N is for New Orleans- #AtoZChallenge

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“N” is for New Orleans, a city like no other. It’s one of my all time favorite places to visit. I first started going to New Orleans back in 1978-79.

I was in the Ocean Marine Technology Program at Brazosport College. It was a 2 year program where I would be able to earn my AB and QMED certificates from the Coast Guard. One of the things we had to do was to take fire-fighting training. We also had to take a ‘Spring Cruise”. We combined them and took a couple of boats up to Delgado Community College in New Orleans to take their fire-fighting course.

That’s me, 2nd from left, back row

I was 17 at the time and the youngest in class. We had a nice and easy trip up, the weather was fine and we all got to practice our celestial navigation skills. We all looked forward to seeing New Orleans and we were not disappointed. We all had a blast and will always remember getting underway bright and early after a late night out on Bourbon Street. 😉

I used to go home to Florida to visit family a couple of times a year and always stopped in New Orleans if I could. I liked to hang around the French Quarter and recharge my batteries for a day. Maybe longer if I met up with some ‘cool’ people. 😉

Years later, when I got older and had to slow down on the partying, I started to enjoy more of the city than Bourbon Street. I’ve gone for conferencesworkshops and training, and layovers for traveling to and from work offshore. I always try to spend a little extra time just to relax and enjoy the city.

It’s so easy. New Orleans has it’s own special vibe. They say it’s got “soul”. Yeah, I agree. It feels sultry, hot and humid most of the time. It almost oozes history. You can see it in the architecture all over the French Quarter. It smells delicious. Chicory coffee, beignets, seafood gumbo, salty oysters, and boozy concoctions around Bourbon Street.

The food is amazing! Classic French, Creole, Cajun and all combinations thereof. Soul food, muffaletas, po-boys, fresh seafood, fine steaks, you can get all that and more. Some of the best cooks in the world call New Orleans home.

New Orleans is a city of music. Jazz, Cajun, Creole, Rock, Soul, Blues, it’s all there. All over the place. I love wandering around the French Quarter, finding musicians playing out in the streets. You can almost always find some around Jackson Square or Royal Street. Then there are the second line parades. It’s always fun to join in the party. Where else can you get that?

New Orleans has so many parades, parties and festivals. I love it! I wonder if I would ever get anything done if I actually lived there? 😉

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New Orleans Was A Trip!

I just got home from New Orleans. What a trip! I got in around midnight last Thursday (after  attending the Nautical Institute seminar). Friday morning the workshop started bright and early 8 AM. I’m not a morning person.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday was spent 8-5 in the travel writing workshop I was there for. Monday addition on ‘Social Media’. My brain was spinning by then and ready for some down time.

Tuesday, I slept in and was able to spend the day around New Orleans gathering information for my planned writing projects. I had researched beforehand and thanks to Mike at Hospitality21 and Christine at the New Orleans CVB, I was comped tickets to a couple of wonderful New Orleans attractions.

Everyone I talked to about the World War II Museum raved about how good it was. I had been wanting to go for a couple of years. I spent all afternoon there and still didn’t get the complete experience (I missed the movie and show- I’ll have to go back for that).

I made it to the Steamboat Natchez just in time for departure. A really nice way to spend the evening. A jazz dinner cruise on the Mississippi River. You could imagine yourself back in the day of Tom Sawyer if you ignored all the people taking ‘selfies’.

I had a late flight out on Wednesday, so spent the morning wandering around the French Quarter: walking down Royal Street, checking out the antique shops, looking at the artists working along Pirates Alley and Jackson Square, breakfast (brunch) at Monty’s, listening to jazz at Latrobe Park, timidly tasting a couple selections at the Pepper Palace, wandering through the French Market, and then taking the Riverfront streetcar back up to Canal Street.

I spent the last couple hours wasting my time (and my money) at Harrah’s Casino and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel to catch my ride to the airport. I guess it’s a good thing they don’t allow smoking anymore, I might have missed my plane if I hadn’t needed a smoke!

More later, as I get my photos uploaded. 🙂

Video: Yes Ma’am- Weight of the World

Here’s a video of the band I was talking about in my earlier post tonight. I saw them playing in the street as I was window shopping on Royal Street in the French Quarter (New Orleans).

It was a gorgeous Fall day and their playing was just perfect. It put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. They had a bunch of people of all ages/types, dogs, kids on bikes, etc all watching, listening, dancing. It was a great experience.

I bought a CD from them before I wandered off. I really like it. They deserve more notice. The commercial stations don’t play stuff like this, but if you try you can find interesting new music like this on the radio or the internet.

In Houston, I listen to KPFT, 90.1 FM . Its listener- sponsored, no commercials. They have EVERYTHING on there. I like how they have such a huge variety. Everything from Irish music to Latino to Heavy Metal to Zydeco. You really need to go online and check out the schedule. 😉

I’m not sure what to categorize this band as. Folk? Americana? String Band? Bluegrass? Traditional? Alt Country? Blues? They could be called any of that, but the do it all well!

Check out the video.

New Orleans (Workboat Show 2012)

House of Blues

House of Blues

OK, so sorry to all my faithful followers 😉 I’ve been SO busy! Since I got off work I’ve been going non-stop. I made it to the beach clean up (fantastic turnout there)! I managed to get some work of one of my rental houses done . I FINALLY got my taxes for 2012 turned in to my accountants (still was not really finished but there was no way to get all the information to them before time was up so I just had to drop off what I had). And now, I’m in New Orleans for the Workboat Show!

Yeah, its way early this year. Its usually the first week of December. That’s nice since the weather is cool and everything is all decorated for Christmas. It’s different this year, I didn’t think about it, but they’re already decorating for Halloween, so that’s pretty cool too.

I’m staying over a couple extra days to do some tourist stuff. I’m going on a plantation tour tomorrow and a 3-in-1 combo ‘witches brew’ tour Sunday night. I have not managed to get any pictures on the computer yet since I’ve been home, but just to whet your whistle, here are a few from last years show here.

Pat O'Brians, New Orleans

Hurricanes at Pat O’Brians, New Orleans

Preservation Hall, New Orleans P1010914 P1010923 P1010950

Voodoo Bar Bourbon Street New Orleans

Voodoo Bar Bourbon Street New Orleans

Street musician, Bourbon Street New Orleans

Street musician, Bourbon Street New Orleans