes note to self* Perhaps I will write a second post later today.

Have you been to New Orleans? How is it safety-wise? Is everything back open now that Katrina is over? Do you have any restaurant recommendations for me? Any shops? Interesting tours? I am interested in the following activities while I'm down there:

eating Cajun food (except raw oysters and crayfish)
eating Creole food (except raw oysters and crayfish)
eating Po Boys (especially if they have fried oysters or shrimp)
learning the difference between Creole and Cajun (I have tried!!)
buying pralines
buying Cajun/Creole food/spices I can take home with me
learning how to pronounce "pralines" correctly (apparently, it's "PRAW-leens")
historic home tours
history tours
ghost tours
voodoo tours
having my fortune read by a voodoo witch doctor, unless it's bad juju
buying magic potions from the witch doctors, unless it's bad juju
avoiding bad juju in general
local art/artists
Mardi Gras stuff
good souvenirs (masks, especially)

You are probably wondering why I'm not listing "Jazz music" on here. That is because I am not a jazz fan. *ducks to avoid being hit by readers' tomatoes and shoes* I know, I know. I am the anti-Christ because I don't like jazz. Sorry. But if you promise not to make me listen to jazz, I promise not to make you listen to my gangsta rap. Deal?

So if you know anything about any of the things I've listed, please give me a heads up or make some recommendations for me. I'd appreciate it! Because so far, all I've heard is that the French Quarter smells like pee. And don't go out after dark. So I'm a little apprehensive, at this point.

I just looked at the weather. It will be in the mid-70s. WOO HOO!!!

New Orleans, here I come! Laissez les bon temps roulez!


Becky said...

new orleans is fine as long as you dont leave the main tourist areas. go one street off the main drag, youre in trouble lol

cmk said...

(SHHHHH...I don't like jazz, either!)

Stuck said...

You want Mardi Gras stuff?

I'm sure the male contingent of your readers is willing to shout "Show us your tits!"

RWA said...

It's not nearly as open as it was before Katrina, and some parts aren't nearly as safe. Be careful and try to stay with other folks as much as possible.

I recommend jambalaya. You will certainly find plenty of fried oyster and fried shrimp po boys.

Have fun!!!!

* meish * said...

I feel exactly the same about the holidays. I love this time of year, but I could without all the stress of shopping and writing cards and getting everything done in time so no one gets their gift in the middle of January.

Enjoy New Orleans!

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

Have fun on your trip! I dont really have any recomendations for you being that I rarely cross the Mason Dixon Line, but just be safe.

Jen said...

I've never been to New Orleans, but my hubby's old band used to play there all the time. He said it's dirty and disgusting. But then again, he is very picky and particular about everything. Given that, I'm not sure why he married me. haha

And I totally understand why you hate airports. And after watching Die Hard 2 for the first time last night (yeah, I know...about 17 years too late), I'm freaked out about getting on a plane now.

Hope you have a great time, though. :)

teahouse said...

Yes, VB, your assessment of my state of origin (as per the comment you left on my blog) is spot on. I can tell you the difference between Cajun and Creole if you want, and where the best food is in New Orleans. Email me :o)

Christy said...

You will love New Orleans. I went my freshman year of college to Mardi Gras and it was one of the best times. Safe travels!