I've discovered a few things in my five or six trips to New Orleans.
It's EASY to get ripped off if you're not paying attention. Take the taxi driver from the airport. Please. All New Orleans airport taxi cabs are required to take credit cards. Just before we arrived at my hotel Wednesday night, my driver, a little too casually, informed me that he'd forgotten to tell me his credit card machine was down and so he could only take cash. Uh huh. My mama didn't raise a fool. He'd rather have the cash than play the 3% on the credit card transaction. As it turned out I was planning to pay cash anyway, so I didn't make a fuss. Had I only had a credit card, however, we'd have had some words about that one. And I'd have won.
It's EASY to get inadequate directions to your destination. I don't know if they deliberately mislead tourists or what, but every time I ask a doorman or concierge or whomever, I never get quite ALL of the information that I need in order to successfully get where I'm going. So yesterday, following the directions I'd been given, I got on the wrong streetcar and had to be transferred to another line (the driver was very nice about it -- which was very refreshing).
It's EASY to overeat. I've had some amazing meals here -- I don't think there is any bad food in the French Quarter restaurants. Every time I sit down to one of those scrumptious meals I swear I'm not going to eat too much. Every time I fail. Last night it was drum fish at Muriel's. To die for. I'm starting to waddle.
It's EASY to arrive at a meeting looking pretty disheveled. The weather turned nasty this morning and the winds today have been clocked at 45 m.p.h. coming off the river. The gusts roared up the streets of the French Quarter, so every time I crossed a side street as I traversed four blocks up Canal Street, my hair got blown to pieces. Fun.
I've stated New Orleans isn't my favorite city. It still isn't.
Next year we'll be having this same conference in Boston. I guess they are hoping that global warming will kick in and Boston won't be covered in its customary snow. I really like Boston. In the spring and the fall. Not in early January.