by Barb, at the New Orleans Marriott
My husband, Bill, and I came to New Orleans early to take advantage of the hotel conference rate to do a little touristing.
First News: We have a time and a place for the Cozy Meetup at Bouchercon– 12:00 noon Friday in the large lobby bar at the Marriott. Meet at the tables outside the Starbucks entrance. Bouchercon is so big, the point of the meetup is to provide cozy authors and fans with a rallying point to make sure we get to see one another other. People may drop by before they go to lunch, or may form lunch groups there, or may grab something from Starbucks, Urban Kitchen, or the Lobby Bar at the Marriott and hang out. We’re low-keying it. It is the Big Easy after all. We’d love to see you. All the Wicked Cozys will be there except Jessica Estevao who will be with us on a stick. Please pass the invite along to any cozy authors or readers who’ll be in New Orleans.
In other news: It is hot here. But then, you are prepared for that. It’s not so much the heat, which is high 80s during the day and only goes down to the high 70s at night, but the humidity, which is a skibbletybillion percent.
The hotel is wonderful! Great location right at the edge of the French Quarter with terrific restaurants close by. (Which is important. Remember that heat thing.) The meeting rooms are right in the hotel (again, good, the heat thing) and look fantastic. The best news–the bar is ginormous. Kudos to the Bouchercon organizers!
The elevators are high tech and weird. They’re not really that weird, but let’s face it, you’ve been operating elevators the same way since you were tall enough to press the buttons, so a new way takes some getting used to.
It’s hard to judge what the hotel will be like with a big conference in it. From what I can see, most of the guests over the weekend are here for
- A bachelor party
- A bachelorette party
- Are Oakland Raiders fans here for the game
- Are New Orleans Saints fans here for the game.
(Just watched the end of the game with an enthusiastic crowd in the big lobby bar. I have to say for a game I could have cared less about, that was pretty exciting.)
Couple on the elevator, both wearing shirts that say, “Larry’s Rockin’ New Orleans 41st Birthday!”
Bill to the guy: “Are you Larry?”
Woman (vehement): “No, No, no, no. Oh no. No way.”
Man (annoyed): “He said, ‘Are you Larry?’ not ‘Are you married?'”
Woman and Bill (simultaneous): “Ohhhh…”
What we’ve been doing: We took a Greyline tour to get an overview of the city. We like to do that we first get somewhere and in this case, particularly, so Bill knows where he wants to explore farther and take photos while I’m at the conference. Also, AC on the bus.
Saturday night a friend of Bill’s who lives here invited us to a concert called “From NOLA with Love,” local musicians coming together to raise funds for flood victims in Baton Rouge and its environs. We saw six fantastic bands, each one better than the one before it, and it was touching to the point of choking up as the musicians talked about doing for Baton Rouge as Baton Rouge had done for them eleven years ago.
Sunday we took a riverboat ride, had brunch and listened to Dixie Land. Very touristy, but I realized I hadn’t been on the Mississippi in thirty years. It was wonderful to see a busy, working waterfront. Also, AC in the dining room and cooling river breezes on deck.
Other than that, we’ve walked around a lot and we haven’t had a bad meal, including the Cuban sandwich Bill bought me off a truck at the concert.
Can’t wait to see you all! I’ll be the one with hat-head, sun goop in her hair, and perspiring. But then, so will you!
[All photos in this post are by Bill Carito. If you like them and want to see more, you can friend him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bcarito and follow him on Instagram at billcarito and bill.carito.colorphotos.]
This sounds like an ad for visiting NO and the pictures are wonderful. I sure wish I could be there.
We wish you could be there too, Gram!
The photos are wonderful, aren’t they, Gram?
Fabulous Barb! See you tonight.
Two days and counting down the minutes. Thanks for the updates on location (and restaurants!). And I really want to see one of the cemeteries (I did once, many years ago, but I wasn’t quite the cemetery fanatic then as I am now). See you very soon!
Can you do rubbings at the cemeteries, Sheila?
Legally or practically? In MA you aren’t supposed to, but I can’t speak for LA. But I have the equipment.
“Legally or practically? In MA you aren’t supposed to, but I can’t speak for LA. But I have the equipment.”
Out of context, this is the best comment I’ve read in a long time.
Bill’s photography is amazing! See you tomorrow!
Looks like you had a couple of fun days already. i arrived in NOLA and agree the humidity is wicked. On a culinary walking tour in the FQ this morning before it gets too oppressive. I am not staying at the Marriott but thanks for the hotel intel. See you at Bouchercon.
See you soon, Grace!
Looking forward to meeting you, Sherry, Barb, Edith and the othef Wickeds!
A culinary walkign tour sounds wonderful, even in wicked humidity!
We are enjoying a road trip as we make our way to New Orleans. It has been a beautiful ride and we are planning to arrive in NOLA on Wednesday at lunch time. So excited to see everyone!
We have been…so far!
There is always a slew of celebrations no matter what time of year you are visiting NOLA. When I was a DM I had a store in NOLA. I didn’t figure I would see too much action since the mall I was going to was low traffic and nowhere near the quarter, the hotel I stayed out was the same. I was six months pregnant rolling in my suitcase at the end of a 12 hour day into the lobby where there was a bumping party, in a la Quinta no less! The girl at the front desk couldn’t find my room for the chaos, I was first sent to a room where there was of course a bumping party, and was not my room. All that being said, I love New Orleans, the history, the unique culture, there is no where more inspiring to me to write than the French quarter.
That was quite and adventure! We will report back on ours!
A bumping party in a La Quints. Now that is somethign you don’t hear every day! Sounds like a mystery short story!
Jealous! So very jealous. Yes, of the touristy things you’ve done and the up coming Bouchercon. Wish I could do both.
But seriously? Upper 80’s is hot? Today will be the first day in months that it will be well below upper 80’s here. (Of course, the humidity is a whole other animal, but that makes me rant meaningless, so we won’t go there.)
I wish you were going, Mark! It is the humidity there — I’ll take California (coast) humidity any day! But that’s a hot summer for you guys!
I does sound loke a great time, doesn’t it? Maybe Toronto?
Nice report, Barb. I’ll see you on Wednesday. I’ve been checking the weather forecast; the hubby confirmed my decision to pack shorts for any after-conference activities. With the heat and humidity finally dropping here in Pittsburgh, I’m not looking forward to that aspect. But it is Bouchercon and New Orleans, so I can’t complain too much, right?
We will look forward to seeing you, Mary!
I bet you’ll have fun no matter the weather!
I was feeling some major jealousy pangs until I got to the humidity part of your essay! Blech- it was so humid here last week- I was miserable.
But I’m still jealous and will live vicariously through the Wickeds- and I am planning on going next year to Toronto (I think!!).
We wish you were coming! I’m not looking forward to the humidity and am bringing so many clothes in case I wilt too much!
I am planning to go to Toronto too! Looking forward to seeing you there!
So psyched to read this (looks like you took the Natchez, yes? I love the thwack-thwack-thwack of the paddlewheel). See you there soon…
I can hear those paddlewheels clearly, Clea! Have a great trip!
Yes–the Natchez. Really fun.
“Skippitdlybillion” or however you spell it, is my new favorite word. See you in Wednesday! And join me in the fun activity of watching my hair expand each day from the huge-midity. By Sunday, it will look like I’ve sprouted a Manzanita bush on my head.
That should be ON Wednesday.
Sherry said it will be like we’re all in that episode of friends in the Caribbean where Monica’s hair just gets bigger and bigger.
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